What is Trust Pulling?

One of your main concerns as an SEO should be to increase the “trust” of your (or your client’s) sites.  When a real business creates a website, one of the first things they do is brand themselves in the social media sphere by creating a company Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  It’s a natural process of a website’s development.

In Trust Pulling you can mimic this natural, trust-building process by surrounding your site with a fortress of social profiles, web 2.0’s and other high domain authority (DA) properties.  These sites are connected to each other, and most importantly through a G+ profile which ties it all together.

When first created, these properties offer zero link juice (page authority = 1).  So what you do is link to these properties with some high power PBNs.  In the past, people used to use GSA for this, but what we learned from the last Penguin 3.0 penalties, you need to keep the spam much further away from your money site.

Now you have multiple high DA/PA assets surrounding your money site, creating both trust and ranking potential.

Some people call this DA Stacking, or DAS.  It is, in essence, a very simple form of DAS but the configuration I’m testing is lacks DAS’s random, multi-tiered linking structure.

Proposed Benefits

In this testcase, I set out to qualify the following benefits of this link strategy…

  1. Ranking increase
  2. Increased trust factor
  3. The ease of ranking Facebook, Twitter, and other social parasites

Testcase Setup

For this testcase, I used a live money site.  It’s in a very high competition niche it targets some extremely difficult keywords in the weight loss niche.  The site is 6 months old and so is the social fortress surrounding it.

Social Fortress

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. YouTube Channel
  5. Google+
  6. Pinterest

Pre-test preparation: A month and a half before testing, I stopped sending high value links to the site.  To keep up the link velocity, I started sending low impact links such as non-homepage, nofollow’s.

During the test period, I created 10 PBN links to the social fortress in the following pattern.

link flow2

Note: G+ is just for tying the social fortress together.  It is not recommended to link directly to a G+ page.


I have to admit, I was about to throw in the towel early on this test.  Results were dead flat for over a month and a half.  Finally I started seeing movement in week 6.

serpsRanking Increase

As stated, seeing an impact on the money site took a long time: about 1.5 months.  90% of Diggity Links clients see results within 7 days, however some take 2-3 weeks.  So I suppose it makes sense that the link juice might take twice as long to propagate through the social fortress layer.

After about 2.5 months of testing, the average SERP placement increased by about 14%.  

The Million Dollar Question:
Would these PBN links have been better utilized going straight to the money site?

Overall I sent 10 PBN links to the social fortress.  If I would have sent all 10 directly to the money site, would it have ranked higher?  Based on data, my answer is no.

I’ve ranked this keyword before.  It’s an insanely competitive affiliate keyword.  Looking at past data, getting from rank 15 to 12 took 14 links.  The Trust Pulling technique wins by a small margin.  But what’s more promising in Trust Pulling is that this money site is now flirting with page one, a major milestone… especially in this niche.

Trust Factor

This is nearly impossible to quantify, but just from a qualitative perspective, creating a social fortress around your site establishes trust, which we are starting to notice becoming more and more of a ranking factor.  Popular websites and businesses have Facebook and Twitter pages, which in turn get traffic and links.  It just makes sense.

From a safety perspective, I strongly believe that this linking configuration adds a significant level of safety.  The high DA of the fortress acts as a trust filter for your money site.  And if for some reason you run into a penguin penalty, simply remove the link from which ever social site tanked.

Which parasites ranked?

Not surprisingly, Facebook did.  Many people are reporting that Facebook is the new YouTube when it comes to easy ranking.  I found the same.

Again, results were slow.  It took 60 days for the Facebook page to react, but the results are excellent, especally with only 3 links.  Very soon I’ll have two properties sitting on the first page for multiple keywords.



Overall, I’m happy with the results of this test.  While I’m not blown away by time-to-result, the fact that I ranked two properties with less links than normal is superb.  Not to mention the unquantifiable trust factor that Trust Pulling brings to the money site.

What kind of sites would I recommend this for?

  • High competition affiliate sites – Instead of linking to your money site from 100% PBNs, mix in a social fortress and establish some trust for yourself.  Rank your parasite pages and dominate Page 1.
  • Local SEO – While ranking efficiency isn’t as much as a factor for local, trust is indeed important.   Power up a client’s social fortress, reduce penalty chance, and keep them as a customer for years to come.



Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.