There are people out there who claim they can rank on content alone or have page 1 ranks for this that and the next thing without link building. This can be the case but it’s always a weak niche and for long tail keywords. It is debatable whether someone throwing up some content and ranking for a very specific search term, simply by producing unique content and a few onsite tweaks is actually able to call that SEO.
SEO experts will need to get links somewhere. PBN or Private Blog Networks are frequently used by SEO‘s out there, even those who claim they are whiter than white. In my experience a lot of people fall down at the link building part, there are many link building strategies that can be used to get links, outreach, checking competitors links, infographics, media buying, guest blogging and many other methods. I always hear about people going out and paying someone to do a bit of link building and in some cases this can work but in other cases it will cause more harm than good.
Buying links on someone else’s PBN is always likely to be expensive but it can work very well in some instances. The downside is you don’t have any control, the owner of the private blog network may just sell thousands of links or end up not managing the PBN properly and as a result it may become less effective or it may even get penalised by Google; causing you to see a massive slump in your rankings. This has meant that the majority of people now build their own private blog networks to help with their search engine rankings rather than building links on someone else’s.
The name “Private Blog Network” says it all, it’s supposed to be private, it is not meant to be crammed full of links to hundreds or thousands of websites out there. Any PBN that is worthwhile will be hard to find and many people keep the PBN they have to themselves.
There are hundreds of people building Private Blog Networks out there. In most cases it’s safe to say that 50% if not more are not set up properly and will end up being penalised and banned by Google. You have to make sure you don’t leave footprints that make your whole network easy to find because Google will simply just shut it down as soon as they find it.
The key to having a great PBN is making sure it remains private. Below are some tips to ensure that you go under the radar and set up your PBN properly.
Use different hosting accounts for your PBN. This is because it is not wise to have websites all shoved on a shared hosting account using the 1 IP address as multiple websites all interlinking and working from 1 IP address is likely to get you caught very quickly. Also avoid those people who claim to have SEO hosting accounts where they give you different IP addresses and all of that stuff. They end up getting caught so if you really want to avoid getting penalised then make sure you use different hosting companies – there are hundreds of them out there to choose from.
You will want to ensure that none of the websites in your PBN have the same C class and as I said above no website in the PBN has the same IP address. Using different hosting companies should mean that you are not using the same DNS settings, it’s also wise to ensure that no site has the same DNS settings on the same network too.
Domain names are essential to any PBN and you will want to use a mix of different domain registrars. There is hundreds of domain registrars out there and you will want to mix them up because buying them all under the 1 name on the 1 registrar account will get you caught out very quickly.
Mix up the WHOIS data on the domain registration too and use your imagination here. You will also want to ensure that you mix up the email address you use when registering the domain names as you can be easily traced by email account on your PBN.
You can buy a few hundred emails at a time on a website live Fiverr, there is also a number of other websites that sell a few hundred emails at a time for a small fee. So there are no excuses not to have a different email and registrar for every domain you buy.
Never use a GMAIL for this and never have all of your domain names listed on a document on your Gmail account. You would be as well just emailing Google and telling them about your private blog network.
Now when building a PBN a website is again always required. One of the most common mistakes made by people is using the same template, plugins and so on which again instantly shows you are building a PBN.
Most people building PBN’s will use a platform called WordPress. This is a great platform, very SEO friendly and does pretty much everything; making it a platform that I’d advise you use.
- Using the same template
- Using the same username and password
- Using the same email for the admin set up
- Using the exact same plugins on all sites, mix them all up there’s enough out there.
- Don’t use the same logo on all sites make a new one
- Randomise the static pages, mixing up the page names and position of pages
Some things that will help you on the PBN from a WordPress point of view :
- Mix up the WordPress settings including permalinks, reading and discussion
- Use a mix of different social profiles, don’t always use Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin use some others, leave some out and ultimately vary it.
- Add some comments to some of your posts and pages to make things more unique.
- If using banner ads don’t use the same code on multiple sites mix the ads up
- Add 6 or more unique pages to the website full of unique content and add some blog posts too
- There is also a plugin you can get that hides the fact you are using WordPress, this can be used to ensure that you mix things up a little
Link Building Footprints
Link building will always be a big part of SEO but when it comes to your Private Blog Network there are some very quick and easy footprints you can make that you need to avoid:
- Mix up your links as much as possible – there are so many different ways to build links, use as many of those ways to mix things up here
- Never interlink any of the sites on your PBN ever
- Never link to your money site twice from the 1 website in your PBN
- Never link to your money website from the footer or sidebar
- Don’t sell links on your PBN, this is going to make it a Blog Network not a Private Blog Network. The day you start selling is the day it’s not called a PBN. Use the PBN to rank your money site and retain those ranks, not to rank everyone else’s websites
Managing your PBN
So you now have a PBN, you have a bunch of powerful domains and it’s all set up to benefit your money website. That isn’t the job done, you have to manage, maintain and ensure that your PBN remains online; typically it needs to be updated and you can make those domain metrics better.
You can manually check things no problem which is beneficial because it means that you can check whether the sites are all online and if any do go down you need to ensure that they are back online as quickly as you can. You also need to watch whether a website gets de-indexed by Google as you will want to take links from that site to your money site off as quickly as possible. You can use a spreadsheet or you various other tools that are available online to manage your PBN.
Tools to assist you in building your PBN
This is a part of this page that may change from time to time as I will keep this updated with all of the most up to date and relevant tools that will help you with your PBN.
Dom Recovery : This tool will help you with copying websites from the Wayback machine, so you can take a full copy of any website that is archived on the Wayback machines archive and install it on the expired domain in just a few simple steps. Top tool and saves a lot of time when building your own network of websites.
ExpiredDomains.net : This is a FREE to use service that I regularly check for expired domains, a decent tool that will allow you to check on any domains that have expired.
If you have any questions you can comment below, or you can get in touch with me by going to my contact form.