A Social Fortress is a rather underrated SEO tactic that only a few SEOs do.
A Social Fortress is a collection of social profiles that surround and links back to your site. These social properties are branded entities of your site.
It builds trust, protects your site from penalties, and gives you a small ranking bonus. I create one of these for almost every new site I build!
In this post, I’ll give you a rundown of the benefits of Social Fortress SEO and go over some of the properties we recommend building, and even share a trick to get them indexed fast.
Plus, I’ll show you how to make your social fortress and give you a few personal tips on how to stay organized and save time when building them.
Let’s take a look at 4 benefits our sites get from a social fortress:
⚡ Also Read: Can duplicate Yelp listings affect SEO?
A Social Fortress WILL create more trust in Google’s eyes compared to other low-quality sites. Your site is going to look like a real business to Google.
Most content/affiliate sites will have a Facebook and Pinterest page and maybe a Youtube channel. But when you have a lot of profiles, it’s something an actual business does to build its brand.
The next best thing about a social fortress is that it will diversify your link profile.
It will make your link profile look more natural or random and help hide your normal link-building patterns, thus shielding you from algorithmic penalties. It truly is a fortress!
And you get a healthy mix of no-follow and do-follow links. Plus, it increases your DA metric if that’s something you care about.
You can set up your social fortress to automatically post whenever you publish a new blog post.
Syndication will keep your properties looking fresh and updated and engage with users on the platform and get a little bit of traffic to your site. Plus, it gives social signals (small).
The more social properties we have the more brand awareness we get on these socials – just like a real business.
Most of the social properties we are going to build have a high domain authority and they are going to rank for your brand name.
If someone were to launch a negative PR attack on your brand, there’s very little chance the sites they use are going to outrank your high authority social properties.
So, no one is going to see these negative posts unless they go onto page 2 or 3 of Google which is very unlikely.
So, social fortress SEO will protect you from negative PR.
These are some of the social accounts I have personally tested and have had no issues with them.
⚡ Also Read: Google Sites SEO guide
Plus, about 95% of these will index. I can guarantee to index if you follow the little trick I am going to talk about later.
I have only included a few here, feel free to test out large social sites.
|Property||Will It Index?|
|Youtube||Most of the time|
|Most of the time|
|Tumblr||Most of the time|
|Behance||Will not Index|
|Trello||Will not Index|
|Gravatar||Most of the time|
|Diigo||Most of the time|
|Medium||Will not Index|
Building out the profiles is a simple and straightforward process, but it can take up a lot of time if you are not prepared or organized.
Probably the best advice I can give you from my experience is to be organized and approach it in a systematic way. So, before we start here are some tips:
- Create a new Gmail account. You have to sign up with Google on some properties, you can’t use a custom address (unless you have a G-suite).
- Use the same email and password for all your profiles – easier to remember, document, and manage later on.
- Create a spreadsheet with business NAP, short and long descriptions, logos, and banners so it’s easy to copy and paste when creating accounts. Add the social links and logins here too. Get a free template here.
- Before interlinking or customizing the accounts, make all the profiles first and document their links. Because you need to have the links to interlink or otherwise you’ll have to log in multiple times.
Alright, now that you have done all this, let’s get to building the profiles!
Step 1: Create The Accounts
Begin signing up for the accounts. Some might ask for a phone number, use yours or buy a new one just for your site.
After you sign up, document the login method too – email:pass, user:pass or Google sign-in. Otherwise, you are going to try multiple combinations to find the correct one.
Saying this from experience, you will not remember which is which when signing up for 20+ accounts!
Make sure to verify the accounts too. Some profiles like Pinterest would require domain/website verification as well. Do all these verifications.
Step 2: Customizing And Interlinking
Once all the logins and profile links are documented and you have the business info, start logging into accounts one by one and add all the things it allows.
And most importantly, add your website URL!
Most should allow you to add links to other social profiles – add all the supported profile links we have.
Step 3: Setting Up Automatic Syndication Using IFTTT
IFTTT is the easiest way to automate posting content on your social fortress. Basically, you give it your site’s RSS feed and set up a trigger to automatically post when a new blog post is published.
But remember, don’t set it to publish the entire post as it will cause duplicate content issues. Instead, just an excerpt and the featured image along with the link to the post should do.
Setting up IFTTs for each profile is out of the scope of this post, but you can easily find a ton of articles on how to set it up. Here’s a good video on setting up a few:
Now that you have set up and interlinked all the accounts, it’s time to get them indexed. After all, if they don’t get indexed, you don’t get any of the benefits and your effort has been for nothing.
Lucky for you, I know a trick to get them indexed FAST – within 3 days!
Now the usual problem with these is we can’t make Google crawl them, we have to wait till G finds them which can take a very long time (except for Youtube, Facebook, and Linkedin).
If we make Google crawl the page, it will index pages that can be indexed. So the trick is to make Google crawl it.
But how do we do that?
Using Google News Sites!! These site pages usually get indexed within hours.
All you have to do is post your social links as do-follow comments on a new post as soon as it’s published. Google will crawl the page and links in the comments and will start indexing them.
If you have a news site you can do it yourself or buy from a service like OB (the one we use). They charge something like $2 – $5 for 50 links and offer replacements for unindexed links.