As a leading product-led SEO agency, we spend a lot of time studying the best backlinking methods.
Some backlinking methods are expensive. Others are questionable, and one is often overlooked — social news sharing. Think of it as the low-hanging fruit of digital marketing. You can publish a story and connect with an audience in a couple of clicks.
While social backlinking differs from do-follow link insertions to high DR websites, it can generate a significant buzz and propel your content piece to the forefront of search engines.
Some of our content would get extra 10,000 or 20,000 views with a single share on HackerNews, Digg, or Reddit. So, the side effects can be greater than the initial goal of generating social backlinks.
Why social backlinking?
Social backlinking offers a way to jumpstart your backlinking process and reach a portion of your audience.
Sharing links is easy, but not all social linking is made equal. For example, you can share your story on Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram, and you can also share the same story on platforms where people come to discover news.
The first has a limited organic reach, while the latter is made for organic virality.
Think Reddit vs. Facebook. Reddit is a social news website, while Facebook offers a wide range of tools that can help you stay connected with your friends and family. If you want to reach more than 20 people in your circle on Facebook, you need to buy ads.
Social news sites rank content by popularity and user engagement. If enough users upvote or otherwise support a story, that story will get in front of more users.
Let’s call it the network effect that will help you boost your views and rankings.
Best practices for social backlinking:
- Share relevant content that resonates with the platform’s audience
- Engage in comments under your link
- Comment on the trendy topics
- Don’t spam sales content
Social backlinking often follow fewer rules than other promotion channels, but if you’re out of place, your content will get ignored or even shunned by the community.
I’ve experienced both sides of this argument and learned a few lessons. My work was ignored because I tried to promote a supplement company in dev spaces. On the other hand, some stories went viral and propelled SEO rankings thanks to a well-placed share.
These viral stories continue to generate hundreds of do-follow links as users reference and link back to our client’s website in their content.
Let’s cut to the chase— the glorious list.
1. Hacker News
If you’re familiar with Y Combinator, then you probably know about Hacker News.
The platform is sometimes called HN, and it’s one of the most popular social news websites out there. Hacker news predominantly favors news links about technology, entrepreneurship, and freelancing. In addition, the platform has a tight dev community that often works together on various projects.
If your link gets some attention, it can get picked up and syndicated through other channels under the same Y combinator umbrella. Some of our stories would moon overnight, often leading to extra 10,000+ visitors by the following day.
Sharing your story on HN takes less than 30 seconds.
- Create your HN account.
- Click submit.
- Voila, your link is now live on HN.
Hacker News has one major guideline for sharing content. Share “anything that gratifies one’s intellectual curiosity.” If your story generates brain buzz, then HN is the right place to find an audience.
Users can upvote or downvote your story to improve or reduce visibility. HN encourages its users to engage in discussions and ask questions. So, if you’re a newcomer, spend time chatting with others on the platform.
That’s not all. Hacker News is a hotbed for launching new startups and vetting your entrepreneurial ideas. For example, Dropbox started as a link and a comment section on Hacker News before reaching unicorn status.
If you have HK-relevant content, what are you waiting for?
Reddit is a pink Gizzele in a Norwegian room.
First, Reddit’s influence and reach are mental. Individual users and sub-Reddit groups have taken down some of the most influential companies, including multi-billion hedge funds in the GME case.
Reddit is more than social news aggregator, but social news sharing is still the largest part of the platform today. Users can join subreddits and share news links with the interested audience. You can even create your subreddits if the topic is not represented on the platform.
Individuals can pull extra 30k views with a share, a few comments, and a good karma profile.
Unlike Hacker News, Reddit links may take longer for new users. This is because most subreddits require certain Karma levels before you can share links and add comments to a particular topic. Karma is built through engagement.
Once you prove yourself as a valuable contributor, you can take things to a higher level than on any other social-news website.
Digg used to be the go-to social sharing space.
Think Studio54 for random content. Users would come to consume and discuss just everything under the cloud. But then, Digg slowly fell out of grace. Most kids today are unaware that this was a go-to place online not long ago.
However, Digg is still going strong in its own lane. The company is fully set on being a social networking website that promotes user-submitted stories. While it’s not as famous as Reddit or Hacker News, Digg should be on your radar because it’s great for social backlinking.
Sharing a link on Digg takes less than a second. And you can sign up using a Twitter or Facebook account and immediately start sharing your links. One of the main links can be placed on your profile, while all others can find their spot in the news section.
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If you want to scale your backlinking efforts & achieve consistent results in Google, check out MADX services today.