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Building a Private Blog Network – The Right Way

So you may have heard, seen and even participated in some form of “blog network” as part of your link building strategy. However what's working RIGHT NOW is Private Blog Networks.

By private, I mean we won't be selling links for $15 a pop on forums. Private means private, for your use only.

This guide is all you need to know about building your own private blog network to rank your sites highly in Google.

[sociallocker id=”781″] Thank you for sharing this guide, it is much appreciated!

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Buying Domain Names

Ultimately, this is THE most important step in building your private network. You want domain names that have an existing link profile, with age and a good Google history too.

That means no spammy links, nothing from questionable foreign sites, no adult or gambling sites either.

Where to Find Quality Domains?

I use a number of resources to find and acquire high-quality domain names, all of which allow us to search for both expired, expiring and auction domains.

Let's take a look at the 3 biggest and best link crawling tools out there, that will save you both a ton of time and money.\

Bluechip Backlinks

Bluechip Backlinks (BCB) is run by SEO master Terry Kyle. Terry has blown up the software as a service industry over the past few years with his hosting company Traffic Planet Hosting and CloudBoss.pro which is his platform to manage your PBN sites which saves a ton of time, money and hassle.

His best creation, by far, is Bluechip, which is the fastest URL crawler on the market. Not only that it also offers the most amount of features for the lowest price.

If you don't want to waste time crawling domains manually, then take my advice and take out a subscription with BCB. It's $99 /month and it's dynamite.

Here's what you get:bluechipbacklinks

 

Everything in Bluechip is accessible from the dashboard. Above we can see the scan results page and those numbers in green are the number of free to register expired domains the tool found…pretty impressive eh!

You can add labels and color codes to your scans so you can easily see at a glance which projects you are working on. Inside of the dashboard, you also have the Majestic and Moz site explorer metrics so there is no need to leave Bluechip until you're ready to do some further analysis on your shortlist.

One of the best features is the ability to download the previous website files from WaybackMachine right from your BCB dashboard. This is unlimited and also allows you to either remove or NoFollow all outbound backlinks.

This saves hours of work setting up WordPress based PBN sites. You can simply download these files, upload them to your hosting and add an outbound link to your money site, all within 5 minutes.

You can check out Bluechip Backlinks here.

Domain ReAnimator

Another tool that is continually growing is DomainReanimator, which is owned by Brian Burt. Brian is big in the Lead Generation and Amazon FBA world and he also dabbles in software!

Here's are the current package options:pricing_-_domain_re-animator

Whilst more expensive than Bluechip, you do get an impressive dashboard and array of tools and metrics with which to work from. Like BCB, Domain Reanimator comes with both Majestic and Moz site explorer metrics for each domain.

One impressive feature is the archive.org tool to download the site files. However, DR has an added benefit of providing 3 snapshot images for each domain you click on. This allows for fast analysis of the quality of the site in its previous years and it's suitability for your project.

** note that the dashboard/interface has been upgraded since this video was shot. It is now much slicker and has a TON more info.

You can check out Domain Reanimator here.

PBNLab

The PBNLab tool was built by Scott Moran and gained a lot of exposure in 2015. Scott is a great guy and always willing to help and answer questions r.e SEO and domain finding best practices.

He has built a monster of a tool that uses multiple bots (50+) to streamline the crawling process and return some great results.

Here are the subscription options:

pbnlab_-_plans_and_pricing

Whilst PBNLab is the most expensive of the 3 you should really look at what your getting. the sheer number of bots used and it's speed give it the advantage and the number of domains and crawl options offered really mean this is a great value tool.

At $109 /month, you will easily find at least 20-50 domains that are worth registering, which is far cheaper than buying at auction or from a domain broker.

Check out the overview of PBNLab below:

You can check out PBNLab here.

Domain Crawling Software Tools Compared

Below is a comparison table of the 3 tools, what they offer and my overall rating. I have personally used all 3 for my business and I have put them through their paces, which qualifies me to make an accurate suggestion for which tool works best.

Tool Price Crawlers Moz Majestic Archive My Rating Best For
Bluechip Backlinks $97 /mon 4 Y Y Y 4.5/5 Price & Crawlers
DomainReanimator $197 /mon 1 Y Y Y 4/5  Mass of data
PBNLab $159 /mon 75 Y Y N 4/5 Lots of bots

Key

  • Moz – provides metrics from Moz OpenSiteExplorer
  • Majestic – provides metrics from Majestic Site Explorer
  • Archive – provides the ability to download the site archive files from waybackmachine

In summary, these 3 expired domain crawling tools are all cloud based, offer great support and can be left to do their thing whilst you get on with building your website.

It will ultimately come down to price and the results each can generate. If you are looking for the best, my vote goes to Bluechip Backlinks.

Semi-Manual Methods of Domain Crawling

the methods below are cheaper but more time consuming. if you are on a budget then I would use one of the options below. However if your time is important to you and you are looking at building a 10+ site PBN, then one of the paid options above best suits you.

ExpiredDomains.net

ExpiredDomains

I use ExpiredDomains.net because it's a great source of FREE information and the search/filter capabilities are very powerful. They have multiple options for finding domains, such as GoDaddy auctions, free to register expired domains, plus lots of other neat filters such as a minimum Moz Domain Authority or Majestic Trust Flow.

Applying Filters

There are 3 type of filter you can apply.

– Common Filter,
– Additional Filter
– AdWords & SEO Filter

A quick summary of each is below;

Common Filter

ExpiredDomains - Common Filter

The common filter allows you to define PageRank, Domain Length, with or without hyphens and numbers etc

As you can see my this search excludes any Fake PR's and Page Rank -1 (it's still worth performing additional checks before you commit to buy however, you can use the Fake PR Checker here).

Additional Filter

ExpiredDomains - Additional Filter

The additional filter allows you, as I have done, to choose only domains that are available to register. If this was not selected, auction and closeout domains would be returned also.

AdWords & SEO Filter

ExpiredDomains - AdWords & SEO Filter

This is where the tool gets really powerful.

– We have the ability to search on both Majestic Trust Flow and Moz Domain/Page Authority.

– There is also the option to look for domains that include keywords, where those keyword receive a minimum number of Exact Match Searches.

– A Min and Max CPC function is the icing on the cake.

We have pretty much all we need right here to find some awesome domains.

Update

I have recorded a short video below, which show how I hunt for expired domain names using ExpiredDomains.net

Register Compass

RegisterCompass

Note – I no longer recommend RegisterCompass as a good source of Expired Domains. This is for several reasons;

  1. I myself am no longer able to find decent domains here, that I can't find elsewhere.
  2. I cannot justify the monthly subscription cost as the ROI isn't there anymore.
  3. I find the interface far slower than other tools/services out there.
  4. You can find better/cheaper services from the other recommendations in this post.

RegisterCompass is a premium tool that is pretty much unrivalled in the industry.  I have yet to find another piece of software or service that can deliver the volume of data at the speed RegisterCompass does.

With this tool, we can search for Expired Domains, Auction Domains and Domains due to Expire.

The search box gives us every option you would need to find those hidden gems;

RegisterCompass - Search Options

In this example, I'm looking for domains that contain the word “Dog”, that have over 50 Moz backlinks. The top TLD's are selected (.com, .net, .org and .info thrown in for fun).

This search brings back the following;

RegisterCompass - Search Results Count

That's a total of 159 domains we have to go at, now that may not seem like a lot but there is always something of interest. Let's take a look at the 53 Expired domains that we can grab for the price of the reg fee…

Scrolling down the list a few jump out at me, one of the best I see is “cratetrainingdog.net”.

And here are the Moz domain details…

Moz Domain Results

This is a super related domain to the dog niche, with a DA score of 20 and PA score of 33. There are 60 linking domains and a total of 67 links.

Looking at the anchor text usage we see there is a fairly good split of anchors being used to link to this site.

You could do a lot worse than pick this domain up for the $8 reg fee 🙂

Moonsy.com

Moonsy

Another free tool, this time from Moonsey.com and their expiring domains auction tool. At the time of writing, their site states;

List of recently expiring domain names in next 24 hours at Godaddy auctions

In this time will finish 6585 auctions with great domains for SEO having Google Pagerank (PR).

This is live updated list ( several times per each minute ), contains accurate domain auctions details and seo metrics.

So we have 6,585 GoDaddy auctions that will expire in the next 24 hours. The cool thing about this tool is the ability to sort your results very quickly; the downside is the lack of filters available which can make it difficult to find niche specific domains.

However as you will see from the guide below, we don't have to buy niche specific, as we can always rebrand the site to make it super relevant to our money site.

Moonsy offers the ability to show both domains at Auction and those available to Buy Now, along with the ability to sort by many different metrics including;

  • Current Price
  • # of Bids
  • Time Left
  • Google PR
  • Moz DA
  • Age
  • Moz Backlinks
  • Linking Sites
  • EDU/GOV Links
  • Directory Listed
  • AdWords CPC
  • AdWords Search Volume
  • Alexa Rank

You can also check if the domain is indexed in Google and it's history using the Way Back Machine from Archive.org.

Choosing the Right Domain Names?

I will start this section by saying FORGET PAGE RANK right now.

It won't be around in the very near future and it hasn't been updated in quite some time.

There are so many PR5 sites out there you can pick up for next to nothing, you may think you have a steal, however quite often they have already lost their backlinks and they are worthless.

What Makes a Good Domain?

Authority & Relevance

A link from an authority domain that is relevant to your niche is gold for your search engine ranking. Google loves this kind of link, its a big thumbs up for your site from another trusted site.

Whilst buying domains with authority is definitely doable, buying relevant domains may prove a challenge. However what we can do is MAKE THEM RELEVANT.

We can do this by taking the following steps;

  • Make the Name and Branding of the site relevant
  • Make the Title Tag Relevant
  • Change all Meta Tags to make them niche specific and super relevant.
  • Add posts, images and videos all related to the topic

Backlinks

The only way to buy quality sites is to look at the back links. Stay away from spammy looking links or anchor text in another language. You've seen those domains with 5k backlinks and Chinese anchor text right? Yeah, so stay away from those.

I follow a 4 step process when choosing domains for my private blog networks.

1 – Moz.com Open Site Explorer

I look for Page Authority (PA) over 30, Domain Authority (DA) over 20 and as many referring domains as possible. The more the better as there is less chance of 100 sites all dropping your link than say just 10 referring sites.

Also check the backlinks and anchor text split to see if the domain may have been over optimised in the past.

2 – Majestic.com

I look for a Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) over 15 and again as many referring IP's as possible. Also check the links in Majestic as it will pull different results than Open Site Explorer.

3 – ahrefs.com

Ahrefs will usually return a more complete backlink profile overview. Look at the quality of the links pointing to the domain, the more relevant they are the better. Older links are better still.

Also use the Anchor text chart for a great indication of a domain that was previously spammed or owned by another SEO. A high percentage of keyword rich anchor text is an indication of a domain to avoid.

4 – Test the history of the domain

Run the domain through the Wayback Machine from Archive.org. Take a look back at the snapshots to make sure the domain didn't contain any unwanted content when it was a live site.

How Much to Pay for a Good Domain?

There are various opinions on what you should expect to pay for authority domains. However most of these are based on PageRank as this is what has driven the market up until very recently. Those prices and opinions are now out of date.

To be completely honest, prices and valuations are constantly changing. It's both a buyers and sellers market and you really need to get a feel for the market buy dipping your toe in. I would suggest picking up a few expired domains for the reg fee and go from there.

You will quickly get an understanding on how to value a domain and its links.

To give you an example I bought 7x UK domains from a forum member for $480/$68 each.

Now this was when the market was all about PR, so 3 of the sites were PR4's,  1 is PR3 and the other's are PR0, however they have an awesome link profile and I knew I could actually use one for a niche site and the rest for my blog networks.

The Moz DA of these sites range from 28 to 44, so I have some very good domains for what I consider a great price.

As a rough guide, domains with a PA of 30+, with a clean link profile (usually PR3) sell for between $150-$400 depending on the link profile.

Registering and Registrars

This part is important;

You need to use different registrars not just GoDaddy and NameCheap.

By mixing up the registrars you significantly reduce any footprint your site may have and you make it harder for the powers that be to find your network and de-index it.

Also as an optional layer of protection, I like you use a combination of both Fake registrant details and privacy protection. This way not all of your domains have private whois, some of them have real looking people and addresses…even if they are made up!

So mix it up and be different, don't take the easy road and have all you domains in one account, all using privacy protection.

Some registrar examples;

Hosting

This step is WAY overcomplicated by many. You need to keep it simple or you can get lost in a maze of usernames and passwords, and more importantly lose focus on the important stuff….ranking your website.

First up let's understand the key requirement:

Unique Class-C IP's

Your website needs backlinks from other websites in order to rank high in Google. These links act as a vote for your website, and generally speaking the more unique votes you have, the higher you will appear in the SERP's.

In order to get these unique links from our private blog network, we need to ensure that each domain we own appears to be a stand-alone website, not linked to any of our other sites. To do this we ensure that the hosting provider we use offers unique class-c IP's.

What is a class-c IP?

An IP address is broken up into 4 blocks, below we call them A, B, C and D

AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD

As you can see the “C Block” is the third block along and is where we need to have a range or variance amongst our PBN sites.

Which Hosting to Use for a Private Blog Network?

I have 1 main rule for hosting a PBN;

Stay away from self proclaimed “SEO Hosting” companies

For some reason, many people suggest SEO Hosting as a solution to managing many domains. Whilst it does make it easier to manage, SEO Hosting is NOT GOOD for a Private Blog Network.

You want to avoid attention and footprints at all costs. Don't you think Google with all its Ph.D. employees they have sitting around, could easily identify these ‘LOOK AT ME I'M AN SEO' hosting providers? I do.

The Only Option I Use

Look, some people suggest using a single account with a large hosting company and using CloudFlare and all manner of tricks to mask your IP. The trouble is you will have the same nameservers on each PBN site…does sound like a footprint to you?

The ONLY way to build a PBN without hosting footprints is to use a unique host for each domain. However, this takes quite some time, organisation and management. Luckily there is an awesome service you can use to eliminate all of the hard work when it comes to hosting your PBN.

bulk_buy_hosting

Bulk Buy Hosting have a bunch of accounts with some of the largest hosting companies in the World and they are NOT an SEO host. They have hundreds of customers running legit sites on their servers too…which helps your PBN remain in a good neighborhood.

There are 4 main reasons I use Bulk Buy Hosting:

  1. They eliminate the need to sign up to a lot of cheap hosting accounts (which can go down on a moments notice)
  2. They place my sites on trusted servers with very large hosting companies
  3. The provide unique IP address for each domain AND unique Name Servers
  4. They provide hosting as cheap as $1.71 per domain…which compared to the $4-$5 you'd pay at just ONE of these large companies, is a steal.

So here's how it works.

You sign up for a package of between 5 and 50 accounts depending on how large your PBN is. You get ONE monthly bill, zero servers or accounts to manage and they add all of your domains into a single dashboard from which you can view all of your account details.

dash-example

As you can see in the example above, the dashboard is neat and precise, providing just enough information to do what you need and eliminating all of the junk that usually comes with hosting PBN sites.

Pay close attention to the “Server IP Address” and the “Name Servers” columns…each is unique and that is KEY to hosting a successful PBN.

View the BulkBuyHosting plans and pricing here

A More Time Consuming Alternative

Thr second and more tedious option is to use a shared hosting by manually creating a new account for each domain. This is a good option if you have the time to manage all of those accounts.

Here's what I used to do.

  • Simply go to this forum dedicated to shared hosting offers – webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4
  • Sign up with one of the $1-$2 hosting companies – ensure they offer cPanel and one-click WordPress/Blog Platform install
  • Add a PBN domain to the account and set up the nameservers
  • Build out my site, add content and get it indexed
  • Create another $1-$2 hosting account with a different host
  • Rinse and repeat

The downside to this option is that you do have multiple passwords, and you also need to login to different accounts for each domain.

There is a way to track and manage this which I will show you later on. 🙂

Setting up a Site

With around 20% of the web running on WordPress and the fact that it's so easy to mange, you can be forgiven if you use it on all of your PBN sites.

I would say 80% of my private network runs on WordPress. For the other 20%, I dabble between Raw HTML, Joomla and Drupal. I believe this adds a little extra security to your network and helps to hide the footprint left by WordPress somewhat.

The process of setting up these sites is exactly the same as creating any niche site, and can be broken down into 3 steps;

  1. Install your blogging platform
  2. Add a theme and plugins (vary these)
  3. Add content and OBL's to your niche site and other authority sites

I would actually recommend doing everything yourself when you first get started, as 5-10 PBN sites are easy to manage. When you get above 50 it gets…interesting, and you may need a VA to help you so you can get on with more important stuff.

Doing it yourself initially also gives you the added bonus of knowing the process inside-out, you can then show your VA exactly how you want things done.

Managing your Network

If you were expecting me to use fancy tools for managing my blog networks, then I am sorry to disappoint you. I like to keep things simple.

I use an Excel spreadsheet and my VA. That's it.

I buy a domain, add it to the spreadsheet and my VA does the rest. Below is a list of the tasks I provided to my VA to get the site up and running.

  1. Add Registrar account details to spreadsheet
  2. Add the domain to the hosting account (this varies from domain to domain)
  3. Add Name Servers with the registrar
  4. Install WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, including theme and plugins
  5. Add the Username and Password to spreadsheet
  6. Create the core pages (About | Contact | Privacy Policy)
  7. Remove pre-installed plugins and pre-created pages (Sample Page and Sample Post)

You can get a copy of the spreadsheet I use to manage my Private Blog Network below; a share would be much appreciated 🙂

[sociallocker id=1185]

https://s3.amazonaws.com/cloudincome/PBN_Domains.xlsx

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As you can see the sheet makes it very easy to keep tabs on your domains. The comments column is used to keep track of the sites development, and the ‘Content Info' section gives an indicator when we need to update the sites with fresh content.

What's more, I use the “link building” section to track the number of links to the site (using Ahrefs) and also when the last link building campaign was done.

Writing Content

This is a brand new section to this guide as many of you have been asking me questions on how best to write and add content to your PBN sites. The rules for content are as follows;

  1. 300-800 words in length
  2. Contain an image, video, opt-in form or some other visual reference
  3. Link out to other authority sites within the same niche.
  4. Quote facts and figures or statements made by other people.
  5. No keyword targeting is to be done.

Ok, first off we need content. The steps I follow are simple;

  1. Hire a VA Writer from Elance/UpWork (formally oDesk) – There can be had for less than $3 per article.
  2. Come up with a list of topics/article titles that will fit my niche and links I am building.
  3. Send the VA the instructions along with a deadline. (if possible have the VA upload the articles direct into your WordPress dashboard as a draft)
  4. The last step is to add your links to your money site into the articles. Be sure to vary the anchor text, link out to other authority sites and add images/video where possible.

That's it in a nutshell however I will also answer another questions that is often asked;

Should I allow the articles with links to roll off the homepage?

My answer is YES. Do what seems natural and that any normal website would do, don't just leave a one page article on there if you want to continue to add links then do so using additional content.

Link Building

Linking to Your Niche Site

The key to linking to your money site is not to overdo it.

1 link to your own website on the homepage is enough. I recommend doing the following keyword anchor text variations on your PBN sites to stay ahead of the game where Google Algorithm updates are concerned;

  • Avoid exact match keyword anchor text links – e.g “Dog Training”
  • Utlize URL/Brand anchor text – e.g www.mydogtraining.com
  • Use longer tail related anchor text – “best place for puppy dog training”
  • Use different anchor text for each link – this is the latest method to avoid over optimisation

If you follow the above you can avoid anything that looks spammy, and we can avoid reducing the impact of our links, and possible over optimisation. I also place links to other relevant websites to further improve on the sites ‘natural looking' articles and links.

You may think the anchor text “best place for puppy dog training” is too long, but time and time again, I have sites ranking very well, with minimal backlinks, because they have a more natural looking anchor text profile.

Update

Recent testing has proven that there is little to no impact of linking to your site more than once from a PBN domain. Also using keyword related anchor text is much better for long term success than using exact match anchor text.

For example, we should be using the anchor text “best place for puppy dog training” instead or “dog training”.

This related anchor text will help you to avoid any future Google algorithm updates as your backlink profile will look much more natural. In addition you PBN sites outbound link profiles will also look more natural and less spammy.

Increasing the Power of your Blog Network Sites

N.B This section has been updated to reflect my recent thoughts and findings.

Previously I explained how I would use GSA Search Engine Ranker to build backlinks to these PBN sites to increase the number of links pointing to our sites and increase the authority/power of them.

Well from testing I have completely removed this step and no longer recommend using GSA to build backlinks. There is a better alternative, which saves a ton of time and offers better quality links for your PBN domains.

The Hoth

The Hoth Link Building Package

I now spend zero time adding extra links, I simply purchase the odd Hoth package here and there for domains that need a boost. Here are some of the benefits of using The Hoth:

  • Content creation
  • Tier 1 & Tier 2 backlinks
  • Private PBN posts
  • Web 2.0 Links
  • Social Bookmarks

I reinvest the time saved by finding more aged domains with quality backlink profiles, to increase the power and the size of my PBN. The beauty of this is that the hard work has already been done and these sites that have a super clean link profile will give us all the juice we need.

You can check out The Hoth here

This is an optional step and should be used on PBN domains that require an extra boost or those that have lost their backlinks.

How To Avoid a Blog Network Footprint

Footprints are the reason many of the larger blog networks were taken down by Google, PBN's such as Build My Rank, ALN and LinkVana to name a few.

If you want to ensure your network stands the test of time and continues to be a valuable business asset for years to come there are specific steps you must take to avoid leaving a footprint with your private blog network sites.

As this section is such an important part of building a blog network, I have given it it`s own guide which can be found here – Private Blog Network Footprint Checklist

The 5 Golden Rules

If you follow these 5 golden rules when building your Private Blog Network, you will be well on your way to building a very powerful resource.

  1. Never Interlink your network sites (this means don't link one PBN site to another).
  2. Only link out to your site a maximum of 3 times on the homepage and use varied anchor text (Keyword, raw URL and keyword variation)
  3. Don't use spun content for your PBN sites (unique content of 300-600 words is plenty, add an image and video and your golden)
  4. Add other authority outbound links (OBL) to your articles (wiki, youtube etc)
  5. DO NOT sell links on your sites – keep all that lovely link juice for yourself 🙂

So there you have it, my complete guide to building a private blog network the right way. If you have your own tips for reducing footprints or a specific way you manage your sites, please let me know in the comments.

Wrapping It Up

There is no denying that building a PBN is a time consuming and costly affair. I have worked with many people just like you and helped them through the process to ensure they build a network that's built to last.

If you would like to learn more above building your own PBN, check out my FREE COURSE at PBNCourse.com

Lewis Ogden
 

Lewis was able to take his hobby of building websites and turn it into a blueprint that enables him to build, rank and profit from niche websites. As a result of his niche site success, he now makes a full-time 5-figure income and even managed to quit his 9-5 job back in early 2015 all driven by his knowledge that he shares here on this blog.

Miroslav - October 19, 2013

Hi Lewis,

thanks for providing quality information!

Is it really a good idea to use GSA as link building tool for a private network, especially after the last penguin update? What kind of links you build with GSA? Do you use spun content for this purpose?

Thanks!

    Lewis - October 20, 2013

    Hi, thanks for your comments.

    I generally take a very non aggressive approach with GSA, I try to build only high quality links to my Tier 1’s followed by blog comments, image comments and guestbooks to my Tier 2’s.

Andrew - October 20, 2013

Hey,

It’s iprovideseo from traffic planet thanks for the Link and the post here. Our blog networks are set up very similarly except I put 5 sites per hosting. I am planning on doing less from now on though.

My pen is fairly new and I haven’t noticed positive results yet for my websites. How many links/sites do you create to start noticing improvements?

Also, I found that some domains have a decent PA on old 404 pages. So what I like to do is set up a 301 redirect from the old page to my new blog posts/pages. Then I interlink the blog posts so that site has a lot of link juice flowing to not only the homepage.

Thanks keep up the good work

    Lewis - October 20, 2013

    Hi Andrew thanks for stopping by!

    The number of sites/links I build generally depends on how I gauge the competition. For this niche site I only had to use 4 high authority domains before i saw significant SERP movement.

    Some will take a lot more, however I try for lower competition keyword where I can so speed up the time it will take to become profitable.

    301 redirect is a very good idea, somethings if the previous site had any relevance to the niche I am using it for i will recreate the page with some decent content.

    It’s also a good idea to link to other inner pages, definitely a great way to improve the site and make it look more legit.

    – Lewis 🙂

Andrew - October 20, 2013

Ok makes sense, I will keep buying domains until the rankings increase. It might also be a problem with a penguin 2.1 penalty.

I run an seo firm and my old strategy that worked really well for 2 years was to create Prweb press releases, web 2.0s, and YouTube videos mixed in with a few senuke campaigns and GSA for tier 2s. However, after penguin 2.1 about 80% of my sites got hit bad.

Do you think that private website networks are the future of seo linkbuilding? So far this is the only solution I could think of.

    Lewis - October 21, 2013

    Hi Andrew,

    It’s certainly going to be a bit part of ranking well in the near future. As long as they are kept private then we should be find avoiding deindexing.

    Thats not to say that the Google boffins won’t figure some way to find certain blog networks, but I can’t see how they can find super private ones 🙂

Mark - October 22, 2013

Great post. Register Compass is a lot more than $8 though, more like 437 per month.

    Lewis - October 22, 2013

    Hi Mark – I think you misunderstood my comment;

    “You could do a lot worse than pick this up for $8”

    I was talking about the domain that was free to register, the $8 I mention was the registration fee 🙂

Daniel wood - October 25, 2013

great post however i have a question , on the sites you have built you say a nice 300 word artcle is ok , how many articles would u say you need on each site?

    Lewis - October 25, 2013

    Hi Daniel,

    I tend to have my writer produce 10x 300 word articles and I will then have them scheduled 1 post per week. The aim is to make the site look natural and ‘lived in’ so to speak.

    You could just writ 1 per week if you wanted too though.

Steve - October 25, 2013

Hey lewis,

Just come across you through Traffic Planet, and really enjoying your posts.

Where you say ” Only link out to your site a maximum of 3 times one the homepage and use varied anchor text (Keyword, raw URL and keyword variation)”

are you saying that one of the links needs to be directed to the homepage of your money site and the other two to the inner pages of your money site??

keep up the great work that your doing.

Thanks Steve

    Lewis - October 26, 2013

    Hi Steve, nice to have you here!

    It really depends, for the majority of people, they want to rank the homepage therefore I would add 3 links to the homepage with varied anchor text.

    If you want to diversify then yeah, link to inner pages also. I actually think this will be better moving forward in a Penguin Algo future as inner page links look more natural.

    – lewis 🙂

Akash - October 26, 2013

Why have multiple registrars? All Google sees is the name servers not like they can obtain billing info from different registrars! Have 2-3 of the main registrars should be OK don’t you think?

Also if you have 5 domains with 1 registrar, can you have different fake info for each of them or will all have to be same since they’re within the Dame godaddy account, for example?

Great post thanks.

    Lewis - October 26, 2013

    Thanks Akash, I try to be super unique with my PBN sites.

    The reason for multiple registrars is as you say, I can have either fake user details or private whois.

    The trouble with a PBN where all of the sites use privacy is that is a footprint in itself and whilst Google may not do anything with that footprint at the moment, in the future who knows??

Koushik - October 30, 2013

Hi Lewis,

Wonderful and informative article. Do you use only your private blog networks as tier 1 or do you mix it up? I am pretty confused post penguin 2.1…

cheers

    Lewis - October 30, 2013

    Hi Koushik – I think highly relevant and authority nowadays. Mainly PBN for tier 1 but I also throw in relevant comments, YouTube videos and a few bought blog network links with unique content.

Robert Kirk - November 4, 2013

Hey Lewis

Great post! Ive noticed your comments on Matthew Woodward site before, but found you through Google for this post. Ive signed up for your newsletter..

Few questions I have as I’m currently looking into getting my own mini network of sites launched.

1. When your building our your own private networks, do you use a mix of actual domain name sites and also web 2.0 sites?
2. As I’m based in the UK, when looking to buy domain names for my network am i best looking to buy .co.uk?
3. If i struggled to find .co.uk in my niche would you ever just register brand new urls for the network?

    Lewis - November 4, 2013

    Hi Robert glad you found my site and thanks for signing up! To answer your questions;

    1. I have never used web 2.0 sites as part of my PBN. I do use them to build links to my PBN sites however. There is a tutorial over at BlackHatWorld that explains how to find expired/deleted Web 2.0 properties to build a network.

    2. I am also in the UK so I have a lot of sites that target the UK markets. I have a network using only .uk domains (.org.uk and .co.uk) and also other networks that are mixed. I would suggest keeping it to English speaking CCTLD’s (.uk, .com, .net, .org etc).

    3. You can use new domain names, however it will take some time to build up the DA/PA (domain and page authority) of that site in order to pass the juice onto your money site. Have you tried using RegisterCompass to find .uk domains with history?

    Also try using some of the internet marketing forums. You can find some good UK domains being sold.

      Robert Kirk - November 4, 2013

      Hey Lewis, thank you so much for your replies.

      I found this post, around same time as yours –

      http://www.cloudlivingjourney.com/how-to-build-a-high-pr-blog-network/

      Also a great post, but he makes it very clear its very important to get domain name with PR, but in your article, you disagree?

      Ive had a look on the free ones you mentioned, but couldnt really find any in my niche – i went onto godaddy auctions direct, but couldnt work out how to only search for .co.uk

      Im not a member of RegisterCompass is it worth the $37 a month? im only looking to build up maybe around 20-25 sites to start with

      Also have you heard of these guys? cloakhosting.com – read good things about their hosting for networks – they use difference approach to most seo hosting companies

        Lewis - November 4, 2013

        I know Tung from Cloud Living Journey and have seen the post you mention. I would point out that it was written in June this year and whilst only 4 months ago…that is a long time in the SEO world.

        It was written back when PR was still the rage amongst the forums, whilst those in the know behind the scenes were busy buying domains with high DA & PA (use Moz’s OpenSiteExplorer.org)

        Basically Google haven’t updated their PageRank tool in ages and don’t plan on doing so in this year, so domains that are PR4/5 could actually be worthless as the links they once no longer exist. DA & PA are MUCH better metrics to use.

        Remember that I said in my article than you can re-brand the domains you buy. Try to look for some generic domains (e.g JoeBloggsBlog.com) you can rebuild the site as closely as it was (use Archive.org) and use link injection to curate links to your sites. I have a post on link injection coming up, however it’s basically getting creative with your article writing and link building.

        As for Regcompass, you can search for specific TLD’s but not .co.uk as far as I can see. I like it and have found some good domains both expired and at auction with it. You can always try it and cancel if you don’t like it 🙂

        Not heard of that hosting but I stay away from any SEO Hosting company as I explain in the article.

          Robert Kirk - November 5, 2013

          Hey Lewis

          Thanks again for your advice

          I found this yesterday, freshdrop.com only £15 a month, and already found quite a nice few domain names and cheaper a month than regcompass. Some of the search features on it really good!

          Have you ever had experience using rankwyz.com for managing your networks?

          I am looking to start with this month building 10 sites, i have around 10 seo clients in this niche, would it be ok to add say 4 of these each month onto the network as long as I am adding other articles on which don’t have any links?

          Lewis - November 5, 2013

          Ah yeah FreshDrop, I forgot about that site! Glad you’ve found some gems, i will be checking it out again as it must be over a year since I used them!

          I’ve not used RankWyz, I was just chatting to someone today and mentioned I needed to get into automation as the number of sites I have is getting too much even when using VA’s.

          Yeah sounds fine, I would also add other authority OBL’s too, like Wiki, YouTube and News sites. Be sure to add images and some videos to your articles to keep it looking legit 🙂

      Jyotirmoy - August 29, 2014

      Hi Lewis,

      “There is a tutorial over at BlackHatWorld that explains how to find expired/deleted Web 2.0 properties to build a network.”

      I am failed to find out that … Please help me ?

      Thank you,
      jyoti

        Lewis - August 30, 2014

        Hi I don’t have the direct link but if you do a search for “find web 2.0 expired” i’m sure you’ll find it.

Koushik - November 6, 2013

Hi Lewis,

One more question. is it good to build a blog network completely using closeout domains? I find myself cash strapped and would like to build my small network (20+ sites) using closeout domains.

TIA

    Lewis - November 6, 2013

    Yeah you can completely do this no problem. Just make sure the link profile is clean

Robert Kirk - November 6, 2013

Hi Lewis

A question about linking from the network to money sites.

Say I have 20 network sites, all in same niche and I have 10 clients all in that same niche that I want to link too. How would you personally set that up?

Do 1 article per site per client over period of time, with 1 anchor in each article?

    Lewis - November 6, 2013

    Yeah you can def do that, I would suggest mixing up the anchor text and in fact not even using the exact keyword in the anchor text in the majority of cases.

    Go for prefix+keyword or keyword+suffix

Dave - November 8, 2013

Hi Lewis, great article. I would like to get your opinion on something.

I’m an SEO analyst for a London company and we’re thinking of using one of these private blog networks, but although there are all these precautions you take to hide it from Google so it probably wouldn’t get picked up by one of their algorithms, wouldn’t a blog network like the one you describe above still be discovered if our website’s backlink profile came under a manual review by Google?

Say if one of our competitors filed a spam report with Google because they believed we were using manipulative links, and our website was manually reviewed as a result.

I’ve read some articles about blog networks that advise making them look as natural as possible in case of a manual review, and I’ve read others that say that if you get a manual review, a blog network will always get found and you’re screwed no matter how much effort you put into making them look natural.

I would appreciate your advice and opinion on this.

Thank you.

    Lewis - November 8, 2013

    Hi Dave thanks for your comment, to answer your question;

    I would say that the more you can do to make your PBN sites look natural the better. Truth is we don’t really know what would/does happen on a manual review and therefore can only do what we think is best to maintain our sites.

    Consistent quality content, email sign up forms, nice design and logo, creating back links to your PBN sites are all things we can do to improve our chances.

    I think you have to look forward to what Google may look for in the future and future-proof your sites now, for a more sustainable approach.

    As long as the PBN sites aren’t your only links, and that they also link out to other sites then there is no proof or reason for Google to deindex/devalue your site. Plus they have much bigger fish to fry 🙂

    – Lewis

Brian Johnson - November 8, 2013

Hi Lewis, thanks for providing such an in depth article. It is really helpful. One quick question though: You mentioned that one can insert about 3 links from a blog in a network to the money site and I want to find out where best to add these links: side bar, footer, header, within single post? where would you recommend? and if you have to make the link to appear site-wide (like adding it to sidebar), should it be no-followed?

Thanks for your reply.

    Lewis - November 8, 2013

    Brian – stay away from sitewide links now after Penguin 2.1 update, these are no good and a few of my sites got hit because of this.

    Add the links to articles that are highly relevant to your niche, also link out to other relevant authority sites such as Wiki, YouTube and News Sites.

Jorge Luis - November 9, 2013

Lewis, after reading this post along with the one where you talk about using flippa for keyword research, I just NEEDED to subscribe to your email list.

Your “no BS” approach and the clarity when explaining things as just turned me into your fan!!

Just wanted to drop a quick line thanking you for actually taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge with people. That speaks highly of you my friend.

Can’t wait for your next blog post.

Regards from Peru,

Jorge

    Lewis - November 9, 2013

    Hey Jorge, thanks for your comments man! Glas you subscribed I promise to keep up this kind of content!

Ian - November 10, 2013

Great article and thanks for the effort you put in to write it!

I was pondering the issue of links from the expired domains you buy. The expired domains will have links to their home page and inner pages presumably.

When you take over the site the pages the links direct to won’t be there unless you create them anew. So the question is, once you buy the domain do you then go through and check the valued links and recreate content to ensure the link remains live or do you just redirect the URL to a new page of content you write (hopefully relevant to the link anchor?)

Thanks again!.

    Lewis - November 10, 2013

    Ian – I try to recreate the site as closely to the original as possible using Archive.org.

    Obviously if you change the niche of the domain then it’s not always possible, but I do try to keep the domain as the same niche as it was previously, so as not to devalue the links already pointing towards the root and inner pages.

Chris - November 11, 2013

Hi Lewis,
great post with very precise content.

Have a quick question for you:
Let’s say you have multiple money sites in one niche and you have a PBN of say 8 sites. Would you link to multiple money sites from each site in the PBN? If so, how many money sites would you link to at most?

The reason I ask is that this can obviously reduce the cost per money site of setting up such a PBN.

Regards,

Chris

    Lewis - November 11, 2013

    Great question Chris.

    I would stick to 2/3 of my own money sites tops, and make sure I mix up which money sites I like to per PBN site. E.g

    PBN Site 1 – links to money site 1, 2 and 3
    PBN Site 2 – links to money site 2, 4 and 5
    PBN Site 3 – links to money site 1, 3 and 4

    Hope that makes sense? I haven’t got any physical proof that you cannot add more of your money sites, maybe Google will be able to see a footprint I don’t know.

    As always I sugest people test and see what works for them. There are many ways to approach a PBN network and we need more people testing!!

    Above all add good relevant content and link out to other authority sites, not just your own sites. Add images and embed videos. MY BIGGEST TIP = create a persona for your PBN site 😉

      Chris - November 11, 2013

      Thanks Lewis, that makes perfect sense about avoiding any kind of foot print.

      I have another question if you don’t mind.
      I read in one of your posts (either here or the guest post at Matt Woodward) that you target keywords with a KC of less than 35 and ideally less than 30. Do you have a rule of thumb about how many PBN sites you would expect to need, say for a KC33 or KC29? Obviously the higher the KC the bigger your PBN would have to be. Do you have any examples you could share, i.e. niche 1 has KC of X and required Y PBNs? Not asking you to share domains, just the behind the scenes data.

      Thanks,

      Chris

        Lewis - November 12, 2013

        Chirs – I tend to look at the KC in blocks and base the number of PBN sites on that. As a guide;

        20 – 30 Easy (5-10 PNB sites)
        30 – 40 Medium (10-25 PBN sites)
        40 – 60 Hard (25+ PBN sites)
        60+ I don’t even bother!

        Check out Spencers site, he is the guy that built LTP and knows everything!

          Chris - November 12, 2013

          Thanks Lewis, you’re a star. That is exactly the type of info I was looking for. Just some kind of yardstick to go by.

          Best of luck with your site here, I’ll be checking back for sure.

          Regards,

          Chris

          Lewis - November 13, 2013

          Cheers Chris, good luck man!

Andy Cockayne - November 11, 2013

Hi Lewis,

Really enjoyed this post, very informative!

Just to confirm re costings;

If you buy an expired domain for circa $10 and add privacy (not always!) @ $3 then host for $12 and have 10 (300 ish word) articles written at say $5 each – you are looking at around $75 per site which will in turn generate 3 links?

Over a year you would possibly do this 12 times so that is roughly $900 (or £600) and would generate 36 decent quality links

I’m looking at doing this for a client but I need to ensure that it makes financial sense to me! 🙂

Cheers

Andy

    Lewis - November 11, 2013

    Hi Andy – yeah your pretty much on the money there. Don’t pay $5 for 300 words though. I have an guide I will publish in about an hour or two that will show you how to get 500 word articles for half that price!

    I have found the biggest cost is time to find the domains, so don’t forget to factor that in to your calculations 🙂

      Andy Cockayne - November 12, 2013

      Thanks for the reply Lewis…

      With regard to avoiding leaving a footprint, what do you suggest using re an email address when registering a domain?

      I have found 33mail.com which allows you many alias addresses and thought this might be useful?

      Also, what about paying for these domains, do you think that there is any trace when using the same Paypal address for instance?

      Cheers!

      Andy

        Lewis - November 12, 2013

        Andy – Looks like a good service. I generally just create a new account with gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc etc and add the username and login details to my sheet I use to manage the network.

        As for Payment info, I wouldn’t worry. there is no legal reason Google would have for accessing your payment info from hosting accounts or the registrar.

Sumit Chhikara - November 11, 2013

Hi Lewis

I learned a lot from this post. I do not have any intention of creating any blog network. But tips you have given for buying a expired domain using expireddomains.net is really awesome.

Thanks

    Lewis - November 11, 2013

    Hey Sumit – no worries glad you liked the post! 🙂

Angela - November 11, 2013

Hi,

Great article by the way – how do you manage to keep up though ?

How many different niches do you look at and actively maintain ?
To me it seems that you have to find a niche that may be worth the money, then you have to buy all the domains (and seperate hosting accounts) , then you have to do the keyword research then create all the quality content (no spun ?) , then you have to get all the tier2 links etc etc etc

Surely that is alot of work for one person to look after and manage ? – and if you have multiple niche areas – then surely there arent enough hours in the day or days in the week to achieve this ?

Regards
Angela

    Lewis - November 11, 2013

    Hi Angela – I use spreadsheets, Evernote and sync all my email accounts with Gmail.

    I love to create processes and automate/streamline where possible so it really suits me!

    You are right, it is a lot of work, however it gets easier with practice and outsourcing.

Stew @ NinjaGorilla - November 11, 2013

Hi Lewis – just a quick question on PBN “security”. I set up a small PBN a few months ago and the plan was to link to 3-4 money sites from each PBN site.

I then saw a “competitor” in a pretty unassuming niche (i.e. not gambling or adult) get blasted with 10,000s negative SEO links. This got me thinking (and a bit concerned). It is pretty easy for a competitor to find your links and once they have found one of your PBN sites then they have knowledge of your other money sites (linking from the PBN site). These sites could then be targeted with negative SEO.

What are your thoughts? I have gone into super-conspiracy mode (tin foil on my head to protect from aliens and men in dark shades watching me from parked cars across the road…I’m convinced) and I’m now creating individual PBNs for each money sites. This is not efficient and is hard work.

Am I being a bit too cautious Dr.Ogden??

    Lewis - November 12, 2013

    Stew – Haha I was laughing out loud reading that! I would say a bit of concern is good, however we can also add the code to our .htaccess file to block Majestic, Moz and Ahrefs from crawling our PBN sites.

    That way they cannot see your PBN sites linking to your money site and cannot target them.

    Do a quick Google search and you should find what you are looking for 😉

      Eric Kim - November 30, 2013

      Could you explain more specifically how to build a code on my niche site?

        Lewis - November 30, 2013

        What do you mean by “build a code”?

          Eric Kim - December 1, 2013

          I mean add a code to block from majesticseo or moz

          Lewis - December 1, 2013

          I will cover this when I update this guide over the next week of so. I have LOADS more content to add.

Robert Kirk - November 12, 2013

Hi Lewis

I am in process of setting up my own PBN, I have recently purchased Kontent Machine the latest version, to use mainly with GSA to blast out tier 2 and 3 links.

Would you at all use kontent machine created content on your PBN to fill in more posts to make blog look busier? Then get my writer to do the articles which will be linking to my money sites? Or would you get all content on the PBN done by writers?

My biggest concern is if you have say 10 sites to begin with, getting regular content on them using writers may be pricey?

    Lewis - November 12, 2013

    Great question Robert – I am kind of on the fence with this one. I have a few PBN sites that I do use tools to create the content and ‘fill in the gaps’ like you say. These are test sites really to see how they do when linking to a money site.

    I guess it really depends on 1) your budget and 2) how you think they will fair in the future

    I like to go with the thought process of “would this site pass a manual review”. I’m not sure spun content would, but I guess it depends how good that ccontent is!

    Th bulk of my sites get 1 article per week posted of varying lengths, so 10 PBN sites = 10 articles per week, 40 articles per month. Which you can get for about $80-$100.

    Alternatively you can write some yourself if you have the time? It’s a tough one and is always a key talking/pain point amongst SEO’s

      Robert Kirk - November 12, 2013

      After reading your post last night, I am on ODESK just now, trying to find some writers to do the fill in posts. I have a part time writer from the Philippines who works 4hrs a day, but for her to write a 750 word article + find image etc, costs me around £5.50 per article, which for her writing skills is pretty good. I’m overall happy with her, most of her posts get accepted on guest posts etc. But for her to do fill in posts on say 10-20 PBN sites every week, would end up costing quite alot.

      Currently speaking on ODESK at a few people do them for £2-£2.50. Ideally wouldn’t like to use kontent machine on tier 1, from what ive seen the articles are not great for tier 1 in my eyes, and i would ideally like the sites to all pass manual review.

      I think Kontent machine will be fine for tier 2 and 3, but i think to make my PBN links as strong as I can, i think best going for manual articles.

Steve D - November 13, 2013

Hi Lewis, Love the post, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been investigating all aspects of PBN’s for a while, especially reducing footprints and how to manage multiple sites. There are a lot of elements to consider! One potential time saving solution I’ve been looking at is a service called “ManageWP” this service lets you manage multiple WP sites (even if they are hosted in different places) under one combined dashboard allowing you to update plugins, post articles etc. The only potential drawback I can see is that you need to install their plugin to each managed site, which in itself could be a potential footprint. I’d be interested to know your thoughts – maybe a “Top 10 footprints to avoid” could be another post idea. Cheers

    Lewis - November 13, 2013

    Steve – I have thought about these kind of tools for a while but like you say, there is a plugin to install and I think that is definately a footprint.

    I actually think that any massive timesaver or tool that makes things easier is bound to get popular, and when something gets popular people abuse it and then it comes crashing down. I won’t use these tools for the same reason I won’t use SEOHosting.

Rushin - November 13, 2013

Hey what would you suggest, how many niche site should i promote from single private blog network site.

    Lewis - November 13, 2013

    So from just a single PBN site, I would just do one or two of my own niche sites and link out to some authority sites too. As you grow your network then incorporate more niche sites and links on inner pages etc.

Casey Dennison - November 21, 2013

Talk about a beast of a post!

    Lewis - November 21, 2013

    haha I know, I actually have more to add now from recent testing!

Stew @ NinjaGorilla - November 21, 2013

Hi Lewis. I have a question relating to building a PBN network. I previously set up a small network no problem. Now I have just created a new one using the same approach but when I check in Majestic SEO the money site is showing:

a) 100+ links from 1 PBN site domain! Looks like ALL the WordPress pages are being indexed. I only had 2 links in the post so expected 4 links in total to be showing (2 on post and 2 on home page where post is showing). How can I stop the other pages from indexing. As I say, not had this problem before.

b) I hosted one of the domain as an “add-on” domain to an existing domain. Problem is Google has indexed “pbnsite1.pbnsite2.com”…how do I prevent this. Apart from separate the hosting?

Would really appreciate your advice ad I don’t think I’m getting the benefits from the PBN links. Thanks!

    Lewis - November 21, 2013

    Stew – that sounds like a sitewide link issue, are the links in the content of the article and not in the header, sidebar, footer, nav bar etc?

    On your second point, I have only ever set PBN’s up on their own root domain and not as a sub domain so can’t really advise how to get around the issue without seperating the hosting.

    Why was it created as a sub domain anyway?

      Stew @ NinjaGorilla - November 22, 2013

      Thanks Lewis. The links were coming from WordPress pages such as categories, author and archives. Even a /?date= URL!

      Looked at all my other PBN sites and only this one had WordPress SEO installed. So removed it. Will see what happens

      With the second issue, the domain was an “add on” domain through the cpanel but this creates a subdomain. Found this out afterwards. Fixed by not being so tight and buying dedicated hosting. At £1.50.

      Stew

        Lewis - November 22, 2013

        Nice one Stew – glad you got it sorted. Let me know how it goes after removing the plugin, it’s an interesting one.

Lee - November 24, 2013

Hey mate,

I have 4 sites all with 1 post on but here is where I need a little advice

When you schedule your posts (10) let’s say you have 5 posts showing on the homepage.

Schedule 1 article per week and within the last 5 posts have your links in 3 posts (random within the last 5 posts) and use the keyword as outlined in your post? Or do you have the keywords within the last 3 posts? Also linking out to authority site and YouTube will these be on inner page?

Also articles going forward how do you go about this will you allow the links to drop of the homepage?

Thanks for the help mate

    Lewis - November 25, 2013

    Hi Lee – yeah I will let them drop to an inner page, it will still be a valuable link. Plus it looks more natural, like a ‘normal’ blog would continue to publish posts and the older ones will drop in to inner pages.

      Lee - November 25, 2013

      Cheers Mate,

      Makes sense, one more question if you don’t mind how often do you typically update the blogs once you have your first 10 posts on?

        Lewis - November 25, 2013

        No probs – 1 post per week typically, sometimes 2 🙂

          Lee - November 25, 2013

          It will soon drop of the homepage posting this amount also this will start to cost a lot over the year.

          Lewis - November 25, 2013

          Yep thats fine Lee it can drop off the homepage, it looks natural and that what we want. You can stickie a post if you want so it stays at the top of the ‘blog’. Also reduce the amount of content it’s really up to you. I am a little too cautious perhaps! $2 per article over 52 weeks = $104 per year. Perhaps drop to bi-weekly and thats just $52 per year.

          For my own PBN’s I allow them to drop inner to inner pages as I haven’t found this to be detrimental to my site rankings.

          I have a PBN service coming out soon that will use this same method and I know it will work for a lot of people.

Eric kim - November 27, 2013

Hello. Lewis

My name is Eric, and I’m dreaming of successful internet entrepeneur like you.First of all, please understand about my poor English because I’m Korean. lol

I was so impressed of your PBN link building strategy post. I printed out your post, and read and review over and over.

BTW, I have still some questions about it. I hope you reply for me sooner or later if you don’t mind.

1. If I have only one high PR expired domain to build PBN, should I add contents and articles only for regarding one niche? what if I have more niche sites?

2. Which strategy is better? Three PR4 expired domains or just one PR6 domain to get link?

3. If I have 5 expired domains, and 10 niche sites((all different niches). How should I build link efficiently?

4. How do think about my suggestion that each expired domain makes concept as a open-blog style?
It means just no niche, many kinds of categories and articles get together, and looks like a informative blog site.
How do you think about this?

5. Lastly, give me a small advice or tip for me.

I have 5 questions to you, little bit many.. If you don’t mind, please reply for me such a beginner.

    Lewis - November 27, 2013

    Hi Eric, thanks for your comments, to answer your questions;

    1 – If you have read the post you will notice I tell you to ignore PR as it is not a good metric to use in today’s climate. You can target more than one niche/money site but ensure there is lots of content and you also OBL to other related sites and some authority sites such as Wiki, YouTube and News sites.

    2 – As above ignore PageRank – focus on Page Authority and the quality of the Backlinks and anchor text pointing to the expired domain

    3 – I would get more sites in my PBN – You need to flip it and have many more PBN sites than niche sites. For low-medium competition keywords I would use 10-25 PBN sites for each niche/money site.

    4 – Yes this is the best tactic – If a domain is too niche specific then I don’t buy it. General blogs and news type sites are the best.

    5 – My Tip – Forget what you read in forums r.e buying expired domains, ignore PR and focus on PA|DA|Links|Anchor text – follow those and you will build a much stronger PBN. Also don’t ever sell links on you PBN.

    – Lewis 🙂

      Eric Kim - November 27, 2013

      Oh! Thanks for your kind answer.
      Can I ask you if I have more questions later? lol

      Anyway, thank you so much

Eric Kim - November 30, 2013

HI Lewis

I have a question more.
What is the GSA??????

    Lewis - November 30, 2013

    GSA is an automated linkbuilding tool – http://search-engine-ranker.gsa-online.de

      Eric Kim - December 1, 2013

      Oh I see

      I just bought high authority and trust flow domains, and try to add articles and anchor text.

      BTW, you mentioned 5 ~ 10 domains are enough for low niche site, and 3 anchor texts are enough as well, right?

      An this point, You mean that one article should contain 3 types of anchor texts or just one anchor text at one article?

      How many articles should I make up at one PBN sites normally if I have 5 PBN sites?

      I hope you advise me again

      Best regards

        Lewis - December 1, 2013

        Hi, You should mix it up try to think what a natural news site or blog would do in that niche. Make articles differing lengths, OBL to other sites as well as your own.

        I use a max of 3 OBL’s to my niche site, normally just 1 or 2. Each PBN should have a steady stream of content being posted each week. I have 10 articles scheduled per PBN and add more once that has been posted.

        Each KW is different however 5-10 PBN’s for low competition keywords and 15-25 for medium usually works well for me.

Robert Kirk - December 6, 2013

Hi Lewis

Hope your well. Just a quick question, im currently in process of setting up my own mini private network, using WordPress for my sites.

Do you install any additional modes or do anything to remove any information about the install from the wordpress site? I read something on GodOfSeo i believe about a module which hides some stuff, but not sure how much is actually shown?

    Lewis - December 7, 2013

    Robert – I do use the tool you are referring too on some sites but I tend not to worry too much about WP as 19-20% of websites are now on WP.

    As with anything to do with a PBN, mix it up and try not to follow a set pattern. With all sites being on WP, it would be very difficult for Google to devalue links from WP sites so they will have to find another footprint.

      Robert Kirk - December 10, 2013

      my concern was is their not certain WP files, that shows certain information about the setup etc?

      I have bought set of premium 39 themes, i was going to use these on my first 10 sites, different theme on each, but they all by same folk, do you think that could be a bad footprint?

        Lewis - December 10, 2013

        It could be I guess it depends – for example if you have installed a framework such as Genesis for example and you install that on each PBN followed by Genesis child themes they year that would look weird. But I think it would only be found upon manual review, and lets face it, there are plenty of bigger fish out there than me and you!

        If you make your sites as legit looking as possible and add good content, images and videos, even social media accounts. I would say you are 99% safer than most folk using spun content and single page PBN sites.

Sergey - December 11, 2013

Hey Lewis,

I am missing 1 thing could you clarify please:
Are the money sites must have different IP addresses if both money sites have the links from the same PBN?

Thanks.

    Lewis - December 11, 2013

    Hey Sergey – No it’s just the PBN sites that should have varying class-c IP addresses.

Colink - December 11, 2013

You have taken up a lot of my time today!!

But I am not complaining 🙂 Great read.

I know you don’t rank PR,( forgive the pun), but would be keen to read your thoughts on how the new PR data released last week has affected the market for expired domains or auctions. Is it putting some prices up or does it offer an opportunity to get good value with low PR but high DA etc?

Any more info on your upcoming PBN service and launch date?

Signed up to your list – so looks like you will be taking up more of my time.

Thanks ColinK

    Lewis - December 12, 2013

    Haha sorry about that Colin!

    I think the PR update offers a good opportunity to pick up some domains that people will let drop because they have gone from PR4 to PR0. If good links still exist and the DA/PA on Moz look good then I still go for them.

    I think a large part is how you build out the sites. Sure you can create a one page site with OBL’s to your niche site, but how long do you think that will last? I prefer to look longer term and invest a bti more time in to the PBN sites.

    As for my upcoming service, it will be early Jan when I launch and will start with an attractive package. I will give more details in a couple of weeks 🙂

    Thanks for signing up, if there is anything you want to see/know ask me and I will do my best!

    – Lewis

Eric Kim - December 14, 2013

Hi Lewis

I just sent backlinks to my niche site from my PBN sites( Just 2 sites though).
BTW, How long does it take to be appeared in backlink checker such as majesticseo or ahrefs?

I sent 2 days ago but nothing happened..
Did I wrong?

Sergey - December 22, 2013

Lewis what do think about using PBN strategy for local e-commerce business. Business is located in Eastern Europe country so language is not English.

Can I still buy few domains, put some content there in the language of e-commerce website? Will that give any results what do you think?

    Lewis - December 22, 2013

    Sergey – Yeah definately, you can use .eu domains or the domain extension of that country?

    Use exactly the sae method and add content to the PBN sites in the same language as the ecommerce site.

dylan - December 26, 2013

Thanks for your great info about private blog and i read your post for times.
However, i cant see your spreadsheet after sharing your post by my twitter.

Brad Stanton - January 1, 2014

Hi, it sounds a great idea to build a PBN – the problem that is bothering me is how to tell wether a site has been zapped by Penguin or Panda ect – PA and DA from Moz are no help here.

I let most of my Penguined sites expire for obvious reasons and I suspect 1000’s of other SEOs are doing likewise so there are tens of thousands of nuked sites floating around with little chance of recovery.

So how to tell the wheat from the chaff???

Do you have a copy of your spreadsheet in plain excel format – the link you posted above could not be opened.

    Lewis - January 2, 2014

    Hi Brad – most of the zapped sites will have been as a result of bad link building. It’s easy to spot these by looking at the volume and type of backlinks in the ahrefs profile. Lots of forum and NoFollow comment links are a sure sign that a spammer/SEO has had the domain in the past.

    I only pick up domains that look like they have been used for a ligitimate business/blogger/hobby site owner etc. These are easy to spot also based on their link profile and using archive.org.

      Dagon - January 3, 2014

      Hi Lewis

      Thanx for awesome info.

      eg .i want to create a pbn of 5 sites linking to my moneysite,

      “Only link out to your site a maximum of 3 times one the homepage and use varied anchor text (Keyword, raw URL and keyword variation)”

      Total Links from 5 pbn sites to my money site = 15 links variations right? Can i rank with 3 keywords low to medium cometition?

      How much overall OBL(autority sites links) has 1 pbn site with as it reach 10x 300 word articles?

      If the pbn site reach the limitation of giving outbound links (10×300),do continue to add content ?In which way building links?

      thanks

      Dagon

        Lewis - January 5, 2014

        Hi, let me try and understand what you are asking.

        You wwant to know if you can keep adding content and links to your money site from the 5 PBN sites?

        In that case, the answer is yes, keep adding content. You want those PBN sites to develop and be available when you need them. However to continue building links from the same sites to the same money site will prove fruitless as you need unique IP links. I would link out a few times and then build 5 more PBN sites and see how your site is performing for your target keywords.

geo chris - January 6, 2014

hi can i use cloud flare for hosting dns (difrent ips!) ?

    Lewis - January 7, 2014

    Yeah course, but I wouldn’t use it on all of my web properties as it may leave a footprint of sorts. Also it’s ashortcut and that can be risky.

phucvh - January 7, 2014

I’m building a private network blog so it’s difficutlt to write article, can you give me advice to seo for article in nichie site?

    Lewis - January 7, 2014

    If you are looking for content for your PBN sites then you can write quicky 300-600 word articles yourself around the same topic, or try odesk and have 10x articles written for $20.

Leo @Newbiesup - January 8, 2014

Hi Lewis,

Thank you for your instructive tutorial. I just finished reading the content and all the comments. They are all of inspiration also.

I do have several questions:
1 – In one comment you mentioned you will provide a guide on how to block ahrefs etc from crawling our PBN sites, am I missing it somewhere?
2 – After taking the expired domains, should we be worried that it will lose PA/DA? I am concerned as all old content would be gone nowhere and most of the quality backlinks to inner pages will be invalid anymore.

Hope you can help me out.

Thank you

    Lewis - January 8, 2014

    Hi Leo, if you do a Google search you should be able to find the code to block ahrefs, moz and majestic (you put the code into htaccess file or robots file).

    For your second question – You can recreate the inner pages as closely as possible to retain those links. It is always a risk that links will eventually drop but that is beyon our control as we reply on other webmasters keeping those linkls live.

    I try to look when the links were first found (moz tells you this) and if it’s 2009 etc you can be sure they will stick around. This is the main reason I say you must create a site on the domain and make it look legit 🙂

      Paul - September 8, 2014

      ” if you do a Google search you should be able to find the code to block ahrefs, moz and majestic (you put the code into htaccess file or robots file).”

      Is it kind of footprint? Who block ahrefs & majestic? Does Google bot could read what is blocked or not? Thanks.

        Lewis - September 8, 2014

        I use various ways to block them, robots.txt, htaccess and plugins. A mixture is good. You don#t block Google bot as that would render your PBN site useless

Jot Angad Singh - January 11, 2014

Hey,
Thanks for sharing, I have one doubt regarding PBN, does the link to your money site needs to be on the homepage? I mean for example, I installed a wordpress theme on of my domain, but the entire article doesn’t show up on the homepage, some part does, and the entire article can be read using read more, therefore the link to money site does not directly show up on homepage. Will this give the same link juice? Or is it necessary for the entire post with the link to be there on homepage?

    Lewis - January 12, 2014

    Hey, you can change the settings in wordpress to display the entire article (SETTINGS –> READING). Sorry if you already know this!

    It depends on how your site is layed out etc andd how much you want it to seem like a normal site. I allow my links to roll off onto inner pages and don’t keep them on the homepage. It depends really as some of the earlier site i built were simple on epage sites but I have learnt since then!

      Jot Angad Singh - January 12, 2014

      thanks for the reply,

      Yes, i basically asked as per the effectiveness, if the link doesn’t show directly on the homepage, And yes making them look natural is necessary, I ensure that not more 5 links on the homepage are for my money website, and after 1 month they gradually go to inner pages.

      And one more thing can we rank some of the PBN sites? I think through this the blogs will appear more natural and the pr, da/pa will be maintained.

        Lewis - January 12, 2014

        I have not seen any negative effects to letting the links roll off the homepage.

        You can try and rank them but I don’t understand why? The PR, DA/PA should stay if you have picked good domains. As long as the links pointing to your PBN site remain then these metrics will also remain.

matt - January 16, 2014

Great post Lewis, thank you. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter.

Could a PBN be used for multiple money sites? For helping to rank multiple local business sites for their local KW phases for example?

If so, how big should the PBN be?

Also, did I miss your announcement on the PBN service you mentioned?

    Lewis - January 17, 2014

    Hey Matt, Yeah sure you can use it for multiple sites. However I stick to the lower end in terms of how many and also mix in other related links too (authority and reference type links). This makes it seem more natural.

    The size of the PBN required really depends on your keywords. I target low-med competition keywords and requires aroud 10-25 PBN sites in normal cases. However it does differ from site to site depending on the competition, domain strength and On Page SEO.

Sanj - January 16, 2014

Hey Lewis!

This was a great read and exactly what I wanted! I would add 6th “Golden Rule” – don’t use Google Chrome for any of this.

Sanj.

    Lewis - January 16, 2014

    Why not use Google chrome? You think Google are spying on users of Chrome.?

Eric kim - January 16, 2014

Hi Lewis.

I have a question about timing of adding link. Do you link to your money site from PBN site after it is indexed or just build link directly.

Normally, I’m waiting for my PBN articles which will be indexed in google( I check almost every hour), and build link to my money site.

Actually, it is really time consuming job for waiting to be indexed.

How about your opinion?

Thank you

    Lewis - January 16, 2014

    Hey man, I just wait until the sites are indexed, usually 1-2 weeks, sometimes much quicker. Don’t check every hour, use that time to write content for them 😉

      Eric Kim - January 17, 2014

      Oh I see.. same as me…

      I guess I should be more tolerable.

Jay - January 17, 2014

Hello,

This was very informative, exactly what i was looking for, but i have (maybe a noob) question.

I have about 7 niches i built sites in and target multiple long tail keywords. If i build a network like this and only add 3 links on the homepage as you suggest, will this help rank better for all the keywords i try to rank for? Let’s say i have 50 articles on each site and target 100 long tail keywords, will all of the 100 keywords rank better on my sites from these 3 links?

Thanks in advance!
Jay

    Lewis - January 17, 2014

    Hi Jay. You can build more than 3 if you let the links roll off as you post more articles etc. It will look natural for the articles with links in to roll onto the archive pages and new articles take their place, in which you can link using different anchor text and to different pages.

    Hope that makes sense?

      Jay - January 17, 2014

      Hi Lewis,

      Ok that makes sense thanks! That’s actually a great solution which will suit my business model well as the sites i build are for selling eventually.

      Thanks again!

Joe - January 18, 2014

Great guide, thanks!

Under ‘3 links on the homepage is enough’ do you mean three links on the hompeage of the blog network site and would they all link to the same page on your money site?

Thanks.

    Lewis - January 18, 2014

    Hi Joe, I prefer to either link to the homepage 3x with different anchor text, or link to inner pages. It really depends on the current backlink profile of your site. I use my PBN sites with the keyword anchor text as these links are generally more powerful.

    I use other links with anchor text such as (“best dog collar”, http://www.bestdogcollar.com“, “bestdogcollar.com”)

      Scott - July 11, 2014

      I don’t get 3 links to the homepage with 3 different anchor text… Google will only count the first link and the other two get discarded… Now, 3 links to the home page coming from 3 different pages is ok – but not from the same page.

        Lewis - July 11, 2014

        “Google will only count the first link and the other two get discarded” – I don’t know if that is a fact but you do see diminishing returns the more links you use. I do need to update that section after recent testing. I now do point a single link to the homepage and another perhaps to an inner page but generally I will use just one link per article.

        I will be updating the article shortly.

        Thanks Scott

Yisroel Reiss - January 23, 2014

Hey! Thanks for taking the time to update your blog post.

I can’t wait to hear most about your case study you mentioned earlier this month, as well as the student you will teach to make money online. As you know, EVERYONE loves good case studies posts, especially in the IM niche.

    Lewis - January 24, 2014

    Thanks, I hope you find the new information helpful.

    I have a post on the case study almost finished and will be sharing it this weekend so keep your eyes peeled!

Andrew Guida - January 24, 2014

I like the update Lewis! I can confirm that adding other authority websites to your posts helps the rankings and makes the PBN sites look natural.

Do you think Moonsy is better or has certain advantages of expireddomains.net?

    Lewis - January 25, 2014

    Thanks Andrew!

    I do prefer expireddomains.net due to the ability to sort and search the data quickly. Moonsy is good, just wanted to add another option for people to try and see which they prefer really 🙂

Gareth Jake - January 25, 2014

Hi Lewis,

Good article.

I’m quite new to this, but I’ve always thought if you’re a web design company looking to get some serious authority, why wouldn’t you find expired good domains – build a relatively easy website with your link at the bottom – Web Design by “X” and link out.

Host on the same server and surely this looks natural as some Web Design companies host most of their clients?

You can also use any domains this way?

What’s your thoughts?

Gareth

    Lewis - January 26, 2014

    Absolutely, a great way to bulk out your portfolio if you are starting out or looking to attract more clients.

    This social proof if you like can act like a snowball, enticing more and more people to hire your services if they can see people/businesses have already used your service. It’s a great idea. As long as your example sites look the part than you have no worries!

Lee - January 27, 2014

Nice update my PBN keeps giving my site a nice little boost every time I have a post go live. I will be able to give a true update once all posts have rolled out.

Can’t wait for the BRAND posts to start, I am making an ecommerce site have nearly all the things in place now want the site to be live before the 31st January.

Have 4 blog posts sorted already to go with complementing YouTube videos have you seen

Matthew Woodward’s YouTube guide well worth a read and the first section have made my YouTube videos look great.

http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/youtube-marketing-optimization-part-1-channel-videos/

    Lewis - January 27, 2014

    Glad your having success Lee, keep it up! The BRAND posts will start soon, been doing A LOT of research and I will share it all very soon.

    Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

martin - January 29, 2014

You mentioned you bought uk domains but you cannot have private registration for uk extensions so I was wondering if you did not worry about having all the same registrant info on your whois identity,

Thanks.

    Lewis - January 29, 2014

    Hi Martin – you can have privacy on UK domains, log into your nominet account and opt-out of sharing your info. You need to do this on each domain, however you can always create a new email address and have the .uk domains in different accounts. Some with opt-out and some with fake reg details 🙂

Saar - January 31, 2014

Hey man, about the not selling links from my PBN. Why not ? If I’m posting on the warrior or digital forum or whatever that i’m selling a PR5 health niche or something and asks 10$ a month for it for exmaple. What’s the problem? I don’t reveal publicly the site, I only send it to the dude who bought the link from me.

    Lewis - February 2, 2014

    Adn who is the dude who bought the link from you? Someones competition maybe? Someone who can report your network to Google and then you lose it all perhaps?

green taloy - February 9, 2014

Hi,thanks for the great article first!
Seems you don’t have the G-penalted domain into consideration, how about a domain name with a high DA and PA and many links on Ahrefs yet have no index on google ? is it also a good domain name to take ? thanks!

    Lewis - February 10, 2014

    Depends where you are buying it from. If it’s an old expired domain then I wouldn’t expect it to be indexed. So it all depends on those backlinks and the quality, just be sure to avoid mass comment links, foreign links etc

Chris - February 11, 2014

Hi Lewis, this is such a great summary, thanks for putting all this together.

I just have one quick questions around PR. I agree that it has become less relevant, I have picked up some PR0 domains with high PA and DA values that have had a huge impact on a money site of mine.

Anyway, I have found an expired domain which is PA 38, DA 26 and PR3. However, some of the fake PR checker tools, including the one you link to above, are suggesting it is a fake PR. I checked the backlink and anchor text profile and it is pretty good looking, nothing really out of the ordinary.

Do you think a backlink from a fake PR site could have negative effects?

Cheers,

Chris

    Lewis - February 11, 2014

    Hi Chris, great question! This is something I have never tested myself to be honest. I always think that is someone has gone to the trouble of faking the PR then they kind of know what they are doing. If you are going to try this then just check all of the backlink resources you have to ensure there are no spammy links and anchor text etc.

    Would be great if you let us know how you get on! Cheers

      Chris - February 11, 2014

      Hi Lewis,
      thanks for the reply.

      I think that is what I am going to do. I’ve registered the domain and will point it at one of my smaller money sites to see what happens.

      The interesting thing is that looking at the previous site in archive.org there was nothing being sold and there was no obvious strategy to use it as part of a blog network. It had an environmental agenda which at had backing from some European environmental groups. Not the type I would associate with black hat techniques.

      It’s also a .eu tld which is something I’ve been wanting to test. I’ll report back with any findings.

      Cheers,

      Chris

        Lewis - February 11, 2014

        Nice one Chris, I wish you the best of luck! Will be really interested to see how it pans out for you!

alex r - February 14, 2014

Hey Lewis, new to this blog, great find for me.

I have been at IM since christmas and have been reading and applying a lot of things since then. Most of my struggles are probably with backlinking as I have never really done it properly.

My plan is to rank my current niche site I published a month ago. Currently it has 12 indexed pages and there is only one niche site competitor the rest are lower quality e-commerce uk based sites.

The main keyword comp was around 28 KC. My niche competitor is ranking on the first page twice via home and landing page (sign of lower comp to me).

Checking his metrics I have found he seems to be ranking via a few pen name blog comments and about 4 small but decent quality web 2.0’s. Each tailored to the specific landing page hes linking too. (our sites really are focused around about 5 landing pages that are targeting specific products, rest of my pages are just niche related filler info to make the site look more authorative)

Upon releasing my site fresh with no backlinks it homepage is sitting around 55-80th place in google while each important landing page the same.

I completed my first PBN a few days ago and appropriately linked to my site via 1 exact anchor and 1 URL in a 700 word article, with a keyword wiki link as well. My PBN can be a very broad and undecisive topic as I kept it true to its roots. However, I am treating it as a lifestyle type site so its easy to link out and make it “mesh” appropriately. I also used this PBN for another thin site that was generating me money in the health niche before it dropped to 9th place.

Anyway, since adding that PBN link a couple days ago I have not seen any change in rankings what so ever.

My plan is to rank this site, learn the ropes and reproduce this as you have to earn a living from this.

Basically I am wondering what your advice would be to rank this site to the first page?

Should I copy my competitor and build 5 relevant web 2.0’s and link each of them to 1 landing page and one of them to the homepage? Should I set a certain number of relevant blogs to comment on per month or per day for the anchor diversity? And/or should I try and xenu scrape more PBN’s and link them to it?

I am kind of in a state of paralysis as I dont want to waste time hunting blog comments if they are essentially pointless or building PBN’s when 4 simple 2.0s might work or vice versa.

I know you cant tell me exacts without looking at it but any advice would be great.

Thanks

(p.s. sorry I wrote a fucking novel here) #commentofpeace

    Lewis - February 17, 2014

    Wow I think this is the biggest comment/question I have ever seen on a blog! With any new site I start, one of the first things I do is look at what backlinks the competition has and try to gather those links for my own site. In your case they are comment and Web 2.0 links, so I would indeed go out and get those links.

    Then you can add your higher quality links such as PBN’s, guest posts etc.

    It sounds like you’re on the right track, I wouldn’t go overboard with blog comments but a few won’t hurt (make them useful and use a real name not your keyword). I would hunt for guest post opportunities and also some niche specific expired domains (perhaps 301 redirect a good domain or two?) 🙂

    Hope that helps.

Eric Kim - February 18, 2014

Hi Lewis.

I’m building my PBN, and I have around 20 sites. I totally follow your process, it was pretty hard for me though.

My keyword CP was 26(by Long-tail Pro),and I sent high juicy links to my money site(All my PBN sites are higher than 40PA, 30DA). However, my position rank doesn’t get higher. It has been just around #10 ~ 20.

I cannot really realize what the exact problem is. I just decided to delete all my adsense ads( I had 3ads), one clickbank link, and some amazon affiliate links. After that, just few hours later, my ranking boosts up to #5. Actually, I was surprised about how affiliate links affect the ranking of the site.

My question is I want to add adsense code later but I’m afraid that it will make the rank off again. Do you have any idea about adsense add timing or strategy?

    Lewis - February 18, 2014

    Hi Eric,

    That does seem strange, how long did you wait after linking to your money site from the PBN’s?

    Ad placement can definately have an impact along with the volume of ads you are using. I usually wait until I am ranking steadily before adding AdSense so perhaps wait until you have a solid footing and then put 1 or 2 ads up?

      Eric Kim - February 18, 2014

      Hi Lewis.

      Normally, I wait 2 or 3 days. Should I wait more? Even though I sent links from two high quality pbn sites, ranking doesn’t work.

      Now, I’m remodeling my PBN.. Deleting loan,gamble sites, chinese or spanish, japanese sites.. HAA…

      I know it will be stressful again for me. I want to ask you check my pbn sites what the matters are..

      Anyways, thanks for your reply

        Lewis - February 19, 2014

        Hummm…you say they are high quality PBN sites but then you say you are deleting loan, gambling and foreign language sites? It’s either a quality PBN or it’s not…which one is it?

          Eric Kim - February 20, 2014

          I mean I had good quality domains which have High DA/PA and Trust flow even though they were foreign sites,and gambling.

          I just realized that these sites should be avoided..

Si - February 20, 2014

Hi Lewis,

OBL’s?

Mike - February 21, 2014

Hi Lewis,
Thanks for the article, good work.

What are your thoughts on linking to your money site from your PBN sites but through a site wide link in the footer, header or sidebar?

Would this have a negative, neutral or positive effect? What anchor text would you recommend for something like that?

Thanks!

    Lewis - February 21, 2014

    Hi Mike,

    I wouldn’t do it, after the Google update in October any kind of sitewide links had a negative effect on my sites that were using them/ Once removed they jumped back up…. 🙂

      Mike - March 4, 2014

      Hey Lewis,

      Thanks for the response! That’s good to know and you’re the only person I could find to clear it up for me 🙂

      I did have just one more question in regards to google webmasters tools and google analytics. Is it wise to make a gmail account for each PBN site and add it to its own webmasters tools dashboard and its own google analytics.

      Thanks again!

        Lewis - March 4, 2014

        Mike – I would say that depends on the quality of the sites you are building, if they on the lower end of the quality scale then I woud say not to use GWT etc, however if they are quality sites, unique content and generally heloful articles then I say why not.

        Mix it up, use other tools such as Clicky for Analytics etc. There are many different tools out there.

        I prefer to mix it up and ensure no 2 sites are the same.

Chris - February 24, 2014

Hi Lewis,
I posted above about using an expired domain with a fake PR 3 and .eu tad and wanted to give you a quick update. So far things have been very positive.
The domain details are as follows: PR3, PA38, DA26, CF24, TF25
As mentioned fake PR checkers where indicating it was indeed fake, but given the previous content it didn’t look like something sinister was going on. There were no redirects to other sites, so I imagine that there may be a 301 redirect to the domain itself, which could of course be lost any day.
I went ahead and set up a site on a new $1 hosting account and pointed it at one of my small adsense sites with a total of 8 pages. Prior to this link the site was making about $20 a month. Since I added the link it has made that in 10 days, so from a money point of view it is a definite improvement.
Rankings have also improved. Let’s say my main keyword is “dry wall installation cost”. Here my ranking improved from 6 to 3 and has been stable there. But biggest improvement came by using the anchor text “dry wall installation” which has 4 times as much search volume, but is more competitive. Here my ranking improved from 60+ to 16.
Traffic has also vastly improved going from about 40 per day to 90 per day.
So, it looks like this particular fake PR3 domain worked a treat and .eu domains do pass on good link juice. Would I use this domain for a bigger money earner or authority site? Probably not, but for a $22 investment, plus the time for 5 articles I have made my money back in 10 days.

Regards,
Chris

    Lewis - February 26, 2014

    Sounds all positive Chris, thansk for coming back and updating us. Shows you the true power of good domains passing link juice.

Mark Rudel - March 4, 2014

Hello,

I purchased an expired domain name and put some content on the site. As of now, it maintained it’s pr and backlinks. It has been about 10 days since I placed the links. How long does it usually take for you to see movement.

    Lewis - March 4, 2014

    It really depends on the quality of the domain you picked up and the SERP competiton for your keywords. It’s impossible to say without knowing both (which you obviously want to keep to yourself!).

    For low/med comp keywords and just a few baclinks I see positive movement in just a few days up to 2 weeks in some cases. Hang in there an dpick up a few more decent domains if you can. A single domain may not do much.

John - March 11, 2014

Hey great article and comment list.

I picked up a domain where 60% of the links are pointing to “www.domain.com/en” and the other half are pointing at “www.domain.com”. The domain was deleted so the /en page doesnt exist anymore, well the whole site doesnt.

The /en version has much better links pointing at it (contextual pr 6, 6, 5 edu) so I am hesitant on simply 301’ing it to the homepage as I have a feeling the more paths a link has to follow the more diluted it will get.

I am wondering what you would do?

Should I simply create the site in cpanel as “www.domain.com/en” (so its the homepage)? Or create the site as “www.domain.com” and redirect the /en to it? Ive heard of re-creating pages but I dont see the benefit in that as then the juice is split.

Would you do this via a 301 plugin or .htaccess?

Anyway I really dont want to lose the power from those pr 6 edu links so I am wondering your expert opinion on what to do here?

Thanks

    Lewis - March 12, 2014

    Hi John,

    I persoanly would create the site on the root domain and create a page located at /en. I don’t understand about the “juice being split”? Check the PA for each the root domain and the /en. You have links pointing to both locations so makes sense to use them.

    – Lewis

      John - March 14, 2014

      I was just under the impression you want all the links re-directed to the homepage so when you link to your money site all the link power is behind it.

      Would it be okay to create a page for /en like you said and then link to money site from homepage and /en page?

        Lewis - March 14, 2014

        Yeah thats fine, I do check the www. and non www to see where to install my site but for inner pages I also build them up and link out. It mixes it up and doesn’t look odd.

Steve - March 14, 2014

Hey Lewis I was wondering if I could ask you a couple things:

When you buy a PR site will you totally re-brand it 100% to meet the money sites topic or will you keep it semi relevant and try and use link injection techniques?

For example I bought a site on language/culture studies aimed for teachers, yet I want to rank a site in the dating niche.

Should I rebrand the site so the, Title, Meta, Tagline are my money sites keyword or partial keyword? something like Title: “how to date women blog”, tagline= dating and relationship help blog?

Or should I keep it semi relevant to what it was before? Title: Different Cultures and Languages, Tagline: Exploring different societies cultures and language?

In regards to the actual linking article title, same question, make it relevant to past site or insert your money site keyword in it?

I have seen guys like becker re-brand the site 100% to match their keyword, guys like hayden will make it match its previous life nearly 100%

So I am really confused which is best?

    Lewis - March 14, 2014

    I don’t really follow Becker all that much, he’s kinda gung-ho for me. Hayden is a real thinker and seems like a smart guy. I would say Haydens strategy is more long term when you think about link stickability. If the webmaster was to see a link he is sending to your site which is in no way related to the topic, he is more likely to remove it.

    Without those links your PBN sites are worthless.

      Steve - March 15, 2014

      Thanks for fast reply mate, just wondering though, what do you typically do?

      Reason I ask is because I just bought a pretty powerful domain but its super unrelevant. Its topic is political and I have a site regarding dating, so I am wondering in this case if its better to completely rebrand or just pose as a news site on political matters that it was in a previous life and simply just add a post on my dating site somewhere in there.

      Either option I take it will be painfully obvious that it doesnt mesh, so I am wondering whats the better option from a link juice/ranking method I guess?

      Kinda damned either way so might as well make the best of it.

      Anyway thanks for help

        Lewis - March 16, 2014

        I don’t rebrand the sites, I make them relevant to the current backlinks pointing to it. I think rebranding risks losing your backlinks and the power of the domain.

        Thanks,
        Lewis

Daniel - March 15, 2014

Hey Lewis,

Great article here! One of the best I’ve read since years ago when I was getting started in the SEO world.

I had questions, most of them have been answered in the previous comments though 🙂

So now I feel a little intrigued and wanted to hear your point of view. Since we’re building almost authority sites here, with 100% original, real, valuable content, setting everything up (themes, plugins, all the pages, etc) Wouldn’t it be possible to actually try to earn some cash with these sites with ads? I mean actually selling ads to the public and also adsense (adsense is my concern because it’s google).

Do you think it would be too risky?

For now my PBN has 10 sites, I am thinking half of those make em 100% “legit” (ads, analytics, webmaster tools, email subscriptions, social network profiles).

Looking forward to your honest advice! Thanks

    Lewis - March 16, 2014

    Whilst I’ve not had the time to dabble in this myself, I would think it’s possible IF you are super sure that your sites are genuinely helpful and offer real value.

    Some people say that all web properties must pay their own way, i tend to disagree if you look at the bigger picture. Still it would help with a nice diverse looking network.

Sunny - March 18, 2014

Does owning PBN in 2014 is still smart idea ?

    Lewis - March 18, 2014

    Absolutely, the more of your backlinks that you own the better and PBN’s are kicking ass right now!

      Sunny - March 19, 2014

      Lewis,

      Would you like to be featured in our round up post at tempocreative.com ?

Thor - March 19, 2014

Hi Lewis,

Great guide on building a PBN. I want to take some action but I’m not really comfortable buying an expired domain just yet. Whenever I look, I don’t see a worthy domain at all or perhaps I’m just too harsh. Could you take a look on these domains and share what you like/dislike about them? Would certainly help out! 🙂

auslandish.com
reikihealingstories.com

    Lewis - March 19, 2014

    Hey Thor – For the first domain I wouldn’t go for this primarily due to the sheer volume of links from Blog Comments. It’s not a bad site and doesn’t appeaar to have been held by a spammer. So not far off, but not quite right.

    For the second site, there are very few backlinks and one of the links it does has is in a foreign language, which is a big no-no for me.

    So all in all, the DA and PA look good but the link profile doesn’t.

    Hope that helps,
    Lewis

Douglas - March 20, 2014

Hey Lewis

Have you noticed any correlation between keeping the site wide title as close as possible to the one it previously had and retaining PA/DA?

On one site I kept the title the exact same as it was simply its old url.

On another I changed it to something completely different, as it was a branded company name prior.

The first site retained all its PA/DA and is actually growing a bit.

The second site lost 4 points of DA.

Wondering if retaining the title to as close to exact, even on the word level is the way to go? Thoughts?

Thanks

    Lewis - March 20, 2014

    I would think it’s all down to the current backlinks pointing towards the domain. If you have webmasters who are on the ball and super anal about their OBL’s, then they may have noticed that your site isn’t what it once was and decide to remove the backlink.

    I try to keep the site to the same topic as a minimum. I don’t engage in scraping content from archive.org or anything like that, which can be a quick way but also open yourself up to lawsuits! If there was a good resource being linked to on the old site, I will do my best to recreate that or something similar to limit any backlink losses.

    – Lewis

george - March 21, 2014

Hi Lewis, thanks for the share, I have some doubts maybe you or someone on the blog
can help my out:

When I use ExpiredDomains.net to buy domains, all I have to do is click on
most of the time this action will take me to go daddy and say that the domain is availible to buy,
when I click buy, that is all I have to DO? Just by buying from GoDaddy the characteristics this domain
has belong to me, so that I can build my PBN?

About how many domains do I have to buy to position a money site? what would the average be? and
how long can I start to see change in positioning.

I have heard that installing Google Analytics to my money site is not recommended is this true?

thanks

    Lewis - March 21, 2014

    Hey George,

    1 – Yeah thats it in a nutshell, be sure to use different registrars and registration detials, name, email address etc to mix it up and avoid a footprint.

    2 – 10 – 15 domains are my bread and butter depending on the competition. 30 can pretty much rank most of the keywords I target which are targeted low-med competition KW’s

    3 – You can instal GA on your money site no problem. I would avoid for PBN sites however.

    Lewis

Wil - March 22, 2014

Hey Lewis,

This is something I have been wondering a while its pretty unrelated but I wanted to ask a real SEO.

Whats the deal with long tail keywords, that have low comp <30 KC, but the top 10 results of the SERPs are all dominating authority sites, however these dominating authority sites are not targeting that long tail term?

ie. "how to gain muscle super omega fast"

Top 10 listings include: webmd, bodybuilding, nytimes, doctoroz, medicaljournal.

However all of these sites only have words like "muscle" "gain muscle" in the titles.

I know its really unrelated, I have just never figured this out and I wanted to build a small site targeting really really long tail terms in the health niche.

    Lewis - March 24, 2014

    Hi Wil,

    Generally I stay away from keywords that are dominated by these big guys. Sure you may be able to rank, but I think it makes it so much harder. There are still lots of KC 20-30 keywords that are not dominated, keyword research takes alot of time tho I know!

    Good Luck

Louis - March 22, 2014

Hello there Lewis;

I picked up a real good domain PA 39, DA 29.

However, its entire link profile is pointing at: “http://ca.website.com”

Im not website savvy, I dont know its thats a subdirectory or what it means.

Do you know how I would set up the site as “http://ca.website.com” and capture all the link juice it had?

    Lewis - March 24, 2014

    Hey Louis – your hosting account should allow you to create a subdomain so if you buy website.com, you can create the subdomain ca.webiste.com.

    Then you can instal WordPress in the subdomain location and set up your site there.

Jeff - March 28, 2014

Great article mate, I wanted to ask you a few things.

1) Will you ever build tier 1 links to your PBNs to further increase the DA that usually drops upon rebuilding a site? If so do you do it manually or use UD or GSA?

2) Since you can never be 100% sure that a domain hasn’t been penalized one way or another…if you are creating posts and there are getting indexed along with the homepage is that a sign all is good and well?

3) How many PBNs do you recommend someone owning? I don’t have the capital or resources you do so I am going after DA 19+.

4) In your article you claim to “make it relevant” if you can’t find it. I imagine total rebranding is stupid, so if I got a site on “heroin addicts”, would making it something of a “health and wellness” type deal be okay? Then using that to link to say a fitness money site?….its all health related sorta

Anyways thanks

    Lewis - March 28, 2014

    Hey Jeff;

    1) I don’t spend time on this purely as I have so many PBN’s and the ROI is simply not there. If you have a smaller network and can build some quality backlinks to the Tier 1’s then go for it just make sure that are good links!

    2) Yeah quick indexing is a sign i use. I build content without any links and see what happens. I have dropped sites that simply take ages to index or are never indexed in some cases.

    3) Depends on your keywords and the competition but start off with 5-10 and take it from there.

    4) I always make the site relevant to what it once was and try to never rebrand. You can go really general and still fall within the ballpark of the backlinks pointing to the domain.

    less chance of losing those links this way.

    – Lewis

Shariq - March 28, 2014

Hey Lewis,

The information here is soo good,i was thinking to start link building and i anyways hated it.
It was going to die and i think it will be down soon.

What i wanted to ask is whatif there are less expired domains related to your niche but i do have some domains that have some keywords in their domain name and i have that keyword on my pages.

Will that be ok because they are slightly off the topic,i would say 20% – 40% and i have another question that is should i do some social shares randomly on all PBN’s to boost them ? I got this in mind because i had a website,i am a developer too so i developed the whole website (no wordpress or blogging coppying shit) and i launched that product,i just did twitter,facebook shares.facebook likes and pinterest in thousands and i got a PR2 after the recent update.

What i wanted to say is that by doing this,we might get pr to the pbn + da/pa also,so it would become a legit site.

Another question that errupted my mind before i clicked the “Post Comment” button was that if i setup a PBN and i setup wordpress and i posted a 500 word article and it had 3 links(1 to money site,1 to sub page,1 to wikipedia or hq page) and i had like 4 more articles comming up.So i will then have my link on Each posts of website,will this not hit me ? Or should i pin posts on the home page 😛 ?

I am really awaiting because i am thinking to spend some money on PBN’s and for a test i am going to start with Many written 3 – 4 PBN’s.

Regards,
Shariq

    Lewis - March 28, 2014

    Hi Shariq – first off the actual domain name doesn’t really matter, it more the linking domains and the site topics/niche.

    I set up all sites like they are legitimate sites. If you only have a little content, say 10 posts, you can set WP to show them all on the homepage, that will look fine. I do allow my content to roll off onto inner pages also.

    Also I don’t only link out to my site but other sites too, again to make it look more natural.

    – Lewis

      Shariq - March 29, 2014

      What about the Social Signals ? Should i do some ?
      Also i do have GSA so should i do some random 50 – 100 Links,if the website is a bit weak ?

        Lewis - March 30, 2014

        If the domain is weak then I’m not sure you shoul dhave bought it to be honest. Depends on your budget etc and in tha case I would use GSA but only target the more quality.

jorge - March 28, 2014

Hosting for my PBN should be seperate from my money site?

To save some money is it ok to set up all my money sites in
hostgator, and use different host for my PBN?

How many sites can I put together in one host for my PBN?

brian - March 30, 2014

Dumb question but when you get the expired domain do you recreate the inner pages and urls like expired site had so you don’t lose links going to inner pages or do some type of redirect

    Lewis - March 30, 2014

    It depends, mostly I do a redirect but other times I recreate them. Depends on the links coming in and the quality/quantity. I just use my gut in these cases.

Mark - March 31, 2014

Hi, first of all – great guide, I now it sounds a bit stupid but I don’t even know how to describe it and don’t want to write a lot about it either – just wanted to let you know that I’m happy I found your valuable post. Now, I wanted to ask you a few questions, I went through comments however haven’t found any answer, so I hope you will find a moment to answer these.

I’m working with .fr websites targeting google.fr, I often go for english keywords that french people are looking for. I think building a network to rank some my .fr sites wouldn’t be a bad idea. Then again, I have no experience with building a PBN, and when it comes to creating a network for french sites then I know even less, so maybe even if you haven’t any network for foreign websites, you could maybe still advice me according to your knowledge as well as experience.

I don’t know what would be better from SEO point of view. Getting .com, .org, .net, .info etc and post all content in french on them. Or maybe, considering the fact I will mostly target english keywords in google.fr (moneysite is .fr with french content), it would be good to go with .com, .net etc – so no. fr domains for pbn, and english content ? This would be the best option when looking on price of creating such a network. Or maybe you think I should go for most relevant so to say and get as many .fr as possible and post only french articles ?

I know, you are not alfa and omega but what would be good way to go in from your point of view. I know, most relevant would be a lot ot .fr and french content but this would really increase cost of such a network.

Sites I would want to rank in google.fr with this pbn would be low competition, so no ‘big guys” there.

One more thing, when reading comments I found “KC” which stands for keyword competition, right ? And from what I understood it’s metric from long tail pro – I use it on trial and haven’t found this anywhere…

cheers

    Lewis - April 1, 2014

    Hi Mark – you are right, KC stand for Keyword Competetiveness and is part of LongTailPlatinum. So you may have to upgrade to get that feature but it saves me a ton of time and is will worth it.

    For you’re PBN, I would get as many .fr domains as I possibly could and then if you run out of good domains to buy, then go for the English TLD’s like you say .com, .net, .org even .co.uk etc.

    It sounds really interesting what you are doing and it would be good to catch up on the forums

    – Lewis.

Colin - April 1, 2014

Hi Lewis,

Great site, came across it with a straight Google search and have just signed up to your latest posts 🙂

My question is:

If I am using a PBN to get links to a new site, how should I go about using it. Say the new site has 10 posts and I want to get inner links to these pages as well.

Would you make sure not to use any keywords in the links or should I get some social bookmarking done first with general anchor text and then use keywords that I am trying to rank for for the PBN links? What sort of ratio for homepage to inner pages?

Also, what sort of link ratio should I look to use? Can I simply get some social bookmarks or do I need to get other backlinks as well?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Cheer,

Colin

    Lewis - April 1, 2014

    Hi Colin,

    I definitely make sure to link to inner pages, probably at a 70/30 ration inner to homepage. It looks more natural and makes more sense that way.

    As for anchor text, just go with whatever looks natural but I am seeing good results with brand anchor text and the content surrounding it as the keyword in.

    – Lewis

Mike - April 6, 2014

Im on webhostingtalk.com.. and it is difficult t find $1 hosting a month even if you do a search. do you suggest anything?

and dont 3rd party advertisers advertise on $1 hosting? or is that something else

thanks
Mike

    Lewis - April 6, 2014

    Hi Mike,

    The hosting would be owned by you so you control the content, so no 3rd party advertising allowed etc.

    Have you tried to searrch for “recurring” in the shared hosting section? Most of them have an offer, you may have better luck using the ‘annual’ hosting plans as these tend to come in around $8 – $12 fif you pay upfront for the year.

John - April 6, 2014

I dont know if this has been asked, but when writing an article on your pbn that you will link to your money site, do you put your money sites exact match keyword in the article title? Or will you use a partial match? Or just try and make it somewhat relevant?

Also wondering if using exact match keyword in article title gives more power to the link?

Thanks

    Lewis - April 6, 2014

    John – I try to make the article as relevant as possible without making it too spammy. So no, I tend not to include the keywords in the article titles.

    Thanks,
    Lewis

Pancho - April 7, 2014

Suppose that I have a PBN of 10 sites, each of the sites has 5 – 10 articles, does each of the articles link to the money siete? Isn’t it a footprint?

Even with different anchors, what’s the strategy here?

    Lewis - April 7, 2014

    In that case just a single article should contain links to your money site. Don’t over do it..!

      Subhash Palsule - September 10, 2014

      Thank you for this great post on setting up PBN.

      I am a newbie so here is my stupid questions!

      a) When you say a “single article should contain links to your money site ..”. Do you mean to say one article on each on Ponchos 10 sites PBN will have links to money site? There will be 10 such articles, one on each site of PBN, with links to money site. Is that understanding correct.

      b) Can a 10 sites PBN be used to promote multiple money sites in different niches? e.g. 5 – 10 articles about niche + 1 article pointing to money site on each PBN site. Rinse and repeat for multiple niches

      or is it a single 5-10 sites PBN per money site?

        Lewis - September 11, 2014

        Hi thanks for your comment/questions;

        a) Each PBN site should have at least 10 articles before I start posting content – after which i add fresh content which contain my backlinks to the money site(s)

        b) you can use a PBN to send links to multiple money sites, If you eep the PBN sites generic enough and inject your backlinks into the content in a smart way

          Subhash Palsule - September 11, 2014

          Thank you for the update. Its clear to me now.

          I am finding it difficult to get good domain names. Everyone is searching on http://expireddomains.net, I think. I have a total budget of US$ 200-300 to get 10 good domain names. But they are way beyond this budget. So I am finding it difficult to even start my PBN :).

          What is the best way out?

          Lewis - September 11, 2014

          You need to expand your skills and go beyond expireddomains.net – look into scrapebox and netpeak or xenu. Do mass scraping of 1000’s of domains to find just a couple of good ones.

          Its a long process but the only way if you have a low budget.

Elena - April 9, 2014

Hi Lewis,first of all thanks for a great post! With reg to OBL to relevant authority sites… and first, with reg to a main niche site, should you dofollow or nofollow those links? I have just seen an opinion that it is better to keep the juice of your niche site home page (mine are all static) to your internal pages and dofollow relevant OBL only from those internal pages.

Then it comes to your PBN sites, what’s about OBL from those?

    Lewis - April 10, 2014

    I follow ALL links, I think NoFolowing some and only following your own looks suss, so I don’t do it. Sure you are passing juice, but thats what NORMAL sites do right? That’s the key here to be, look and act as natural as possible.

Eric Kim - April 11, 2014

Hi Lewis. I have a question about expired domain and using it as a redirection site.

For example, I have highly relevant expired domain, and it has decent stats. When I want to redirect this domain to my money site, should I rebuild this site( add content, theme, logo) or is it okay just add htaccess code?

Do you know how to redirect all old pages to one money site url?

I’m sorry that these questions are little bit irrelevant of your post but I want to ask you about this.

Please reply this if you don’t mind. Thank you.

    Lewis - April 11, 2014

    You can just 301 redirect the site using htaccess OR my favority method is to build a niche relevant site and use this as part of a PBN 🙂

Don - April 13, 2014

Great beginner article about PBN!!!
Especially like the in depth part about finding expired domains, helpful! 🙂

QUESTION:
How often do you add content to the private blog network pages? Is it necessary to add content new content on a regular basis?

    Lewis - April 13, 2014

    I try to add at least a couple of posts per month to keep them ticking over. For my client network new posts are added daily.

JOhn - April 13, 2014

Hey Lewis,

Do you hide your PBN’s from getting found by ahrefs, majestic, OSE, etc? Just wondering if I should be doing this so competitors cant sabotage them?

    Lewis - April 13, 2014

    Yes I do this, however Majestic and Ahrefs have a habit of ignoring the instructions not to crawl the sites…so I would add the code or plugin, but don’t expect them all to obey!

Jerry - April 17, 2014

This is a very good article to read. I just opt in for the newsletter.

About myself, I just quit my programming day job and plan to spend time on making money with niche website. I just bought about 20 domains (within a week) before I found your article, all of them thru auctions, to build my private network. Some of them are EMD for my money site, most of them are for private network with above PR4, mozDA more than 35 and majestic TF more than 25.

As you can tell, I spent quite a good amount on money on the domains, I have some questions to ask to see if I can save some cost in the near future :

1. Recently more and more people are saying PR is not important. So, according to your experience, which of the following website is better for building private network, if possible, let me know why, thanks.

A. PR5 with about 18 DA, 15 TF and 10k backlinks.
B. PR0 with about 30 DA, 22TF and 200 backlinks.

And, is the amount of backlinks important? just assume both have a few authority site pointing to them. Is there any amount you consider as minimum?

I’m totally new to SEO although I’ve been working as programmers for about 7 years. Hopefully you can help me out, Thanks!

    Lewis - April 21, 2014

    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for your comment, to answer your questions;

    1. It’s ahrd to say which is better without seeing them myself, however a domain with 10k backlinks raises alarms to my immediately. Unless that was a havily traffic domain in the past then I would be questioning and investigating those links.

    Also I don’t pay any attention to PR. For example i have picked up some domains with a PR N/A based on the link profile. The domain had been expired for some time but I could see the backlinks still existed, and that is what matters.

    – Lewis

Martin - April 19, 2014

Hey Lewis I wanted to ask you something I wasn’t sure of regarding a PBN I own.

I made a micro niche review site, that was reviewing a male enhancement ebook product. I used no adult pictures, and besides my written dialogue (“this product will help you get a bigger dick” type of thing) every thing else is PG.

I linked to the site using one of my best health pbn sites; that I plan on using for many other health related sites I make. I made the article on my PBN seem medical — like bloodflow issues to penis kinda thing.

Basically I am wondering if this would somehow jeopardize my network as it is an technically an “adult niche”? Not sure how fine the line is here. However, I figured I would be okay because there were no pictures, and my site is simply a review, but I unsure and am now a little worried.

As far as the review site itself, its about to crack the first page so its doing well I suppose.

Do you think this would have any negative effects on my PBN, or if I should remove the link?

Thanks for your help

    Lewis - April 21, 2014

    I guess it depends which sites are most important, however I would tend to keep adult and non-adult separate. So have a PBN that you use ONLY for the adult micro niche site and have a larger more general PBN for the other non-Adult themed money sites.

      Jeff - April 25, 2014

      Hey Lewis;

      Whats your thoughts on trademarked expired domains? Its pretty obvious they’re bad, but almost everything in SEO is frowned upon. I’m doing a bit of local seo for a surgeon and I found a site to reg that was previously a hospital. The domain is like: “hospitalof(city).com”, they have since migrated to an acronym domain and dropped this one.

      If I bought the domain i’d completely alter the title and make it like “breast augmentation centre” or something like that and link to the surgeons website contextually in an article.

      Obviously this is pretty much the holy grail of relevance. What are your thoughts on this?

        Lewis - April 25, 2014

        Jeff, from how you explain it, I would say go for it. As long as your not passing yourself off as the hospital then there is no reason not to use it!

Jatin - April 25, 2014

Hi Lewis Ogden, If I could have read this blog a month back, I could have save some 500$. Just bought a course on creating PBN and its almost the same as your post. Will definitely follow your blog.

Cheers and keep up the awesome work,
Jatin

    Lewis - April 25, 2014

    Hey Man, yeah that’s a shame man, mine is free! I hope you got what you needed from both guides?

Jerry - April 29, 2014

I have some question, but it’s not really related to PBN, hopefully you can help me.

Do you submit all your money site to google webmaster tools? If so, are you doing under the same google account OR each money site under different google account?

If you do not submit to google webmaster tools, are the money site going to rank? How?

Thanks.

    Lewis - April 29, 2014

    I used to house most of them under a single GWT account, however as I started to build personas for these sites I know give them their own GWT account.

    I’ve not seen any difference in ranking etc, however I would always add a money site to a GWT account. I think in future Google ‘could’ look at all your sites in a single GWT account and look for suspicious link building.

John - April 29, 2014

Hey Lewis do you have any experience using an expired domain as a money site rather than a PBN; and actually ranking for competitive terms with it?

I’ve heard some mixed results regarding ranking issues on expired sites. I personally found one with a keyword I can target in the domain as well as most anchors being branded. Seems perfect to turn into a money site itself.

    Lewis - April 29, 2014

    Hey John, they do work well but you have to be sure they have not been spammed with bad links in the past and they don’t have a Google penalty. I have picked up a great domain in the past and all the signs looked promised…except the site just wouldn’t rank for anything. So it’s a bit hit and miss but when you find a winner the results are much quicker to come by.

    More recently I have preferred to go with brand new domains and combined with a PBN these are ranking very well for med/high comp keywords.

      John - May 1, 2014

      Hey lewis thanks for the reply.

      I’m a bit confused on exactly what you mean though. If the site gets indexed is that a clear sign it is okay for a PBN or Money Site? Or can there be other penalties you won’t be able to know until you try to rank it for kw’s?

      Im also guessing even if it doesnt rank well you could always revert it back and use it as a PBN as long as its indexed, right? Even if whatever issue that was causing it not to rank well was still there?

      Thanks

        Lewis - May 2, 2014

        Hey John – getting indexed is the first step but you won’t know completely until you try to rank for certain keywords. I’ve had sites that get indexed but never more about 200th position despite some great links and great content.

        I wouldn’t really use it in a PBN if I am honest, maybe for a tester site but not to point at a clients site. I suppose you could always remove the link if it was doing more harm than good. Another reason to own you own backlinks!

          jack - May 6, 2014

          I’m a bit concerned on this as well. If the site is purely for a PBN and it gets indexed, how do you test for other penalties?

          The only way I can think is to write a unique article and search for the entire title tag in google and see if it ranks within the first 2 pages.

          Do you have any other ways Lewis?

          Thanks

          Lewis - May 7, 2014

          My first test is that it ranks #1 for the URL and that all of the content is getting indexed. You can also do as you suggest however in my experience the former is enough.

Elena - May 2, 2014

Hey Lewis,

still coming back to your guide as i find more and more questions on the way.

You said “Only link out to your site a maximum of 3 times one the homepage”…

So i bought an expired domain which is sort of relevant to my money site niche. I wrote 5 articles to start with, and created a couple of links to my money site. As the time goes by, i need to create more articles for my expired domain in question. The format i’m using is blog, so initial articles are being pushed down and once they are gone to 2nd page of the blog (let’s say i’m using 10 posts / page), the juice value is lost. So you need to add another links to your money site on a home page. Perhaps, linking from a few articles of your expired domain to money site looks suspicious, don’t you think?

Please correct me if i’m wrong.

    Lewis - May 3, 2014

    Yes you should like out to others sites to look less like a network site. With my PBN I have not noticed any negative effects to allowing the posts with money site links to roll off onto the archive pages so don’t let that worry you.

    Just treat a PBN site like a normal blog or website and you are golden. You should sign up for our PBN Course priority list.

      Elena - May 4, 2014

      Thanks Lewis, will do so!

      Also, treating SEO as a business, when buying expired domains and registering them with a fake names, how would you justify this business expense for the name of “Mr X” and not for your own? … just trying to keep my records clear or am i over-complicating the task?

        Lewis - May 7, 2014

        Hi Elena,

        I’m sure you don’t need to be as specific as that, simply “Domain Name Registration $xx.xx” will suffice, I don’t think the Tax Man will care who’s name it’s registered in.

Jay - May 10, 2014

The problem with used domains is that you almost always get’em from GoDaddy (who else). And you can’t transfer a used domain to another registrar right away. You’re always going to have them on GoDaddy to start with.

Also… are fake registrant details allowed? Is there a registrar that allows you to provide different fake details for every single domain?

    Lewis - May 10, 2014

    Jay,

    there are so many different sources of domain names other than GoDaddy auctions, you should check out my upcoming PBN course where I will be revealing those resources – PBNCourse.com

    Also you don’t register all of the domains with a single registrar account, you create a new account for each domain.

      Jatin - May 10, 2014

      Namejet : duh

      Plus If I have all my domains on 1 account thats not a major footprint as I individually change the contact details of all domains and even hosting. So they are who.is protected. What are your thoughts on this?

        Lewis - May 13, 2014

        Depends how many sites we are talking, but as long as they don’t come looking for you, then i would say you’d be ok.

      Jay - May 11, 2014

      I’m already signed up to the PBN course.

      Why different registrar accounts? How can Google see that multiple domains are under the same account?

      If multiple registrar accounts and non foot printed WP installations are essential, how come I’m still having success with my current PBN experiment which utilises a single registrar account and the same WP installation everywhere?

      Do you hook up all registrar accounts to the same paypal addy?

      Is that not against the registrar’s terms of service?

        Lewis - May 13, 2014

        Why different registrar accounts? How can Google see that multiple domains are under the same account? – I use this to spread the risk. I mean it depends how large your PBN is but for 20 sites of so all on the same registrar with Private WHOIS then it doesn’t matter. For a large PBN, I would rather be safe than sorry.

        All registrar accounts are unique to unique email address.

        You are having success now, but I would not want to risk my entire network just to cut corners. Thats your decision.

          Jay - May 13, 2014

          So 20 sites in one PBN is considered small?

          Shit… I know a guy that ranks high with merely 4 sites in his PBN.

          Since when do you need 20 or more to rank? You’d have to be after some serious keyword then.

          Lewis - May 13, 2014

          Its all relative to the keywords you target, 20 was an example and yes I do consider that small

          Jay - May 14, 2014

          Well if 20 is small then it looks like I can stuff a bunch more on godaddy with privacy whois.

          If you can’t rank & bank anything with 20 sites, then obviously IM would not even be worth the effort. But obviously it is.

winston - May 11, 2014

Hi Lewis,

This is a great article on PBNs. I’m thinking of starting one but the costs seem quite steep. Plus there are a few things I still don’t understand. Hope you can clarify a few things.

1. Am I correct in understanding that for hosting (assuming $1/mo.), you can expect to spend (assuming you build a PBN of 10 blogs for a site) $12 x 10 = $120 per year? So this would mean that if you have 5 money sites over time and have 10 exp. domains each you’ll spend $12/yr host x 50 exp domains = $600 every year after (ongoing cost), just hosting them? Whew, that gets expensive.

2. I’ve been reading around and have seen a number of PBN’s getting indexed lately. I was wondering if you have a money site that linked to a few PBN blogs that were de-indexed, would you be able to lift the penalty from that by removing the link or would you have to go the long way in trying to lift a google penalty? Trying to understand the risks.

3. Once you register the domain and get a host, can you explain how the content goes. Do you just post content? I think I’m missing something here, something with redirecting something (which I don’t understand).

You mentioned this about re-creating inner pages and urls like the expired site: “..mostly I do a redirect but other times I recreate them. Depends on the links coming in and the quality/quantity. I just use my gut in these cases.”

Can you explain how to do this? And is this how you retain the PA and DA metrics so they don’t drop after you start using the domain?

I’d really appreciate if you can explain what this redirecting means since I’m a bit lost here.

Thanks.

    Lewis - May 13, 2014

    Hey,

    1 – Your calculations are correct, however using a PBN does mean better rankings and you should easily redeem those costs and more. If not i would question your niche.

    2 – Owning a PBN means you can control your backlinks. If you get hit you can simply remove the links and file a reconsideration request. owning the links is essential.

    3 – Using Moz and ahrefs etc yu can find inner pages that have existing backlinks. You can either recreate these pages to keep the links or use a 404 redirect to pas the juice to the homepage.

    If you want to learn how to build a PBN step-by-step in much more detail, you can sign up for my course here – vip.pbncourse.com

Don - May 12, 2014

Suggestion for your new PBN website:
Hiding PBN from competitors (via via robots.txt and/or htaccess)

    Lewis - May 13, 2014

    Cheers Don, we will definitely be including that in the course.

      Elena - May 13, 2014

      Hey Lewis,

      me again and as i go further with PBN, my question list grows more.

      Is it ok to link to several money sites from the same PBN-site? Let’s say i have built fashion-themed site from expired domain and i’ve got at least 2 money sites (of my own) that i want to send a links to, because they are in the same niche. Now, my money sites are all sitting on the same hosting account (please advise if that’s ok) and i am worried that it could be a footprint. Everybody says that we should keep our PBN for ourselves… so as our PBN-site grows with content, we are adding more links to our money sites. We were talking about hosting for expired domains, but what’s about hosting for our money sites?

      Also, i wonder if you create another money site, would you rather buy 10 new expired domains specifically to build links to a new site? Or would you use your existing PBN?

        Lewis - May 13, 2014

        You can repurpose those PBN ssites and link to various money sites. This is what Public Blog Networks do.

        I always have my hosting on a different hosting provider to my PBN sites but in terms of all money sites on the same hosting them I don’t see a problem, it depends how many you have I guess.

          Elena - May 14, 2014

          Of course, i can make my PBN site fit a general Home / Garden niche… so i could use it to my “Home Refurbishment” money site, “Kitchen Appliances”, “Garden Ponds” end other websites. All would fit provided i write unique article for those. But then, there will be a pattern of money sites having exactly the same backlinks… is it ok?

          Lewis - May 15, 2014

          Yeah sure, just start small and work your way up. Wait a while between building links so you can measure the impact of each link.

          PBN links can be very powerful and even just 1 or 2 can have a big impact on rankings.

          Elena - May 14, 2014

          Also it seems i still cannot understand the difference btw buying expired domains for “PBN” and “money site use”. Can i use 1 domain for my money site as well as the addition to my PBN?

          P.S: this post is becoming extremely popular! 🙂

          Lewis - May 15, 2014

          Hi Elena,

          Not quite sure wat you mean here? You can buy expired domains for either a PBN site OR a money site. I would never use a domain for both.

Jatin Chhabra - May 13, 2014

Since the comments are really filling my mail so I thought to ask a quation too?

I just changed the structure of my monel site (only content not url) and used the “Fetch as google” option from the webmaster and my money site which was on 19th rank thanks for 4 pbn link dropped to 44th. Any view on this???

    Lewis - May 13, 2014

    I don’t uderstand your question Jatin?

      Jatin Chhabra - May 14, 2014

      Actually I was able to rank my site from 68 to 19 in just 2 week and then I planned to change the complete content of the ranked page. After doing that I went to Google webmasters and used the “Fetch as google” option to alert the bots about the changes made in my site. And in just 1/2 hours my site rank from 19th dropped to 49th.

      And now its 44th. Even though I have used the ping the bots on PBN sites. So should I drop more links or wait for a week or 2 ?

        Lewis - May 14, 2014

        Sounds like Gogole is just figuring out where your site belongs. I would wait a little while and then add mroe links.

        Lewis

          Jatin Chhabra - May 14, 2014

          Yeah, that would be wise thing to do. Thanks man

Arty - May 15, 2014

As my network grows I’m growing increasingly paranoid about negative seo from my competition. Basically just wondering do you personally block crawlers?

I have heard opposite arguments vs blocking them being a footprint, vs not blocking them and exposing yourself.

Not server savvy, and dont particularly like the idea of tinkering with .htaccess. So if you do, just wondering if you block via robots only, robots + .htaccess, or using that spyder spanker plugin?

    Lewis - May 15, 2014

    Hey Arty,

    Yes I do block the crawlers and I use a combination of all three, plus my own plugin I have. That way not all the sites are the same.

      Elena - May 16, 2014

      Just thought, do you block crawlers on your money sites, on your PBN or both?

        Lewis - May 16, 2014

        Hi Elena – you really should check out the PBN Course, all of the questions you are asking will be answered there.

Jatin Chhabra - May 15, 2014

Hi lewis, Will love to share a small test of mine. “Don’t install Google Webmaster on you PBN and even on your money site” In one of my money site lost its rank from 19th to 51st because I used the fetch as google feature which I will suggest to all webmaster to never do that and 2nd you can hide your PBN links from almost every Link analysis tool but we forget about a tool which will find our every single PBN link, that is Google Webmaster. And if your more that 1 pbn powered money site on same webmaster account than you are leaving a footprint. and this is a big one.

    Lewis - May 15, 2014

    Thanks for sharing Jatin

      Elena - May 15, 2014

      That’s interesting since all my 4 money sites are on the same Google Webmaster Account. Shall i create separate google accounts for each of them?

        Lewis - May 16, 2014

        I would if they are all using the same account yes.

          Elena - May 16, 2014

          Thanks, Lewis… endless learning 🙂 Can i use my real details (name,address) for all of those google accounts?

          Lewis - May 16, 2014

          Just create a free gmail account and use that with some real details and some fake.

Kerri - May 15, 2014

Hi,

I really enjoyed the post and all the comments. Thanks for creating it, it has shed some light on several aspects of PBN’s that we’re confusing to me.

One question that I am still having trouble getting a handle on is are there a total number of outbound links to money sites you prefer to stay under for each PBN site?

If I have a starter PBN of 5 sites in a general niche can I link to each of my 3 money sites that are also in that general niche? Furthermore, if I continue to add money sites in that niche can I link to them as well? At what point will there be too many links going out and can this issue be mitigated by adding more content on the PBN sites?

Also, you mentioned in an answer to one of the comments that as the blog posts containing links to your money sites roll off the home page and end up on inner pages those links can be replaced in new posts to the home page, did I understand that correctly?

Thanks,
Kerri

    Lewis - May 15, 2014

    Hi Kerri,

    I aim for around 10-12 links max on the homepage and yes you are correct, as they roll off the home page you can create new posts with links.

    – Lewis

      Elena - May 16, 2014

      Just to confirm, those links include your money sites, youtube videos and authority sites?

        Lewis - May 16, 2014

        Yep, thats correct

          Jack - May 18, 2014

          Hey Lewis do you think the whole linking to relevant authority sites as well is broscience?

          I mean when it comes to a manual review you’re screwed regardless.

          Relevance is one thing, which seems arguable whether it actually matters. But some will even say 2-4 authority links per article in conjunction with your money link.

          So unless there is a google algorithm that looks for sites linking within articles to the same few servers (that you own for these money sites) repeatedly; I cant see anything beneficial happening here with these relevant niches except loss of PR.

          Just wondering your thoughts. Maybe you have a different outlook on it.

          Thanks

          Lewis - May 18, 2014

          Hi jack, linking out to other authority sites is an unproven theory, however it is one I believe would help for a manual review. If you sites are built with a persona and look legit then the ‘could’ pass a review. I think linking out to other sites, whilst passing some juice could make the difference.

          Like I say, this is unproven but is working for me.

Briana - May 21, 2014

Hi Lewis,

I have found a couple of high pr backlinks with a good backlink profile. Let’s say I wanted to take this domain and build it into an authority site instead of having it on a blog network. Since most of the strong links are coming to the home page, would I have to post all of the articles that I want to rank in the serps on the home page or can they be placed anywhere and still rank well in the serps? I have noticed that a couple of posts have ranked pretty well without me touching them but I really do not know if I will have to continue putting these posts on the home page.

Thanks.

    Lewis - May 23, 2014

    Hi Briana,

    The quick answer is that no these do not all have to go to the homepage. If the site is a blog style format then they will post there initially and then move into archive pages eventually as you publish more content.

    If however you are building an authority site, it may be best to add a large (2k words +) artivle to the homepage that talks about the main focus/keywords of the site and also links to the inner posts and pages, therefore passing juice.

    Thanks,
    Lewis

Ella - May 24, 2014

Hi,

I am so lucky I found this website and it is just so kind of you to spend so much time to share all your knowledge with other people who need help.

So, ok, I bought my first high PA, DA aged domain, got hosting and installed WP….

WHAT’S NEXT….?????

I am realizsng that if not further proper actions will be taken my domain will lose what it has already got.

Lewis, Is there any guide on your website explaining the process of:

– what to do with the old pages, how to recreate them, should we recreate them at all?

– what tools to use? how to research them?

– I heard here about 404 redirect to home page… How?

To finalise: what is the process between the moment FROM installation of WP to CPanel TO start adding articles to the blogs?

Any resources, materials, advice please!

Lewis, I have subscribed to your training class but I am afraid I can not wait till then, need to act now. Please help.

    Lewis - May 24, 2014

    Hi Ella, you can use a 404 redirect plugin and as for the next step…you need to get some content onto the site and wait for it to be indexed to ensure it stands in good faith with Google.

    After that you can begin to build links to your money site.

Larry - May 24, 2014

Lewis,

You’ve mentioned an estimate of how many PBN blogs based on how competitive the keyword competition is, like 5-10 PBN sites for KC 20-30, etc.

With this estimate, what average metrics (PA/DA or both) did you base ths? Would love to have an idea.

Excellent and comprehensive post.

    Lewis - May 24, 2014

    I always shoot for PA >30 and DA >20 however the main think to look at is the backlinks. As long as they look legit I will consider any domain. Another metric to look for is MozTrust – anything above 5 is a good sign of a domain worth looking at.

Larry - May 27, 2014

Thanks Lewis.

I would think that out of the many expired domains you purchased there will be a few that won’t index (which make them worthless). When this happens, how do you pull out the domain from the host and use another expired domain in its place?

    Lewis - May 28, 2014

    Depending which host you use you normally just have to raise a ticket and ask them to switch the domain used.

    I have only had 2 out of the hundreds I have bought that have failed to be indexed…it pays to do your homework 😉

BozoMag.com - May 27, 2014

Thanks dude for this strategy 🙂

Ella - May 31, 2014

Hi Lewis,

I have purchased a domain 1 week ago, PR 3, PA 40, DA 30. Installed a fresh theme and placed a 10 x 1000 words original articles with videos and pics. Put 3 links to money site from the sticky post on home page.

Today I have checked the domain rankings and PR 3 is staying the same buy DA and PA are 0 now…. What have I done wrong?

Very depressed…

Thank you.

    Lewis - June 2, 2014

    Unfortunately it’s hard to say without knowing the process you took. It could be due to some kind of redirect or the fact you are blocking link crawlers?

      Elena - June 3, 2014

      Why blocking link crawlers on your PBN sites would wipe out their PA/DA? The existing backlink profile of those PBN remains unchanged, so crawlers like Moz and others will evaluate the existing links coming to PBN site, but of course PA/DA of your money site where you point the links from PBN will be affected as these links are being blocked for crawlers. Am i not correct?

        Lewis - June 4, 2014

        I cannot be sure as I don’t know exactly what you have done to be honest. Why not contact Moz?

Ella - May 31, 2014

Lewis,

Do you know the date when you are planning to launch your PBN Class?

Thank you.

    Lewis - June 2, 2014

    10th of June will be the lauch for the first batch of members. Shortly after we will open the doors for new members.

Will - June 2, 2014

How much of a learning curve is this for a beginner?…Let me ask that another way…To set up an effective PBN how much time in your opinion (notice I said in your opinion) would something like that take if one followed your course…what is your best guesstimate?

    Lewis - June 3, 2014

    Hey Will, for a PBN of say 10 sites you are looking at around 60+ hours to source doamins, set up the sites and create/add content etc.

Jhon - June 3, 2014

Lewis,

Buying a high PR,DA and PA site with 2-3 back links is good or bad?

    Lewis - June 3, 2014

    It depends on the backlinks and the history of the domain. I don’t pay much attention to PR but DA, PA and MozTrust are key metrics for me.

Gio - June 7, 2014

Hello Lewis, amazing article there.

quick question – when you register domains, do you use same email? also – registration time, I know the longer the better, but how many years do you usually buy for domains?

    Lewis - June 7, 2014

    I go for the stanndard 2+ years and also use unique email address with each domain

Niels - June 10, 2014

Lewis,

Very interesting post!

Im building a PBN for 2 months now. Most of the time everything goes good, but sometimes I have the same problem over and over again.

Posts on my PBN are not getting indexed. The homepage is indexed but when I add a new post it takes a lot of time to index the post. Because the single post isnt indexed in the SERP, I think that the link in the post isnt counting as Google didnt see the link already..

Is this true and how can I index the different blog posts?

Thanks!

    Lewis - June 10, 2014

    Hi – that would indicate that the domain isn’t being crawled regularly by Google which could be for a number of reasons. As you add more content it should help the crawl rates etc but i would start to worry if it’s the same after a few months.

    It could be that the domains are untrusted perhaps

Kelly - June 13, 2014

This is a dumb question but I have to ask since there’s so much traffic to this post: will this ever be saturated and overused and over-competitive like other methods of traffic have become? I heard about this in 2012, friend makes good money but that was 2 years ago…

    Lewis - June 15, 2014

    Thats impossible to say as we never know what is aroud the corner with SEO. With algo updates becoming even more frequent all we can do is try to stay ahead of the curve and predict what may happen.

    You kind of answer the question yourself, 2 years in SEO is a lifetime and if your friend is still making money with this method since 2012…you have your answer 🙂

nevst - June 13, 2014

I have a question,As I checked all the domains on Example Domains http://ranksource.com/done-for-you-private-blog-network Domain Inventory;and found the MOZ metrics PA>DA.Can you tell me why PA should greater than DA,If I found a domain that good DA,but PA isn’t very good,should I invest to it?

    Lewis - June 16, 2014

    Quick question – did you check the www. and non www. URL for PA/DA?

    Here is what Moz say;

    “Whereas Page Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of a single page, Domain Authority measures the strength of entire domains or subdomains. The same is true for metrics such as MozRank and MozTrust.”

Larry - June 16, 2014

Lewis,

A couple of quick newb questions.

1. I happened across a .co.uk domain that looks promising but I can’t seem to dig up the whois history in domaintools (it doesn’t show much information). How do you check this?

2. I’m not a uk resident, are there limitations to the co.uk TLD, like those of .ca and .us or other rules?

3. Lastly, after you purchase a domain, how much time do you have before you need to put it into a host and have content there?

Thanks.

    Lewis - June 16, 2014

    Hey Larry,

    1 – I use Archive.org and check what the site used to be over it’s lifetime, i don’t care too much for number of drops etc as long as the links still remain
    2 – I believe anyone can register a .co.uk domain
    3 – You don’t have to add hosting to any domain you own, it will just sit in your account until you renew after 1 or 2 years or let it expire.

    Lewis

Dan - June 20, 2014

Hi Lewis

I started to build my PBNs from the hundreds of the domains i had. I am having a hard time cleaning my domain portofolio, i don’t know what domains should I keep or not, most of them have low DA and almost no backlins but all have at least a WP with 5-6 hand written posts.

How do you go by deciding which domains to keep? There is some attachment to some, most of my domains are keywords only, not repetitive but still.

I was thinking i should split my adult business into categories like, gay,transexuals,fetish,camgirls and build 4 PBNs keeping each domain i have to its own niche and PBN.

Its so hard to find a good expired adult domain, even my weakest ones are better than most I can find, all are spammy or crappy link protofolio, redirects and all of the other bad stuff one domain can have. A decent domain with DA over 30 is Godsend and its available once or twice a year, I have not found one with a trust flow over 15.

Its that tough!
help

    Lewis - June 23, 2014

    Dan, I would suggest you use some more generic domains and ‘make’ them adult relevant. You don’t have to buy adult related keyword domains to use in your PBN, you can steer the content towards that niche.

    Splitting uo your domains souds like a good idea, however it does sound like you need to vet each domain. For my own PBN’s I don’t go below PA-30 and DA-20

      Dan - June 27, 2014

      1. What do you think about exact match kw domains but with different extensions than com, net,org? I have a lot of .us domains that do not to well on serps,( well mostly because i haven’t worked on them as much) but ether way, they are dead, can’t find them in google for any search term.

      Most of them are 2 kw domains, domains that if they were .com they would cost $xx.xxx or even $xxx.xxx

      2.Is it ok to get expired domains that had non adult content and put adult content on them? How much generic links help adult websites in the long run?

      3. I’m starting to think that google doesn’t like fresh quality content. i have a blog for 4 months now, i post two times a day with hand written content and quality pictures and videos and the index is no where in the serps, it ranks however for very specific keywords (performer names) but i only get 30 visits a day. I barely mention any keyword, but i do link to my money sites from the posts ,not from the index. I have about 110 200words posts, i am angry!

      Can’t thank you enough Lewis, your work helped me a lot. I will get your PBN course after i get up on my feet again.

        Lewis - June 29, 2014

        Hey Dan,

        1 – I think you answered you own question here mate

        2 – I do not operate in the adult niche but for others niches I am involved in, rebranding an expired domain can work well, however in general those sites tend to lose a few links over time as the content that was being linked too origionally is no longer there.

        3 – Is this a blog you are trying to rank or use as a PBN to build backlinks to your money sites? I’m confused?

        Lewis

          Dan - July 6, 2014

          3. That’s my dilemma also. Since I am selling affiliate’s services, my actual money sites are the sites that my affiliates offer, which are White Label sites.

          “A white-label product or service is a product or service produced by one company (the producer) that other companies (the marketers) rebrand to make it appear as if they made it.”

          That means thousands of similar sites are already online with few seo modifications and that leads to a duplicate penalty, which i got in the past for one of my best money sites, a manual penalty.

          The rest of my websites are blogs who review models and link to these WLs, who if they will grow they are a dead end. So this is a big problem because I am not selling anything myself.

          My problem is that even though i set up a great PBN and grow my WL money site, I will likely be penalized if the sites grow enough to raise the manual review team to take action, but at the same time if i make some of my good blogs money sites i am sending links out on every post to those WL in order for members to register and get my commission.

          Question 1: Is it ok to do that? I know linking to other websites will de-value my link juice and my site importance, but I think this is my only way in these niche I am into.

          Question 2: Would no-following those links be of any help? I know that your money site should be a dead end, not a website linking to other sites.

          Question 3: I bought a good expired domain that is not indexed, I 301 it to my money site, how does go0gle know of it’s existence? If Its not crawled how does it know i pass it’s juice to my money site?

          I just finished reading all the comments 🙂

          Man i am so motivated to make it in this awful “niche” even after 7 years in the business I still want to make it happen!

          Thanks Lewis

          Lewis - July 7, 2014

          It sounds like you need to drive traffic anyway you can, and if you are not using these other blogs for anything else then it makes sense to drive traffic to your money site.

          What is your niche I can’t make it out?

          Dan - July 7, 2014

          I can’t reply to your last message for some reason. Niche is adult webcams

          It bugs me to have to send all my link juice to a website that won’t have a future, they will slap it. I got my previous site to 5k organic traffic daily in a very high competition kw until they poked me.

          My method works but it involves link placing on my tier 1 sites, a bit different than what PBN is all about, but I am not sure how much of a future it has. THats why i am shifting towards a PBN but it is very difficult to find a niche kw that converts in the adult business, without battling with the big boys.

          I have another question I wanted to ask you. I know you use LTP Platinum but i noticed while demoing it that it gives false competition numbers to kws that are impossible to rank for, porn and sex kw both have low competition and I wonder how they can asses KC if they show low comp to such keywords, and there are a lot of kw like this one. I think KC was biased too in the 30’s.

          So whats it gonna be? A blog site as my money site or those WL knowing they are a dead end but they work until they get slapped?

          Thanks man

          Lewis - July 7, 2014

          My honest opinion is to get out of that niche. Like you say the future doesn’t look bright and you will always be competing with the big boys. Pick something you are interested in with less competition.

          I can only presume that with LTP showing low competition s because the sites ranking high are spmming their way to the top and using PBN’s etc and blocking th robots o you can’t see all of their backlinks?

          I use it for it’s intended purpose however, longer tail, easy to medum comp keywords. Don’t think I can help in the adult niche as thats dominated by black hats.

          Dan - July 7, 2014

          As much as I want to i can’t, i’ve invested so much time and effort in these 6 years, I have 100+ websites that i worked on, i reached a peak last year until I got slapped by google, I think there are money to be made but the answer is to sell my own products or something similar and focus on low-med competition also. It should work in every niche, harder on adult but I am in a decent position to succeed. If it doesn’t pan out I will try to sell my Network and that’s that.

          Until then I want to try everything to make it work again.

          Regarding LTP, their metrics should take count of the same things as every niche, I think thats a flaw in their software. Try it yourself and see what you get, Adwords tool gives a high comp for those kws, LTP not.

          Can’t thank you enough, you help so many people, your karma is through the roof lol.

          If you ever need a favor let me know, I am glad to help you back.

          Good luck

          Lewis - July 8, 2014

          Dan, seems like you have invested a lot of time into this niche. Perhaps try a different angle like you suggest, you own product perhaps. Why not be the product owner and have affiliate promoting your stuff?

          Also, the competition in the keyword tool isn’t the organic competition, its how competetive buying those keywords are.

nevst - June 20, 2014

I have some money sites and landpage rank about 20-40 now,and those money sites and landpage was rank very well before(on the first page,about rank 3-8 position) with some other tech link building,It dropped after I stop build back links.I dont know if it was drop into sandbox.
Do you suggest me to use the PBN to add links for them?

    Lewis - June 23, 2014

    A PBN would offer some higher quality domains to your moneysites, even with just a landing page. So yes, using PBN’s is a good way to go.

Ilishev - June 21, 2014

When you buy domains, do you buy 10 Domains on 1 Godaddy or Namecheap account (also buy whoisguard for them) or buy 10 Domains on 10 different Godaddy’s Accounts?

    Lewis - June 23, 2014

    Different registrars and different accounts, some have whois protection, whilst others fake names & addresses.

Jack - June 22, 2014

Hey Lewis,

Since some time has passed since you’ve written this article, I am just wondering:

I’m going to be getting more expired domains soon, and to this point have been using 1$ hosts. However, they are extremely tedious managing all the details, payments, etc. On top of that the servers tend to be down half the time, a few hosts were down literally 80% of the time, and overall its just a very annoying process.

I’d much prefer one master login, and one bill every month with simply one account for the lot of them. Due to safety reasons though I have exclusively gone with 1$ hosts.

Would you recommend sticking with 1$ hosts or switching to a bigger host that allows multiple IP’s? If the latter, is their a host you recommend?

Thanks

    Lewis - June 23, 2014

    Hey Jack, this is a great point and something that I will be adding to the article soon. Essentially tracking and managing payments from multiple hosts is a big pain point for many PBN owners. My solution to this is HostNine, you can get multiple class-c IP addresses and you choose server locations etc when you create each new package.

    This is a great solution for your PBN and means you can manage all of your sites from a singe dashboard.

      Dan - July 6, 2014

      About h9

      Most of their clients are PBN builders i think or they create pyramids or whatever, doesn’t google flag these server locations? Why isn’t h9 viewed as SEO hosting? Are those 4 locations enough for a PBN of 50 websites?

        Lewis - July 7, 2014

        I’m not sure about 50 domains but I have know it offer 20+ class-c IP’s.

        They don’t offer or advertise SEO Hosting like the others. This is simply reseller hosting.

          Dan - July 7, 2014

          Best thing to do is mix it up, i already have 25 shared accounts, getting hostnine will definitely be a wise choice, i am sick of dealing with new accounts from webhostingtalk.

          Question: Where do you find all these domain registrars for your website? This is the most difficult part for me yet, i found like 10 who have prices under 10$, I think i tried them all, many asked for an ID and had to drop them, they wanted to verify my address not my billing info.

          Lewis - July 7, 2014

          Just use the big name registrars, Godaddy, nameCheap, name.com etc etc

Robe de plage - June 24, 2014

Wonderful article,i already have a network of 3 blogs.D those blogs need to have pr,or just a high tust flow and citation flow is enough?thanks a lot.

    Lewis - June 24, 2014

    I ignore PR for the most part PA and CF/TF are good indicators along with MozTrust > 5

Kenneth - June 24, 2014

Thanks, Lewis. Great article I must say. 😉 Subscribed!

dome - June 24, 2014

Hi thx for sharing your great Post and your work to handle all these comments.
You always say that you link from a PBN to 3 different Money Pages. But isnt that a footprint too?
The chance that one page linking to two different pages with the same owner isnt very high.
Or do you fake the persons from your money sites too? In these case have you for affiliate,adsense or what ever different accounts?
dome

    Lewis - June 25, 2014

    I advise you mix up the number of links from each PBN site. I am a big fan of having smaller PBN networks for each money site, say 5-10 domains pointing to a single money site. This way we don’t have a huge footprint and it’s much more secure.

      Dan - July 6, 2014

      Wouldn’t that be a larger footprint? To link to just one money site from the entire domain? Except for the authority links wiki etc

        Lewis - July 7, 2014

        No a larger footprint would be to link to all of your money sites from each PBN domain, the footprint isn’t with your money sites but with how you use the PBN.

Kenneth - June 25, 2014

I have a question about tiers linking before creating PBN network.

Let’s say keyword is “dog training” that I am targeting with my moneysite and would like to sell a book about it.

My moneysite : http://www.dogtrainingbookkit.com
Tier 1 sites : Possibly PBN networks along with other blog websites created by me; linked to the moneysite w/ anchor texts and few links on the articles. eg) dogtrainingbookkit.com {Dog Training | other long tail keywords }
Tier 2 sites: Web2.0 sites having links of the tier 1 websites by having anchor texts and other links in it.
Tier 3: Comments, bookmarks with tier 2 links in it.

Is this correct?

    Lewis - June 29, 2014

    Yep that seems about right, just don#t over do the anchor text and place focus on quality and relevance where possible

Yogi - June 26, 2014

suppose we created a pbn and a good one without footprints (which is almost impossible for me at this point). the what type of backlinks we should create for this pbn sites?

JP - June 27, 2014

What do you mean by “No keyword targeting is to be done.”?

Do you mean refrain from adding keywords to the article or the MetaTags?

Writing Content

This is a brand new section to this guide as many of you have been asking me questions on how best to write and add content to your PBN sites. The rules for content are as follows;

300-800 words in length
Contain an image, video, opt-in form or some other visual reference
Link out to other authority sites within the same niche.
Quote facts and figures or statements made by other people.
No keyword targeting is to be done.

    Lewis - June 29, 2014

    By that I mean the articles doesn’t have to be SEO optimised or use a certain keyword density. The article should look as natural as possible and you should inject your link into the content where is makes sense.

John - July 1, 2014

Hey Lewis;

How do you avoid/deal with all the Mind Max Errors (Fraud Check held for manual Review) when signing up for cheap hosts from the sites on webhostingtalk that you recommend?

Either from using proxies or fake info, I get these on fraud issues on 4/5 hosts and keep wasting time until I find one that lets me through.

    Lewis - July 2, 2014

    Hey John,

    You can use your own address or and address in your own country. I think it uses your IP to find where you are operating from so that should clear up any issues.

    There isn’t a risk to using your own address either as those details are not provided to anyone (Google etc).

Tunde - July 2, 2014

Lewis,

Thanks for the detailed guide. Meanwhile, I’ve been coming across a lot of domains with good PA and DA but mostly with directory links. Is it safe to use such sites as part of my PBN??

    Lewis - July 2, 2014

    It depends how many directory links and if the domain has obviously been owned by an SEO. If the answer is yes then I avoid, however if there is a mixture of links then I would go for it.

Patti Ann - July 2, 2014

Would you add relevant high authority domain outbound links to either your HOMEPAGE sidebar (like blogroll) or footer?

    Lewis - July 2, 2014

    You could I guess but wouldn’t do this on all sites. I do this sometimes on my niche sites for some “neighbourhood authority” but mainly just link out within the articles.

Sunny - July 3, 2014

Hi, Nice post

Is getting a contextual link back from relevant PR4 website guest blog is good or buying a domain with pr4 and creating it like a normal website and then getting a home page link is better?

    Lewis - July 3, 2014

    I would say go for the guest blog post as that will grow in authority over time.

Grant - July 7, 2014

I purchased an expired domain that was a personal blog. This is the first domain I have purchased in order to start creating my own PBN. I have a couple of content questions:

1. Since it is a personal blog can it be random blog posts, or is it better to focus on 1 topic?
2. My first niche site is in the healthy living niche, should I make my first PBN site about a broader topic within the same niche?

I was really hesitant to start hiring out the content until I knew what type of content I should add. I see a personal blog as a bunch of random topics and content, but wasn’t sure how that would work for a PBN. Thanks!

    Lewis - July 7, 2014

    Hey Grant,

    1 – I try to keep the domain within the niche it was origionally to try and keep as many of the existing backlinks as possible.
    2 – You could create a PBN where the sites are Health related and link to your niche site from those.

    A random blog will still work, but longer term who knows.

      Grant - July 7, 2014

      I had a difficult time finding what the old blog use to be about. I did some research but was unable to find much. Any recommendations?

        Lewis - July 7, 2014

        Did you try archive.org?

          Grant - July 7, 2014

          Lewis,

          Yes I found nothing for the past 3 years or so, but sound some posts from 2008-2010. I know that the goal is to keep the existing links, but a lot are old posts on the website (/2008/04/17/URLHERE)..do you try to replicate those?

          Lewis - July 7, 2014

          I wouldn’t bother to be honest. If the links are still live then just create a blog on the topic you need and take the risk.

Elena - July 8, 2014

Hi Lewis, have you ever tried to register .org.au domain for your PBN? I have just come across PR4 site, but saw all those mental requirements like non-profit Australia based organisation. Just silly that i cannot register it!

    Lewis - July 8, 2014

    Yup, those and .ca domains you cannot register I’m afraid. Nto sure about any others but those I have hit a brick wall with!

      Ronan Leonard - August 21, 2014

      You could try and partner up with an Aussie (I’m a Brit living in Australia)

Steve - July 9, 2014

Hi Lewis,
I have 3 sites in one google webmaster account, I would like to split them up into separate account but I’m wondering what the best way to do it would be.
I figure if I create new accounts for each of them, google will still know they are owned by me through the IP and also moving them to separate accounts or even just deleting my webmaster accounts all together might be a red flag to them. Any thoughts?

    Lewis - July 9, 2014

    Steve – are these money sites or PBN sites? If money sites then I wouldn’t remove WMT as I have seen SERP benefits to having this installed. You can just create different accounts but like you say they may know based on your IP – but then again I go with the principle that they have bigger fish to catch and will leave us alone 🙂

    If they are PBN sites, then get them out of your Google account!

      Steve - July 9, 2014

      Yes they are money sites, my only fear is if they penalize one site it will be a lot easier for them to penalize the others too. What do you think about using a proxy or vpn for my other webmaster accounts? Is it worth it or am I being too paranoid?

        Lewis - July 9, 2014

        I don’t worry about this kind of thing to be honest. Sure they could use this kind of tactic but to be honest I’ve not seen anyone prove it so until then I will just be as careful as I can to what I think is realistic…without getting paranoid! 😉

Pat Johnson - July 9, 2014

I could’nt help but notice that you suggest using TheHoth.com to build links to the PBN, yet you suggest that we don’t build link to our PBN as seen here: http://cloudincome.com/private-blog-network-footprint-checklist/

Just wondering if you could clarify this discrepency

    Lewis - July 9, 2014

    Hey Pat, I guess it depends on the quality of your domains and your budget. If you can afford to buy high quality/high authority domains then generally you should have a good selection of links and won’t need to build any links.

    As I state “I simply purchase the odd Hoth package here and there for domains that need a boost.” this means there is still no footprint as I perform this every now and then when needed, on domains that loose their links for whatever reason.

      Pat Johnson - July 9, 2014

      Thanks for the clarification

      BTW, thanks for this informative blog it’s very much appreciated

SaneMan - July 10, 2014

Hey Lewis,

I registered a domain with namecheap a few months back. All was good, until I go to check the domain and see a blank wordpress default sample post on my domain, that I never put onto a host.

I go to check the account and see this on namecheap:

“Validation Error
Your account has been temporarily locked due to suspected fraud, a chargeback or some similar violation of our terms of service. In order to get your account verified please submit a ticket selecting “Risk Management” department. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you as we do our very best to minimize false positives in such situations.”

Domain has clearly been sold to someone else. Now I was using fake info, as I always do for registrars. However, this domain was for a medical term, and therefore held more value.

Has this ever happened to you when using fake info?

    Lewis - July 10, 2014

    I’m glad you brought this up as the same thing has just happened to me after buying a domain from a broker. “ICANN mandated lock held until…”

    Same deal, I used fake Whois and previously I’ve just had an email with a link I had to click to confim my identity. This seems like a new level of fraud prevention. It could be because your name and card/paypal details don’t match up?

    Does it give you a release date or just the option to contact them?

      SaneMan - July 11, 2014

      The email verifying thing is typical for godaddy, though with namecheap I’ve never had to verify anything.

      Well, I hadnt checked on this domain in a while, but the account is locked and the domain has already been sold to someone that regged it with go daddy.

      So its long gone now.

        Lewis - July 11, 2014

        No the NameCheap is new to new also. With GoDaddy usually I had an email with a link I had to click to verify my identity. This ICANN stuff is different and has a 4 week lock in place so I cannot change any details.

          SaneMan - July 11, 2014

          Hmmm….what do you recommend then? You found any registrars that wont do this? Because clearly using real info and all private whoIS isnt gonna work. Apparently google can see it because its a registrar, but even if not, its a huge footprint when every domain (especially if its previous business site) is private.

          Lewis - July 11, 2014

          Try picking a building in any city in the US and using that address, thats my latest tactic and so far so good.

yogi - July 11, 2014

Is CloudFlare CDN is good for hiding hosting provider ip?

“By using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as CloudFlare, can we easily mask our server IP address”

    Lewis - July 11, 2014

    Sure you can do that, however if you do it on all of your sites that will all have that one thing in common, so that will be a footprint. It’s a good idea to use on a handful of sites though

Tunde - July 12, 2014

I came across some chinese company domains that are available. Ahrefs referring domains and backlinks are ok (between 7 and 25). The challenge is that the moztrust is low (less than 2). Could it be because it is a foreign language site?

    Lewis - July 13, 2014

    Thats could be the cause and I generally stay away from those kind of sites myself

Tunde - July 14, 2014

Hello Lewis,

On my money site, the main primary navigation has some drop down menu. I would like to know if link juice from expired domains will flow through them too?

Regards

    Lewis - July 14, 2014

    The drop down navigation is just css styling, they are still links. So in short yes, juice will still flow through 🙂

Rob - July 24, 2014

Hey Lewis,

Very thorough article. I’m about to embark on attempting this myself, and I was initially going to go the route of getting separate hosts for each of the blogs in my PBN. Concerning your suggestion for using Host9…isn’t the fact that all your blogs will be hosted with the same server itself a huge footprint despite being spread out over different class-c’s and datacenters? I’m assuming this is the same problem with SEO hosting and precisely why you don’t recommend it?

There are publicly available tools that we can use to identify who hosts a particular domain, i.e., http://www.whoishostingthis.com/

I’m assuming the big G would have much more sophisticated tools at their disposal. What are your thoughts?

    Lewis - July 25, 2014

    Hey Rob, I know lots of people including myself who use hostnine with zero issues.

    Here is a response I gave yesterday to another question like this – “There is the possibility of Google finding the network regardless, however I am happy using reseller hosting as many other people use them for their normal websites and you can make your network “blend in”

    I stay away from SEO Hosting as branding yourself as such is just crazy in my mind. reseller hosting is different and doesn’t attract the attention SEO hosting does.

    Still if you’re concerned you can go with a different host for each PBN site to kep you mind at ease!

      Rob - July 26, 2014

      Hey Lewis,

      You also state this in your article: “UDPATE – Recent testing has proven that there is little to no impact of linking to your site just once from a PBN domain.”

      I’m a little confused as to what you mean by this. Right before this statement, you were stressing the fact that we should not overdo the linking to our moneysite, and one homepage link on the PBN site is enough. In fact, it should be ideal to just limit to one link per page to moneysite.

      But I’m interpreting your update above to mean that we should be including more than one link or else the impact will be little-felt. Can you clarify?

        Lewis - July 28, 2014

        Nice spot Rob, it should have read “UDPATE – Recent testing has proven that there is little to no impact of linking to your site more than once from a PBN domain.”

        So adding additional links doesn’t have much of an impact.

Yogi - July 25, 2014

Should i buY an expired domain which is not indexed in google. I checked site:domain.com and is not coming. But Its PR,DA,TF,CF and backlinks are very solid.

    Lewis - July 25, 2014

    If it’s been expired for some time then chances are it will not be indexed anyway. I often buy these domains and have them reindexed and providing valuable links in no time at all. Just check the incoming backlinks for a spammy profile first.

Craig - July 27, 2014

Hey Lewis,

Whats your take on using Global 404 redirect plugins (301’s every potential 404 or missing url to homepage) vs individually finding every old page that has backlink(s) to it and making individual 301’s from those pages (urls) to the homepage?

Basically global 404 plugins are stupid easy, efficient, and ensure you dont miss any juice from old pages that might not show up in majestics/ahrefs reference or whatever.

However, as a con, it seems that global 404 plugins are a huge footprint for PBN’s, and apart from that — and I’m not sure on this — but PR/Juice might be reduced or weighed in at less if you are 301’ing your whole site rather than just targeted URLs. I just imagine the more 301’s a site has the less things start to “count” once the cumulative 301’s start getting high in #’s.

Anyway I almost always over think everything, so just wondering your take on this?