While climbing the rankings on Google and the other major search engines, getting higher quality, trusted backlinks is really now one of the only ways to go. The days of sending thousands of spammy, low quality backlinks is over - for pure white-hat methods at least.
Google stopped updating the public Toolbar PageRank, so that metric is out the window. Now SEOs are relying on new metrics in search engines which hover around trust and authority.
The main thing we need to do to improve a sites authority is to improve its TrustRank. TrustRank per Wikipedia:
"TrustRank seeks to combat spam by filtering the web based upon reliability. The method calls for selecting a small set of seed pages to be evaluated by an expert. Once the reputable seed pages are manually identified, a crawl extending outward from the seed set seeks out similarly reliable and trustworthy pages. TrustRank's reliability diminishes with increased distance between documents and the seed set." (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TrustRank)
So how can we go out there and get links from these high authority seed list websites, and at the same time, not have to build thousands of links and stay within 1 jump from the seed site (not diminishing the distance with multiple jumps)? The answer is simple: Social.
Platforms Which Deliver Trust
Now you may have already built the typical Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on when you do SEO for yourself or for your clients; but I bet you didn't know that there is a massive list of high domain authority social sites that you probably have never even heard of, that have a DA (Domain Authority - a moz.com metrics) of 70-100 that are just waiting for you to put your link on.
Today I am going to share with you my secret sauce list of the top social media and blogging sites that I ALWAYS build when I start a new campaign for myself or if I am working on a clients site at my agency. The best part - they are all free!
Facebook.com (DA 100) This is one of the most trusted and most used sites in the world, so it's a given that your main site gets a link from Facebook. Whenever a business starts out, they always build a Facebook page and so should you.
Twitter.com (DA 100) You can't say enough about Twitter. Creating a profile is super easy, and so is putting a link on here too. Another massively popular major website, this is one of the most trusted platforms you will come across.
YouTube.com (DA 100) Being owned by Google, creating a YouTube channel not only allows you to put 1 backlink on their, but up to 5 on the channel page. This is great to link to your website as well as other social media sites, such as the ones listed in this post.
Google.com/business (DA 100) If you are doing local client SEO consulting, every business should be setting up their Google My Business page. What better way to get a link than from Google themselves. Make sure you fill out all of the information perfectly.
LinkedIn.com (DA 100) The most popular website for networking and meeting other business minded individuals, it's no surprise that this one is a domain authority 100 website. Millions of people use this seed site to not only meet others, but to link out to their own websites.
Pinterest.com (DA 100) This one came onto the scene and has been a major powerhouse as far as social media sites go ever since. When you create your profile, you can put your link back to your main site, as well as getting it verified too. Make sure to pins your other sites as well.
Reddit.com (DA 99) One the most popular social booking marking sites, Reddit gives you the ability to create a free profile account. The thing here is to create a bookmark of your main site, getting you a backlink from a high DA website isn't all too bad.
Stumbleupon.com (DA 98) You can tell by now, social bookmarking websites are not only very popular, but very high authority. The thing about this site is to add your other social media profiles to it, as well as bookmark your main site, this gives you tons of links.
Vimeo.com (DA 98) One of the most popular video sharing websites in the world just behind YouTube, Vimeo is great because they allow you to add a ton of backlinks to your profile, not only do you want to link to your main site, make sure to add all of your other profiles too.
Tumblr.com (DA 98) Some might call this a Web 2.0, but it's no question that Tumblr is a huge powerhouse. Create a profile, and start adding links out to your other profiles, this gives you a huge social stack from a major website (Being owned by Yahoo is just an added bonus).
Instagram.com (DA 97) Now owned by Facebook, Instagram is the main app you have on your smart phone that helps you add filters to your photos and make them look amazing. At a DA of 97, create a profile on your phone, and make sure to add your backlink on the website.
Disqus.com (DA 97) Disqus has come on the scene to be a contender as the main commenting system on websites such as Wordpress, replacing the default commenting system. Your Disqus profile gives you a chance to place your backlink on this great website.
SlideShare.net (DA 95) This fantastic site for sharing such things as your powerpoint and keynote presentations, Slideshare also allows you to link back to your main site, as well as link out to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.
Wordpress.com (DA 94) WordPress is a free personal publishing platform. It is an easy to use, fast and flexible blog script. It comes with a great set of features, designed to make your experience as a publisher as pleasant as possible.
Yelp.com (DA 94) One of the most popular online review websites, you cannot have a local business without having a Yelp profile. Yelp lets any business set up a free account, and put up company and business information such as the link to your main site.
Dailymotion.com (DA 94) Another one of the top video sharing websites in the world, Dailymotion, similar to what appears on the YouTube channel page, you can add 5 other social media websites, so make sure you add your main site, along with 4 other social profiles too.
Soundcloud.com (DA 93) Want to get a backlink from this power house audio sharing site? Well, how about lots of links instead! SoundCloud is great for adding a ton of your other social media profiles, this makes your social stacking that much more powerful.
Medium.com (DA 93) You can think of Medium sort of like Twitter for long-form content, except it has an algorithmic timeline that tells you what stories you're going to be interested in.
Blogger.com (DA 92) Blogger is a free Web log service from Google that allows members to share text, photos and videos. Google introduced a number of new features, including geo-tagging, link editing in the Compose View (not just HTML), and width and size approximation in Preview mode.
Quora.com (DA 92) Quora is a Q&A site where anyone can ask a question and get answers. Here’s how you can use it to drive traffic to your site, build your authority on topics, and even get some SEO benefits.
Behance.net (DA 92) This one may not be familiar to you now, but is going to be one you are going to keep in your arsenal from here on in. Behance is an Adobe website that allows creative designers to showcase their work. It also lets you put more than one link as well.
Diigo.com (DA 92) This popular social bookmarking website gives you multiple opportunities to link back to your websites, by offering a company page as well as a profile page, that you can start to bookmark all of your social sites and your main site too.
Scribd.com (DA 92) This super popular book reading website offers a powerful high domain authority link to point back to your main site, or another social profile site for that matter. Scribd is one of those sites that every SEO should use to help with their rankings.
DeviantArt.com (DA 92) This is one of my favourites. Deviantart is a fantastic site that lets creative artists showcase their amazing work. The best part is, your profile includes a live link that you can use to point back to your website.
About.me (DA 90) As soon as you start your back linking campaign for yourself or your clients site, you should jump onto creating your About.me profile. A really neat website that not only lets you display your talents, but also links back to your many other social properties.
Moz.com (DA 88) We all know Moz. We also all know Moz's very popular Open Site Explorer which gives us all of these DA values in the first place. But did you also know that your Moz profile is a great place to link back to your website from, and your Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Iconosquare.com (DA 86) This one is a little bit of an addition to your Instagram profile. You see, Iconosquare lets you get key metrics about your Instagram account, and show them publicly. The other neat thing is though, your backlink shows on this page too.
Crunchbase.com (DA 86) Whether its your own agency business, or a client you are working for, get a company profile on here for sure. You not only can add information like products, team members, and more, you can also get a juicy backlink from here as well.
Scoop.it (DA 86) Setting up your account on Scoop.it is super easy, and gives you the chance to get your other social profiles bookmarked on the site, giving you a power domain stacking monster. Make sure to add your main site to your profile too.
Instapaper.com (DA 85) I love Instapaper because it is one of the cleanest and minimalist website bookmarking tools out there. But under that top layer of skin is a super powerful site that gives you the ability to get all of your links clipped and on there.
Wattpad.com (DA 79) Not many people have heard of Wattpad, but for a DA 79, this site is not bad after all. You see, its a huge community of readers and writers, and also lets you create a profile with a nice little backlink for your website. Now wasn't that easy.
Envato.com (DA 78) Unquestionably one of the most popular and best online market places for plugins, themes, videos, stock images, and so much more, this site gives you a profile page where you can put not only some information about you, but your backlinks as well.
Rebelmouse.com (DA 75) One of the top content curation websites out there, think of Rebelmouse like a Pinterest. Whats better, is you add all of your websites, and now when you power up Rebelmouse with links, you are also passing the juice to your other sites as well.
Aboutus.org (DA 72) A neat little website that lets you create a custom profile, setting up one is not that bad, you can use some html coding skills to format the content, but once you get it set up, you can not only add your main site, pop in some other links as well.
Authorstream.com (DA 72) You can think of Authorstream like Slideshare, its a website where you can upload presentations, like powerpoint or keynote. When you get your account set up, pop in your link, and its good enough to link to an inner page of your site to.
Pearltrees.com (DA 71) Another popular content curation website, this one is almost as powerful as Rebelmouse, so make sure you do the same, and add all of your social profiles and power up this bad boy to get the link juice flowing to all of your properties as well.
Now, let me point out some very important steps that a lot of people are NOT doing properly. When you do your back-linking with these sites, you don't want to send all the links pointing back to the homepage of your main site (money site).
What you want to do in fact is to send some of them at inner pages, such as your about us page, a contact us page, an FAQ page, a services page, etc. You get the idea. The reason for this is simply how power (link juice) is transferred through a website.
Scenario 1: All links pointing to the homepage
First of all, we need to be as natural as possible, and for a site to receive all of its links pointing back to its homepage is certainly not kosher in Google's eyes.
Next, when all links point to the homepage, the ability of that domain to increase its domain authority is a lot harder, as domain authority takes into consideration the power of a sites inner pages as well, and when all links point to just the main page, well it's more difficult to move up the domain authority across the entire website.
Scenario 2: Most links pointing to inner pages.
This is the most natural back linking profile.
And when you are sending high DA links pointing back at your inner pages now, you make it so much easier for the DA of the domain to rise across the board because as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Another key thing that I do as well, is not only point each link back from these sites back at the main site directly. I will take one of these high DA sites and use them to point to another one of these high DA sites. So take for example Behance now pointing to Moz which then points to Slideshare which then points at the main site. Now we are talking! As you can see now, you get this stacking of DA on top of each other on top of your main site, raising its authority in a way like no other.
Google inherently trusts all domains within Google News. So if you are blog commenting or even just looking for new sources to guest-post at or create a relationship, Go to Google News and input keywords from your industry. By getting links on domains/websites that are instantly trusted by Google you have now arrived at another source of trust and more importantly Authority in the eyes of Google while being 0 jumps or maybe 1 jump removed.