Private Blog Network Footprint Checklist

One question I am often asked is how to avoid footprints when building a private blog network. This guide is dedicated to just that.

Running your own Private Blog Network (PBN) can be broken down into 5 key areas;

  • Domains
  • Registrars
  • Hosting
  • Site Creation & Maintenance
  • Link Building

This guide will cover everything you need to avoid footprints on your PBN. I think we all respond well to lists, so you will see a lot of theme here, they are easily digested and you can refer back to them at any time.


Find-Quality-DomainsThe domains you buy, form the foundation of your private blog network. If you buy and build upon junk, your network won't be worth jack. So let's get it right from the start.

I have already covered how to buy expired domains, below I will show you what you need to do to avoid footprints when buying your domains names.

  1. Mix up the TLD's – I use .com, .net, .org, .ca and .uk. You can throw in some .info, .us and .eu if you find a good one.
  1. Does the site cover a range of topics? – I make sure that any domain I buy for a PBN can cover a wide range of topics, these are generally broken down into;
  • Home & Garden
  • Sports & Entertainment
  • Business & Finance
  • Tech & Toys

Below is a list of tools (some free, some paid) that you can use to help find expired domains for your private blog network.


  1. Domain-RegistrarsIn short, mix it up – don't use GoDaddy for all of your domains, sure it's easier and cheaper when using Godaddy promo codes, but ultimately it's a footprint and a huge one you want to avoid.
  1. Use WhoIs privacy – not on all of your domains but some. NameCheap offer free whois privacy with each new domain.
  1. Use fake information – for domains without whois privacy I use this tool to generate a complete fake user profile that I keep consistent over all aspects of the domain – e.g registrar, hosting, email address etc.
  1. Use different email addresses – Check out the Fiverr gigs and get 80 phone verified Gmail accounts for just $5. Get a few of these for hotmail, yahoo etc and you're all set.
  1. Register on different days – don't register all of your domains on the same day, wait a few days in between.

Below is a list of some of the biggest registrars, you can find loads more by doing as simple search in Google.

  • GoDaddy
  • NameCheap
  • ENOM.com
  • Hostgator
  • Network Solutions
  • Moniker.com
  • Dotster.com
  • DomainMonster
  • Name.com
  • NameSilo
  • CrazyDomains
  • 123-reg (uk)
  • Fasthosts (uk)
  • DreamHost
  • Dynadot


I mention this forum in my private blog network guide, however, it's so important to get the correct hosting, I feel I should mention it again. So here it is;


What's so good about Bulk Buy Hosting?

  1. The price – as little as $1.71 per domain
  2. Large Hosting Companies – All of the hosts used are large companies that would charge $5 per month per domain if you did it yourself
  3. No Maintenance– They do all of the hard work maintaning the servers/accounts
  4. Unique IP's & Name Servers – You are given a unique IP's address and Name Servers for each account in your dashboard. This is KEY.
  5. All under one roof – No need to go trawling Google looking for cheap hosting offers. Bulk Buy Hosting delivers them right to your dashboard.

View the BulkBuyHosting plans and pricing here

So it is essential we have the following;

  1. Unique Class-C IP's – don't use SEO Hosting, this is more than likely a footprint, we cannot be sure but it's best avoided in my opinion.
  2. Good server location mix – Europe, US and Canada are all good. Some will be in India and Soth Africa etc but thats fine.
  3. Reliable Host – Minimal down time. I have yet to experience down time with any of these companies.

Site Creation

Site-QualityI will get one thing off my chest right off the bat. I have never had any problems with using WordPress for all of my PBN sites. Some may argue that it's a footprint in itself, however a study conducted by W3Techs revealed that over 20% of websites run on the WordPress CMS.

Therefore I DO NOT see WordPress as a footprint that can be detected by Google…at the moment. There's nothing to say that in 5 years time Google will some how be able to detect a normal WP site from a PBN WP site.

For now I am happy to use WordPress and that's what we will be using in this section and the next.

  1. Logo – you can create your own if you prefer, or even use a plain text logo for some sites. However my preferred method is to use Fiverr.com for a cheap, nice looking logo to make the site look a little more cared for.
  1. Theme – Free themes are good enough here, mix it up and grab some from WordPress and some from external sites. There are thousands of free premium looking themes knocking around. Magazine style themes are my fave.
  1. Give it a voice – This is a biggy, you MUST give your site a personality. Think about the following;
  • Who is the owner/author?
  • How old are they?
  • Get an image of that person (any stock image will do)
  • Set the scene, what is the site about and why does it exist?
  • Get creative and make it believable
  1. Create pages –  create the core pages, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, About and Contact pages.
  1. Content plan – this doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but your writers will need to know the flavour of the site. What topics should be covered, should they give opinions or just quote other references?
  1. Plugins – We all have a set of ‘go-to' plugins for our money sites, however for PBN sites we need a different approach. Change up the plugins, don't install ‘Yoast SEO' on every domain!

Site Maintenance


  1. Regular – You should post regular content on your PBN sites, weekly is my preferred frequency however feel free to mix it up. I have my VA schedule articles for me which saves a lot of time.
  1. Find cheap, quality writers – My post on finding article writers reveals the exact process I use to find article writers for less than $3 per article, and often less than that.
  1. Images – Add relevant images to your posts, with alt tags.
  1. Video – Find some relevant videos from YouTube and embed them into your posts.
  1. Length –  a website with 100's of pages with 500 words on each is stupid. Mix up the content length, 250 – 1,500 words, some can be a paragraph with a video, others can be top 10 lists and some full blow 1,000 word articles.
  1. Plugins – Stay away from any kind of network manager plugin such as InfiniteWP etc. Installing these on all of your sites is stupid and you are asking to get caught out.

Rule of Thumb – If you find a shortcut, a way to save time or money or a cheat for your PBN that you think you will use on all of your domains….the chances are it will leave a footprint.

  • Use the same theme = FOOTPRINT
  • Install the same plugins = FOOTPRINT
  • Have a single page website = FOOTPRINT
  • Use spun content = FOOTPRINT
  • All articles are 500 words = FOOTPRINT
  • Use a multisite managing tool = FOOTPRINT

You get the idea. It's not easy, but man is it worth doing right the first time.

Website Metrics

Check your PBN metrics once per month for the following;

  • Domain Authority (DA)
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Backlinks
  • Linking Root Domains
  • Trust Flow (TF)
  • Citation Flow (CF)
  • PageRank (if you're still hung up on it and can't let it go) (PR)

You can use the following tools;

Link Building

Link-Building-Icon2This section covers the 2 parts to linkbuilding;

Part 1 – building links to your niche sites

Part 2 – building links to your PBN sites

Niche Site Outbound Links

Linking out to your niche site is one aspect people love to over complicate. You should be writing content that fits both your domain and niche, therefore adding links wherever feels natural and relevant should be easy.

I would recommend you do this exercise yourself to begin with. By understanding how to inject outbound links into your articles, you will learn a key skill that can be shared with your VA and writers.

Here are the simple rules I follow;

  1. Don't have OBL's in every single post, keep it to 1 in every 3 posts has OBL's.
  2. Link out to other authority sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia and News sites.
  3. Don't go crazy on the anchor text, mix it up with some long tail anchor text.
  4. Send links to inner pages of your site, not just the homepage.
  5. You can use images to create backlinks to your sites.
  6. Link out to other related sites in your niche, don't be scared, just don't give them keyword anchor text!

Building Links to PBN Sites

Lets keep this simple. Don't bother.

If you have followed my previous article and video on buying expired domains, then you should have a network full of sites with aged backlinks that will stick around. Building crappy links to them now will do no good.

I have not seen any benefits to building additional links to my PBN sites. If you have the time and money to build some really high quality links, or even create social media accounts for your PBN sites then go for it.

If you are thinking of firing up Scrapebox and blasting comment links, forget it.


I won't lie to you, building a blog network is not easy, it does take time, money and effort both in the creation and maintenance. By following the steps I have outlined in this article, you can greatly reduce the possibility of your network being detected and suffering the same fate as BMR, ALN and Linkvana to name a few.

If after reading this article you are still having trouble, please ask any questions you may have in the comments below.


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.

Rishit Shah - 3 years ago

Good guide! Though I knew almost everything yet I read it!
The new thing was not to buy C classes and I will take care of it.
Thanks Lewis!:)

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Rishit – the key is not to buy SEO Hosting, we DO need unique IP address and Class-C

Harsh - 3 years ago

Great info on building a private blog network.

Want to add something: If you want free content, just get articles from myblogguest.com

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    That coudl work, but don’t you have to reveal your site on myblogguest? I wouldn’t want to be sharing my PBN site on my profile for others to see :-S

Jerry - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the detailed information.

Question on adding content and I’d like your thoughts. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that having about 10 articles all on the front page, is good enough for a PBN, what’s your opinion on that?

You talk about adding fresh content every week or two, that can get quite expensive and time consuming with a larger network, why would you continue adding content so frequently?

I’m enjoying your blog, thanks!


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Jerry, You are right it does add up, but the aim here is to make the PBN sites look as natural as possible. You can increase the time between posts if you wish, maybe 2 per month? I go for 1 post per week @ $2 per article, just over $100 per domain per year – but I do vary it between sites, so not to leave a footprint 🙂

    This is why people choose spun content, but I hate it and want to build a PBN for the future.

    I split my PBN’s up in segments that target 1 or 2 niche sites. So I focus on those and when I am ranking well, I start another site & PBN or improve upon another. I have a VA whom I pay $1/hour to schedule all articles and add images etc.

    It can get expensive, I guess it depends on the ROI between your PBN and money site. If you are going after low comp keywords then 10-20 sites should be enough. For harder keywords then you will need a bigger network, which does take work, so hiring VA’s is a must.

    – Lewis 🙂

Jorge Luis - 3 years ago

Nice check list! It compliments perfectly with your previous PBN post.
Thank you Lewis!

Now, if you don’t mind I have a question: I was reading the comments in your first PBN post and there I found something really interesting that you replied to a commenter:

You said: “I don’t pay any particular attention to the PR to be honest, just PA, DA and the backlinks to the domain”

Thanks to your video tutorial about ExpiredDomains.net I’ve been playing daily with the tool and I’m finding lots of high PA/DA sites…. But practically all of them are PR 0 and I was like “Oh boy…. is a shame I can’t use these, since they don’t have any PR”

Now, are you saying that…. hypothetically speaking… Is possible fr me to rank a site for low competition keyword, with a PBN of 10-20 sites, all of them PR 0 but with amazing PA/DA ??

I’m asking because that would result really cost effective: I can set up a 10 sites PBN with $100 only (if I focus on high PA/DA)… While if I focus on high PR, a 10 sites PBN can easily cost $300-$400 in average.

Please confirm this so I can start jumping in my bed of happiness for all the money I’m gonna save =), lol

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Jorge – that is correct, high PR was all the rage a couple of years back, even I followed that bandwagon for a while. However I found PA to be a better indicator of the power of a site and focus solely on that.

    You don’t need PR domains, sure it’s nice but I know first hand that these PBN sites with PR0, do work well for low-med competition keywords.

    Give it a go and do some testing, you will be glad you did!

      Aaron - 3 years ago

      Hi Lewis

      Nice post, thanks!

      A question on DA/PA . What do you consider the minimum you would consider when buying a domain?


        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Aaron – thanks, I go for minimum PA of 35 and DA over 25. Depending on the inbound links and how relevant to domain is, I will flex my rules 🙂

          maxime sincerny - 3 years ago

          I would like to add something here. If you buy expired domains they will have no PR all the time.

          I personally only use expired domains with NO pr. I can create an army of PBN domains with Page authority of 35+ and Domain authority of 27+.

          Of course the higher the better, but you will RARELY find any natural Page authority of 50+ and I have not found personally any Page authority of 60+.

          If you do your due diligence and look for the background of the website: web.archive.com, majesticseo, whois drops, (domain won’t be indexed yet). Those domains will contain massive power.

          When you build them up and use a redirect to move all 404 pages to the home page you will receive a lot of power from those links.

          If you build onpage of those PBN domains you will get even more power.

          You can rank for highly competitive keywords with NO PR domains as long as you have good metrics on them.

          40 domains PA35+ that will cost you about 400-500$ are worth way more in power than 3-6 PR4/5(I see people buy garbage PR4/5 with like PA25 on them lol)

          Lewis - 3 years ago

          Exactly, looks like you’ve got it down 😉

Eric Kim - 3 years ago

What a awesome guide again.
Thank you Lewis. I always appreciate of your nice tips and articles.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Thanks for your kind words Eric. Any questions let me know 🙂

Eric Kim - 3 years ago

May I have a question if you don’t mind.

I checked your link for cheap web hosting site.
BTW, Do you think that 1GB is enough for one PBN domain?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    That should be more than enough, I’ve never encountered any problems so far 🙂

Leo @Newbiesup - 3 years ago

Thank you for your guide.

I do have 2 questions:
1. how many PBN sites in avarage if we want to rank a niche site?
2. do you use unique and quality content on your site and whether most of the content is outsourced?

They seems stupid but hope you can reply 😉


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    No such thing as a stupid question Leo!

    1. I build PBN’s between 10 and 25 sites, depending on the competition. I rearly go after these massive keyword and stick with low-med competition keywords.
    2. All of the PBN content is outsourced, it is quality, not always as good as I could write myself, but cheaper and quicker 🙂

    – Lewis

      maxime sincerny - 3 years ago

      If you PBN network contain domains with a homepage with metrics between PA30-DA20 to PA40-DA30

      If the Page #1 contains website that you want to beat that have a PA of 30. you need between 5 to 15 links to get near top

      If average first page is PA40 you need ~30 links ( also be careful as more links go out of your PBN network more it reduce the power given this mean that if you have 10 links out you will need more than those 30 to get to PA40)

      Many factors will affect you positively or negatively. If it is a google query about a product and your website don’t have a shopping cart you will probably never rank

      If it is a product review and you have the right onpage with a good sized content with youtube video and images and bullets points and all you can get favoured if the current results are just shopping website product results.

Vanrithy - 3 years ago

Nice post! Nice post Lewis!

I wonder what are the minimum sites for a PBN for a low competition keywords?
I am really confused about how to build backlinks from the sites in PBN to my money site; Should we build links from all of our sites in the PBN to our money site? How many links should each site links back to money site?

BTW, you’re having a great post again!


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hey man, thanks for your comment.

    1) I usually go for low competition keywords as use between 10-25 PBN sites. Keyword research does play a big part and choosing the right keywords 🙂

    2) Use quality content on your PBN sites, create a “sticky” article which includes your links to your money site. Do this for a few sites and for other sjust let the posts roll off the homepage eventually. You can always add more links to inner pages etc.

    Basically try to keep it under the radar and don’t go crazy. Link to inner pages and use a good mix of anchor text.

    – Lewis

      maxime sincerny - 3 years ago

      As Lewis say, just be random and don’t follow an exact template. But, if you want something exact:

      1 link to homepage of your money site
      1link to a subpage of your money site
      1-2 links to authorities (target high pr ressource is the easiest, just type your niche in google and look for wikis or big authorities (not direct competition you don’t want to rank them 😛 ).
      You can replace some links by an image from time to time.

Eric Kim - 3 years ago

Hi. Lewis

I have a little problem about my PBN.
I made a PBN website, and it is alive. I have never deleted my anchor text, and it looks going well. However, suddenly the CF and TF suddenly dropped! I was so shocked, I checked my backlinks. I was so surprised because my anchortext from my PBN are marked as ‘deleted’ in MajesticSEO… I have never deleted the backlinks even though my pbn site still have anchor text.

Have you ever gone through this kind of situactions?
What should I do??

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Eric – are you sure the site is still indexed? Check by typing “site:mydomain..com” without the quotes into Google search.

    I’ve never had this so not sure what it could be apart from the site getting deindexed?

      Eric Kim - 3 years ago

      Hi Lewis.

      It is still alive but I think I found the reason.

      1week ago, I just made robots.txt. file and put the all my PBN domain folders. I checked majesticseo and is marked as : deleted – blocked by robots.txt. Now I deleted all those txt files, and I’m waiting the result.

      I just made txt file for do-follow only google. Anyway, I hope recover soon, thanks Lewis.

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Hi Eric, that makes sense. Just because you block majestic and opensiteexplorer doesn’t mean it won’t be seen by Google thow (unless you Disallow all).

        Let me know if you fix it.

Eric Kim - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis.
I hope you had a great Christmas.

I have a question about PBN domains.
When I check domain authority or page authority, sometimes the gap is very big between www domain or non www domain. So I just tried to install wordpress www. domain when it has higher DA or PA than non. The problem is most of webhost companies just install on non www,domain. In that case, how can I install on http://www.domain ?
If you know some tips, Please share for me

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hey Eric – I have also seen the large difference between the www and the non www. However if you are using the hosting I suggest at Webhostingtalk then you can actually choose where to install wordpress.

    It’s the first option and it wasn’t evident to me at first but there is a drop down box to choose www or non www.

    Hope that helps.

Derren - 3 years ago

Haha man I cracked up when you wrote “don’t bother” on building links back to PBN’s.

You give it straight, man. Super nice article!

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Haha thanks man, I prefer to keep it as informal and straight to the point as possible!

Michal - 3 years ago

Really great article! Thanks for sharing such valuable informations with us!

I have a question, what do you think about Google analytics/webmaster tools/… ? Should I completly avoid useing them or make lots of different accounts?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    I have a mixture really, I am not against using them as long as your PBN site quality is top notch. Obviously use different accounts for each site.

      Maxime Sincerny - 3 years ago

      I personally use google tools all the time on my money site.
      But, I would NEVER use them on PBN, because if google can track something they will.

      This mean that for your pbn you have to use different accounts/personas and never use those accounts on the same IP and always go trough a VPS or the same proxies.

      There are a lot of free/paid tools for analytics that you can use. For the use of webmaster tools if your website is built correctly you can effectively show the google bots where your website audience is and what language you use on them using html metas and microdata markups.

      But, this is really just my over protective approach 🙂

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        It depends what level of PBN sites you are building. If you are building persona sites then you sshould have nothing to worry about. Somtimes hiding in plain sight is the best place to hide. For others there are numerous tools you can use, but really you don’t need to worry about stats, unless you are adding plugins etc to make your sites seem more legit.

Jack - 3 years ago

This is great article on PBN’s I was wondering a few things I couldn’t figure out.

1) Typically you have full posts displayed on homepage for PBN’s. Google will then also index your category pages.

Does this not cause duplicate content? If so how do you go about de-indexing category pages for PBNs? I imagine you dont want to use GWT on a PBN, nor Yoast on every PBN would a bad idea as well. What do you do?

2) I use a new host for every pbn site and a proxy, however, what about the fact that your 1 PBN site is pointing to multiple money sites that reside all on the same server? I cant imagine you only use 1 PBN for 1 site nor can I imagine you buy a new host for every money site either.

Yet is this not a huge red flag?


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Jack,

    1) I don’t see this as a problem as I just build each site as I would a normal website. Try to look like every other normal site out there and don’t stand out for doing anything strange.

    2) I build multiple PBN’s for each money site. There is ‘some’ overlap but generally I test the waters with a few high authority PBN links and see what works. If I see a positive movement I will then build out more PBN sites target just 1 money site.

    – Lewis

Jan - 3 years ago

Lewis, really thanks for this wonderfull peace of content!

Im also starting out with some PBN’s. Build 2 already but I really dont think that it is footprint proof. I bought new domains today and I want to set them up properly, so if i may, I want to ask some small questions:

Im going to make each website very personal and maybe link whole articles to other people in the branche.

– What about GWT and GA. All my money sites are on one google account. So for example 1 PBN links with 3 articles to 3 money websites who are all registred on my GWT and GA (PBN is not linked to GWT and GA). Does this ring a bell by Google? Because in the long term there are like 10 PBN who all are linking to all of my money websites.

– And what about linking to innerpages? So for example I want to rank my page on a subdomain. Can I still use a PBN, where I already linked with an article to my homepage, for linking out to this innerpage?

Really thanks already for answering my questions. And again thanks for this very interesting post!


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Inner pages are fine with PBN links, you don’t have to link to your homepage and it does look more natural to not link to the homepage.

    As for GWT and GA, I don’t send 10 PBN sites to 10 money sites. Some do but I think that is a footprint and i try to build a small network for each money site. It costs more but should pay for itself if you are targeting the right keywords and your conversion is good.

    – Lewis

      Jan - 3 years ago

      Thanks Lewis for this reply.

      So you are picking a domain and build lets say 5 PBN websites that are all linking to your domain. Its more expensive but what about the content on each website?

      Maybe im understanding it the wrong way, but 5 PBN websites with just a few links to your money website. So are you adding just regular content with outbound links to autority websites or???

      I was learned that you build your blog network about a subject. So lets say gadget is the subject of 1 PBN website. I would add original content and each article I would put a few links to my money website. So in the end there are like 10 articles linking to 10 money websites.

      So the part I dont understand is if you only use a few PBN for one money website, what other content you are delivering on this PBN?

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Hey Jan – I do post other helpful content that fits the subject matter. No spun or crappy content, 100% unique, helpful with video and images etc.

Reven - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis thanks for sharing your strategy with us…
I have one question rendering in my mind that how do you access your PBN sites. Do you use 1pc with same IP address to log in in your PBN host or you use proxy/vpn/virutal system for accessing in your host account.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Yeah just my own machine same IP, I try not to get too “tin foil hat” about it, you could go crazy!

      Reven - 3 years ago

      That’s a big relief for me to hear from you that you are successfully running your PBN with same IP and same PC………..I have read on BHW forum that people should use different IP and different machine for handling their PBN. They recommend setting up virtual machine with different IP.

      But still i want to hear once again from you that is not using all hosts with same IP and same PC leave any footprint for Google to caught PBN in anyway…..Do you ever Log in in your email accounts with your IP and same PC….is Google able to determine that how many email accounts are logged in with which IP and website attached with those email accounts.

      Before starting my own High Quality PBN i want to make some PBN on free host like blogger,tumblr. Since you are running your PBN with same IP and same PC so would i be safe only by making different blogger account and tumblr to build blog network without leaving footprint?

      I read 4-5 article of making private blog network and your article is best of them.

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Reven, you can test many things and you can guess at many things. Google knowing what you are logged into and where you vist ourside of their search eengine or Google account would be a serious breach of privacy.

        I don’t worry about it. Sounds like you have a plan and I wish you luck!

          Dan - 3 years ago

          Just an example, i recently signed up on facebook, built a profile for my basketball team and through the add friends suggestions I saw a guy whom i talked to 6-7 years ago on gmail. I had no connection to him or talked to him since then, he lives in a different country and yet facebook knew we know eachother, i didn’t even gave my real name.

          The only place they could have got this info is from my gmail account, which I used to sign up. So they do read your emails, I am sure google does too.

          It something to keep an eye on for the future. I am trying to avoid using gmail for work.

          Lewis - 3 years ago

          Not sure this is relevant to a PBN footprint, however I do use a Non Gmail address for my PBN stuff

Awank - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis..thanks for sharing.

How if i buy expired domain but use it to be money site?
Should i create backlink for this money site so that get rank page 1 for my keyword?


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi, sure you can use an expired domain for your money site and I would suggest you do this first before buying a brand new domain. However you need to be aware of the history and ensure there are no spammy backlinks and check archive.org to see what the site used to be.

Craig - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis

Quick question. When you register domains on Godaddy do you use the fake details for both the billing and account information?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Craig – I don’t worry about the billing information as Google have no need to see that stuff.

Mark - 3 years ago

I know why my PBN do not help my money site get high ranking on Google
Because I use SEO Hosting, Same day to register and only 1 unique article per blog (link to my money site)
Thanks Lewis

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Mark – A combination of all 3 could be the reason. Try adding more content and moving the sites to various hosts.

Jay - 3 years ago

Hey Lewis awesome post here it was really helpful.

I have a question about diversification links. I’m targeting low-med competition stuff. Looks like I’ll need anywhere from 5-25 PBN links. But how many diversification links should I Get? social bookmarks, web 2.0, profile links, wiki,s etc?

Also, how would you build them…? Would you send a bunch of PBN links first and see how it ranks, and then add the diversification links, or vice versa?



    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hey Jay,

    Sure I like to use aq few PBN links with varied anchors to test the waters of a niche/keyword. Then when I am happy I will also pick up a web 2.0 package, but only ones where I will own the property and they have unique content. That way you can change the links/anchor text whenever you need.

    Then keep adding PBN links until it ranks on the first page.

    – Lewis

Jerry - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the detailed post, great stuff.

Couple of questions I’m hoping you could answer for me.

With your PBN sites do you setup FaceBook or other Social sites in order to make them appear more legit?

With Web 2.0 sites, do you have a number of them and do you add fresh content to them on a regular basis?
How many of them would you have?
Would you build links well to them?

Thanks for your help!


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Jerry, for my public network I do have social accounts created for the PBN sites. I think it’s a nother layer of cover should a manual review occur.

    For the Web 2.0 sites, I treat them as I would my other PBN sites and add content to them at least once per month. I do buy a few link packages here and there for tiered links building to the web 2.0, but I don’t do that to my PBN sites.


      Jerry - 3 years ago

      Thanks for the reply Lewis.

      One last question if I may.

      What do you think of using a program like article builder from Jonathan Ledger on your PBN sites that provides really good spun articles that would easily pass pass human reading and are 80% or better when run through copyscape?


        Lewis - 3 years ago

        I’m not aware of that product but I can say that I would never use spun content on any of my PBN sites. In my mind that is old school, it does stil work for some but I am not prepared to rissk my network to cut a few corners.

        – Lewis

Sven - 3 years ago


PBN Plugins: What do you prefer to use to redirect all the link juice of your PBN ? Link Juice Keeper or 404 redirect ?

Social media accounts: I want to create social media accounts for my PBN and Money Sites. Athough it is very time consuming to set up a twitter, fb, youtube + google plus. Where do you outsource this or what is your approach in order to create all the social media profiles? Because now I already have a few fb pages on my main account and I don’t want to have all my websites on my main FB account. I think this could leave a huge footprint to. Should I use my private proxies and make the account manually and maby buy some new phone numbers or just outsource it and where to outsource this?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Sven,

    I tent to stay away from plugins as much as possible as that tends to leave a footprint. I do use a 404 redirect plugin on some sites and some are just hard coded into the htaccess file.

    I have a VA that I outsource all the social media work and maintenance too. You could also buy a bunch of accounts via Fiverr 😉

Dan - 3 years ago

Lewis, i can’t thank you enough for this post and the PBN creation one, great stuff. I for a long time wanted to do the same with my websites, i have about 130 website all in the adult business.

I decided this is the time to start. SInce now i have linked to my money sites from a few wordpress blogs i have but nothing organized or thought through.

I had my websites on shared hosting, tried SEO, tried dedicated with dedicated ips, around 150, then back to sharing again having now 10 shared acounts to my 130 websites.

Problem is i registered all of them on name.com and all of them have private whois.

I can’t figure out whats the next step, should I move my domains to other registrars or is it safe now to just get a bunch of 2$ shared accounts and spread them even more.
I am thinking of dropping a lot of domains since many/moist of them are not even come up in the first serps page for their domain names and they are all blogs with at least 5 posts on it with unique content written by me.

That would cost me a lot less since i can’t keep the cost per domain under the 30$ a year x 130 its a lot of money for sites that do not make money yet.

Can’t wait to find out what you think.

Most of my sites are used to make trades with other partners on some link trading websites, all of them to point to my money site which has worked in the past until google decided my WhiteLabel money site was a thin content/affiliate website and slapped me with a MANUAL penalty.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Sounds like moving them is the way forward.

    i would group them into batches and use them for different money sites. So 20 PBN sites per money site for example. That way they are not all pointing to the same sites and cannot be linked together that way.

      Dan - 3 years ago

      I don t think 20 sites make such a difference, especially in the adult business. My slapped site had 600+ domains pointing to it before it could rank very well.

      But maybe spliting them for now and then gradually point them to one website is the way to go.

      Love your work Lewis

      Thank you

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Yeah its a dog-eat-dog niche, but I think spliiting them is the best way to avoid a large footprint.

        Cheers Dan!

          Dan - 3 years ago

          After reading your replies and all of your posts its clearer now, but i still have some queston marks regarding PBN.

          Lets say I have 100 domains available. 15 hosting accounts, 10 registrars, 3 money sites.

          1.Can I make a 3×30 site PBN, adding 3 sites per hosting, and have each small PBN point to one money site?
          2.Is it a safe scheme and one that can grow in time? By adding other sites to the hosting accounts but build separate small PBNs for more money sites?

          3. Internet.bs registrar lets you add whatever whois details you want for every domain you buy, however it appears as a registrar when you check the whois

          4. How in the world can I manage 100 posts/week + links + Social accounts + etc? I need around 10 posts/day in order to update the network, at a rate of 1 post/week, that means around 500$/month for the content, just for the PBN.

          I started thinking it through and its scary…and 100 sites are not a lot, to get good serps for my horrible niche of choice.

          Its hard to make an income of 2000-3000$ a month to make it worthwhile.

          Having second thoughts now….yes I know never,ever,ever give up…damn.

          Lewis - 3 years ago

          You don’t have to post once per week, maybe post once per month to reduce the cost if you have a large network of 100 sites.

          I don’t use multiple PBN sites on the same host as that goes against my Blog Network Footprint Checklist. I simply have 1 PBN site = 1 Hosting account.

          It makes it more expensive but if you need a single host you should check out host9.

Erik_D78 - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis,

Good article agian!

What are your thoughts about? Hostine? I’ve heard some good things about them. Because the offer a re-seller where you can choose Ip’s C-classes and different server locations. Also a website offering manually checked domains advice to host at them.

What are your thoughts?

Greetz Erik

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Erik,

    I’ve never used them so I cannot comment on how good or bad they are. For me this is a shortcut rather than managing lots of different hosting accounts. I guess it depends on your network size.

    If you have 10 or so then the risk is small, for my client PBN the risk it too large and I won’t take that shortcut.

      Erik - 3 years ago

      Clear and helpful thoughts, Lewis!


Dan - 3 years ago

So having more accounts with the same hosting company is fine? I thought it need to be different for each site. Having just one per account makes it so expensive, how can I even find 100 shared accounts i don’t know lol

Thanks Lewis

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Dan, check out webhostingtalk.com, there are hundreds of small shared hosting companies

Donna - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis

What about the pages on our PBN’s like privacy policy, how do we get the content for the privacy policy pages?

what pages would you put on your PBN’s?


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    You can Google a “privacy policy generator” which makes it super easy!

      Donna - 3 years ago

      And would you have a privacy policy page on all you PBN’s or would you just randomize it?


        Lewis - 3 years ago

        No just a selection, also use different tools/privacy policies to avoid a footprint

Jack - 3 years ago

Nice one man!
I have a quick one…When you mention “Link out to other related sites in your niche”…do you mean giving them a do-follow link or should it be changed to a no-follow link?


    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi jack, I wouldn’t worry about do-follow or no-follow etc just link out to other authorty sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, News Sites and other “non-competition” sites

Yawn - 3 years ago

very informative. I’m thinking build a PBN for my niche and this is exactly what I’m looking for. just two question, you said no more scraping shit and tier 2, 3 link to tier 1 PBN. Does that mean it is the demise of tier link building? As now we just need tier 1 in silo structure with good quality content without leaving any footprint?

What about some of the IM services like drip feeding backlinks, would it boost the power of my tier 1 or it would eventually ruined it? Ofc I’m talking about in general, what’s the odd of things going wrong?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Tiered link building is different to using a PBN. You don’t need to do it and I wouldn’t do it if I were you.

    The odds of things going wrong is really anyones guess, I don’t build any backlinks to my PBN sites anymore as I try to buy domains with existing backlinks that wil stick around.

Ray - 3 years ago

Let’s say you have 10 PBN sites that link to a niche site whose subject is cat food. Can you then use those same 10 PBN sites on another niche site specializing in, say, auto parts? Of course, you’ll keep on adding subject-appropriate articles on your homepage via WordPress’s “your latest posts” option.
Would this practice be safe—i.e., Google won’t find out about this? Thanks.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Hi Ray, you can do this provided your PBN sites are general niche sites OR your content is focused on the niche of the PBN site and your keywords are injected into the content.

Martin - 3 years ago

I have a question that can i post some articles which is considered to be the original by copyscape to my PBN sites?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    If you mean can you post copied or scraped content then I would say NOT to do this. Only unique content should be published to these PBN sites.

      Martin - 3 years ago

      I mean that I scraped content form Internet and rewrite them. Then make sure they can pass copyscape. Can I do it?

Bronson - 3 years ago

Hey Lewis,

thanks for putting this checklist together, very helpful.

You referenced a study above about wordpress above. I’m not sure how old that study is but according to the BuiltWith, wordpress currently powers over 50% of the top million websites and over 93% of all blogs so I would definitely agree with your stance on using wp for your pbn.

you can check out the reports here http://trends.builtwith.com/cms

I just thought I’d share that site with you.

Thanks again.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Thanks man, yeah I’m sure it’s growing each year as WordPress gets even more popular and it doesn’t surprise me that they have 93% of all blogs…perhaps we are moving towards a lazy webmaster society just using WordPress? haha

Jack - 3 years ago

I have followed all your suggestions here religiously. But, there’s one possible footprint that still worries me and wasn’t mentioned here:

90% of my money sites use the same Adsense ID.

Sometimes I link as many as 5 of my money sites from one PBN site. Is this a bad idea? It’s just so expensive to follow the *1 PBN site=1 money site* idea.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    It could be a footprint depending on how far Google is willing to go to ID your network. I would continue to build PBN sites and mix up which sites link to which moneysites,=. You dont have to have ALL of your PBN sites linking to the same moneysites.

Jon - 3 years ago

Hey Lewis, awesome guide! Just want to clarify one point if I may. When you say use a different email address in the registrars section, do you mean use a different one for each sites contact details (if your using whois guard I assume we don’t need to worry?) or do you mean open a different account with the registrar under a diff email address?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Sure, I mean a new account with a new email address for each domain. I am not 100% sure of the WhoIs guard myself.

    If you perform a whois search on a GoDaddy regged’ domain for example, you are provided with a link to GoDaddy where you can obtain the email address the domain was registered with, even though it has privacy protection.

    Basically I just use a new email for each account to be safer.

      Jack - 3 years ago

      Are you setting up a new godaddy account for each new domain?

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        I use different registrars and a new account each time yes

      Jack - 3 years ago

      If you post once a week to a PBN, I would assume your homepage is NOT where the post are going…if that’s the case, I thought the links were supposed to come from the homepage of the website?


        Lewis - 3 years ago

        I allow the links to roll off the homepage – just as any ‘normal’ site would do. having each PBN link out from the homepage is a footprint if the posts do not roll off onto the inner archive pages.

        I have not noticed any detrimental impact to this as the links still exist.

fethy - 3 years ago

salut Lewis.

thank you. for this imoprtant article

if i have different hosting for my pbn, can me connect by my one ip computer in this pbn?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Yeah sure you can use the same IP/Computer. I don’t buy into the tin foil hat stuff of spoofing IP’s etc

Natalia - 3 years ago

Lewis, thank you very much for your great guide!
One question about “shared hosting account offers” – does each of the blogs in PBN have to be on its own dedicated IP or a shared IP is Ok?

    Natalia - 3 years ago

    And one more: are there any possible undesirable implications of fake domain owner information?

      Lewis - 3 years ago

      You MAY have to confirm ownership of some domains, it is rare but does happen. As long as you have access to the emails you use to register the domains you will be fine and all you have to do is click a confirmation link.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    You don’t need a dedicated IP, just unique IP’s per PBN domain

shawn - 3 years ago

Hey there, great post.

One thing I can’t put my finger on, is the focus of a PBN. How focused does it need to be? For example, if I wanted to make a money site for a local pest control guy, and a local handyman, would a “Home Improvement” type PBN work for both of these? Or would I need one WHOLE PBN for each of these niches?

I’m just confused on how narrow your focus should be. Or if I’m trying to make a ton of different things, is one around “Health” and one around “Home Improvement” and one around “Sports” be enough to get me dozens of different money sites’ worth of value?

Thanks so much!

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    I create general niche PBN sites like you say, Home Improvement, Sport, Entertainment, Travel, Finance etc

    That way you can use the PBN for more than one money site.

      shawn - 3 years ago

      One follow up,

      Do you post a new article on every single page in your PBN every time you want a link? I assume the answer is that you mix it up to avoid a footprint. We don’t want to have 15 sites in our network all just happening to post a link at the same time to the same place…

      So because of that, do you just sort of periodically choose one in your network and get an article written, then choose another, etc. Isn’t it a footprint if every article links to your site? Do you have articles written that have no links at all?

      For example: let’s say one site in my “Home Improvement” niche has the necessary pages: Home page, about us, terms, etc, and a blog page. This blog page is new, so I have only a few articles. Every article I add, sends a link to my money site. This is a footprint, correct?

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        That is a footprint of sorts if those links are going to the same site. Therefore I have posts which don’t have links and some which just link to other authority sources. I also mix up which of my sites receieve the links.

Jay - 3 years ago

How’s it going,
In your experience, is it ok to buy all your domains under one registrar account? Considering you’ve enabled your whois?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    It depends on how many your buying but usually I would mix them up with different registrars just to be safer

Quen - 3 years ago

Thank you for this, it’s a great list.

I’d like to know though, how is using a manager like InfiniteWP a footprint?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Most of these WordPress tools change code on your site and will leave the same footprint as most of them are plugins. I do believe there is one provider which doesn’t affect the code on your site however not sure if that is InfiniteWP or another.

    I look at it like this – if you are cutting corners, you will get caught eventually.

      Simon - 3 years ago

      Hi Lewis

      Great round up – lots of handy reminders for me! One thing I am not sure I agree on is multi site management… using something like MainWP which has the option of masking itself, means there is no footprint and it saves a hell of a lot of time – with 200 PBN sites how do you keep core/plugins up to date etc?


        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Personally I have a VA do that for me, I’ve not heard of that tool however there are more and more cropping up. The real test would be to see how the HTML of your page is affected when using that tool. If there is no change then I would say it is safe.


Kevin @ Website Hike - 3 years ago

Hey, awesome stuff Lewis, as you saw in the Trackback I linked to it cause it was so cool. ha 🙂

Anyways thanks for the good info, will definitely be referring to it regularly!

justen - 3 years ago

Great stuff lewis!

Im just now beginning to build my network. I have multiple money sites that are all in the same exact niche but i in different cities. Building multiple PBNs for 20+ different money sites is obvioulsy expensive. I want to use the same PBN for multiple moneysites. But am afraid this will be a huge footprint. What do you think my limitations are?

Also in the past ive built links to authority sites that are citaitons for my money sites. Is it bad if a PBN contains links for my money site as well as the citations that link back to my money site with nofollow links?

Appreciate the help

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    I prefer the slow and steady approach to link building so you can see what the impacts are. By doing this you will have some sites that may only need 5 strong links to rank, whilst others may need 20 or 50+.

    You can use the same PBN for multiple sites, however I try to mix it up as much as possible o each PBN sites doesn’t have the same OBL profile.

    I’ve not tested with citations and links, you may have to try that one out yourself – but i can see now harm in doing that.

      justen - 3 years ago

      Thanks for getting back to me so fast! Ill try to mix up the OBL profile as much as possible using different authority sites with each PBN and diversifying which PBNs juice which money sites.

      Ive purchased links from public networks like BHW in the past and have always had sellers allow me to add citation sites as authority links to each post. I figured i might as well since its a free link. But now question if im hurting my moneysite by doing this since my recent results have not been great. But when running so many different test this is not always easy to tell. Also it seems now there isnt a public network that last more then a few months so this could be the case as well. And one of the biggest reasons ive choose to move into building a PBN. With the citations linking back to my money site even with no follow links, i worry this will create a web and id be risking my PBN being hit. I will keep you posted on what I end up with. Thanks again for the help.

Adam - 3 years ago

That’s a pretty decent guide you’ve got there for building PBN’s

I do a lot the same but a bit different as well. I build every PBN site as a website, meaning i have a plan for it and i build into something like you would do a ‘money’ site, make it extremely useful for readers no need for OBL on every article.

Anchor text i never use exact match anchor text, most of the time it never makes sense or reads correctly. I link out with anchor text that forms apart of the content it has to be fluent and easy to read. Also i try keep it related, i tend to theme my PBN’s business, health etc etc

As for WP managers I use them as they make my life 1000 times easier. I don’t see it as a problem there are 10’s of thousands of people using them so it’s not a real footprint.

My theory behind it is you build sites that you yourself would want to visit, and these then become your PBN sites, you don’t interlink them as they don’t have relationships with each other and they don’t smash out exact keyword links.

I don’t know it’s a bit hard to explain in a comment box on how i work it. But I’ve been doing it for a long time now and it’s all passed through each update no effect on any of my PBN sites no penalties no nothing. I’m still getting good solid ranks across my sites and my clients sites.

I honestly think people are thinking to hard about building them and maybe they should just be thinking “how do i build a website” instead. My 2 cents anyway

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    Thats a nice take on it Adam and I agree, build your PBN sites with a persona is THE only way people should be building out these sites now. Gone are the days of one page sites with a few OBL’s. If a PBN is to stand the test of time, creating a site that is both useful and that would pass a manual review is a must.

    A good litmus test is to ask yourself “would I be happy if a visitor landed on my site?”

    There are far too many that would say “no” to this question.

    Thanks for your input man!

      Adam - 3 years ago

      And thanks for responding to my comment good to see someone actually getting involved with their website, those people are also few and far between.

      Which leads me to my next point. I know it’s a stretch for some people but try not to just post content on your PBN’s but participate in discussions and moderate it, don’t just disable comments, or send all comments to spam. If you have yourself a good website you’ll have legitimate people wanting to participate to throw their opinion out there. It’s not something that i think needs to be pushed but i do think it’s important.

      Another thing I like to do well I don’t like to do is bold keywords, put exact keywords in H tags or highlight anything that make it seem like “oh this guy is just trying to rank for this phrase”. I get my content written so it’s based on that keyword phrase but doesn’t necessarily include the keyword phrase, same way people should be doing their money site content now anyway.

      Internal links are fantastic as well, they work for your money sites so why not use them on your PBN as well. Obviously external links to your other PBN pages is something you don’t do. But with how I’ve been running my network some of my sites have seen solid increases in PA and DA some sitting at high 50’s low 60’s just with how I look after them.

      It works and I can tell you know what your doing as well Lewis and at least if anyone lands here your definitely giving them a push in the right direction. Hmm there’s so much I’d like to say about Private Blog Networks, i might have to make my own guide 😛

        Lewis - 3 years ago

        Some great tips here Adam – “Taking PBN’s To The Next Level” – a catchy name for that guid your talking about 😉

tobi - 3 years ago

Great article Lewis
How risky is it building PBN properly, yet using them to link to sites hosted on the same server?

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    I don’t advise this, unique hosting for each PBN sites is the best way. if all of your money sites are on the same hosting then I would suggest moving some of them to a different host.

Elina - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis,

We have a PBN for our own small business.

How many links we can have from each blog to our business website? Is it 1-3 links coming from each newly posted article of the blog or 1-3 in total from each blog website?

Thank you so much for your assistance online.

    Lewis - 3 years ago

    I would keep the links on the low end. There is little to no effect of having more than 1 link from a PBN site to your money site anyway – so limit to 1-2 links per PBN site.

Henry - 3 years ago

I think we shouldn’t leave out domcop dot com website from the list (free tool)

Kris - 3 years ago

Hi Lewis,

You mention using fakenamegenerator to build your profile. What about the billing information for the domain? Do you use your own cc information or do you use pre-paids..


    Lewis Ogden - 3 years ago

    I use PayPal and don’t worry about that. Google have no reason to be able to view or access billing info from another registrar.

Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

There are some tools the claim not to impact your HTML cod of the site and therefore are undetectable by the search engines…

I don’t know from a technical point of view if that’s even possible, however I treat all of these plugins/tools with a skeptical mind and prefer not to cut corners.

It does add to the workload but it helps me to sleep at night!

Aton - a couple of years ago

Lewis, I am a newbie , don’t know any thing about pbn? it there a contact that would get this all monetize up and running and the cost?

Waqas - a couple of years ago

Hi Lewis,

This is a very cool guide and I am definitely benefited by it. I have a questions though.

– Do you think having a single domain registrar for almost all your domains can be a footprint also?


    Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

    I guess it can be, it depends on how many sites you have. Less than 15 or so I would say if you go with one of the large registrars you would be ok. If you are building a large network I would switch up the registrars.

    As with anything it’s all about the risk you’re wiling to take as no one really knows the exact science – I have just tested and tried different things.

Gabi - a couple of years ago

Thanks again for a superb post here Lewis!

My question is probably similar to Waqas’ but say for example I bought 80 verified Gmail, Yahoo email addresses and I went with name cheap; used the free privacy on some, mixing it up with fake details and then some without privacy also with fake details. Of course I’d host with Host9 and reseller hosting like you said.

Would this be easily detected if a manual review of any PBN sites are done?

Like you said it’s no exact science but would like your thoughts.


    Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

    Hey Gabi, first off I think that whilst it’s unlikely that you will get a manual review (if you are using the PBN for personal use) it is still best to avoid shortcuts.

    Using unique emails and details for each registrar whilst being a pain to manage, is the most secure way. As for hosting, well individual hosting for each site would be better, however host9 is also another good option.

    Sounds like you are on the right track – just avoid cutting corners as others have failed because of that very thing!

      Gabi - a couple of years ago

      Hi Lewis,

      Thanks, I see what you mean about avoiding shortcuts. Will take your advice on this and go with individual hosting.

      Easy is not always better!! lol.

Waqas - a couple of years ago

Just to add something, Gobi. I would avoid using gmail or any service from google for my PBN.

    Gsbi - a couple of years ago

    Waqas, thanks for the head’s up!

    Any ideas on how to have non-G bulk phone-verified email accounts with unique details which would be necessary if you were hosting domains individually? Sorry, I’m pretty new to this! Is it ok to use Yahoo instead?

    In terms of minimizing footprints it seems to be a play-off between one host with unique C-class IP’s (using one identity) or multiple hosting accounts using various unique identities.

      Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

      You can use whatever email provider you use, I would actually stay away from Gmail. Try mail.com 😉

Gabi - a couple of years ago


Just read through your post and the comments again – and I keep learning new stuff!

I wanted to find out from you whether you think it’s ok to add my money site to Google Webmasters and possibly Bing Webmasters too?

From what I understand this helps with faster indexing. There’s also the benefit of submitting sitemaps. Of course I won’t use Analytics, I use Clicky for that. But is it true that with Webmasters you’re actually getting valuable information about a money site, whereas with Analytics you’re giving Google information to track.

Your thoughts on this would be a great help.


    Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

    I add all sites that I am trying to rank to both WMT and GA. I don’t worry about all them ‘tracking’ me etc, just don’t add your PBN sites 🙂

    Adding to WMT does help with ranking, as for analytics – I find GA pretty substandard and also use Clicky.

      Gabi - a couple of years ago

      Thanks for clearing that up, and I’ll definitely not add any PBN sites.

      I have another question related to footprints but it might be slightly off topic here so if you have another resource please point me in the right direction.

      I’ve been reading a lot about THE HOTH and am considering a package as a piece of the puzzle. I really only want to try out the basic package to begin with. What I want to know is; should I point the links to my PBN sites or to my money site?

      In light of using the basic Filipino package, I’m more inclined to link to the PBN sites as a way to boost their power and in turn my money site. I guess it’ll take longer this way but it adds a layer of protection for my money site – I think?

      I’d like to know what your opinion is though.


        Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

        Hi Gabi,

        Have you considered taking my PBNCourse? I think it would be gtreat for you considering where you are in your journey.

        As for building backlinks to my PBN sites, I simply don’t do it. I only buy aged domains with an existing link profile and don’t build any additional links. You can but I don’t have the time to do that really.

          Gabi - a couple of years ago


          Thanks for answering my question about link building to PBN sites – I can see how that could just create extra work and in relation to ROI it might not make sense.

          I’ve made as much use as possible from the PBN in an hour course for $7 is that the one you’re referring to?

          Lewis Ogden - a couple of years ago

          There is a full video course available (it’s $67) where we walk through each step and have a private Facebook Group where people ask questions etc.

John - a couple of years ago

You covered a lot in this post and its appreciated — But one thing in particular hindering me is email accounts to register their PBN domains.

I have had to email accounts (Mail.com, GMX.com and Gmail.com) pulled from under me leaving me in a position that if I contact my domain registrar they have the ability to shut down my account if they ask for ID because I simply wont be able to provide a photo id..

Whats your take on this? and how are you handling this issue? Thanks in advance

    Lewis - a couple of years ago

    Hey John, how have the accounts been pulled from under you? I have had this happen just once and forget the provider now but with those big companies I thought you’d be safe? Some ask that you log in once per month so I stay away from those, I stay away from Gmail but mail.com, GMX and also hotmail work for me.

Daniel - a couple of years ago

I have a couple questions about my new bpn I am starting. If I have 6 money sites in the same niche (different cities) how many could I safely link from each pbn site? IS there a best practice for this or do I need to build a set of pbn’s for each of my money sites to be safe and keep each pbn for just 1 or 2 money sites? Also, I have some old domains laying around related that have a somewhat spammy backlink profile but pretty good pa and da….can I use them since I already own them or should I just forget them?

    Lewis - a couple of years ago

    You could 301 redirect some of the old domains with good DA/PA…doesn’t hurt from my experience 🙂

    Also try not to over think/complicate it. I would lean towards being safe than sorry and linking a set of say 10 PBN sites to just 2 money sites. Work on 2 sites first, learn how many links they need to rank and repeat for the other sites from different PBN’s.

    Also, if they are all in the same WMT account, I would move them to a unique account for each site.

Dave - a couple of years ago

Great article. Have a question. I’m still confused on some of the numbers. If I have a 10 site PBN would you create articles for the same money site on all 10 (or 20 or however many)? When you want to post again; new articles on all 10 again…pointing to the same money site? I understand natural stuff in between, but wouldn’t it leave a footprint to have the same 10 sites point to the same site over and over again?

Additionally, is it OK to do this for several money sites through the same 10 site PBN?

Thanks for the clarification.

    Lewis - a couple of years ago

    Hi Dave, the more sites you want to link to the more PBN sites you will need. If you link to say 10 niches sites from 10 PBN sites there is a footprint there. That is IF all 10 niche sites are a part of the same Google Analytics/Webmaster Tools account etc.

    It’s unlikely they will “come looking for you”, however it’s not great practice. Personally I aim for 10-30 PBN sites per niche site and I will also link to 1 or 2 other sites I own from a few of the PBN sites but NOT ALL OF THEM.

      Dave - a couple of years ago

      Thanks for the quick reply. So it’s OK to link to the same money site from the same 10 PBN sites with multiple articles every few weeks? Isn’t that a footprint?

        Lewis - a couple of years ago

        Hey Dave, you don’t need to link to them every few weeks. Just once or twice from ONE article. You can then add content without links or links to other sites you own or authority sites like Wikipedia etc.

          Dave - a couple of years ago

          So your saying ONE article per PBN to my money site. Does that mean I need a new PBN site to link to my money site for every keyword?

          Lewis - a couple of years ago

          Dave – you don’t actually have to use your keyword anchor text in all of your backlinks. If you are trying to rank one page for say “black socks”, I would usually create a 5 site PBN, link to it from 2 sites initially and then drip in the other 3 over the next 3 weeks. Here’s how I would link to my page:

          PBN 1 – anchor text “best black socks” & URL link “http://mydomain.com/black-socks”
          PBN 2 – anchor text “all about black socks”
          PBN 3 – anchor text “http://mydomain.com/black-socks”
          PBN 4 – Image link with Alt text “black-socks”
          PBN 5 – anchor text “source: MyDomain.com”

          I mix up how I link and also the anchor text I use. You can of course link to different pages from each article, it all depends on how much risk you are willing to take on. I try to think what would look natural. There is not set formula, Google changes all the time, so think about if 2 links to the same site, from one PBN article would look natural.

Joseph Matt - a couple of years ago

Great article, thanks

Yansen Alexander - a couple of years ago

i thinks this research need some patch to be done like and share the technical PBN 🙂

Peter - a couple of years ago

Hey lewis,

Nice article few question comming after read:

1) As will block all bots how can continue check the power of PBN URL (mean if the metrics going down, the links been deleted.. and so on )

2) Does you have an way for get domain re-indexed more fast (bookmark social ?


    Lewis - a couple of years ago

    The backlinks are all that matter, the metrics are just an indication. People often overlook good domains as the metrics don’ show the true power. I have domains with 0TF but with backlinks from bbc.co.uk…there are great links to have but the metrics are low. I will buy these all day long.

    As for checking that the backlinks still exist, I only buy domains with at least 10 backlinks. Some will lose links overtime and as such their power will drop…however I opt to buy more domains rather than worry about domains dropping in power.

    As for indexing a domain, I use G+ to share the site

Zohair - a couple of years ago

Hey Lewis,
Seriously i am ready to setup a group pbn with my mates and buddies. But the thing which is i am afraid of, is the general one “Deindexing or Plenty of PBN by Google.” Although you have a written well precise and straight to the point topic, thanks to you.
But one question in my mind.
You have written this guide long ago like in 2013 (i checked from comments dates) the question is, are these all factors and information can still make you a warrior against PBN penalty or de-indexation of PBN. As You know google have recently launched a massive break down against pbns and caught many red headed guys and groups with PBN.
So simply i want to ask are the things and pre cautions are same as you have written in 2013.
Anxiously waiting for your reply as i am ready to go.

    Lewis - last year

    Yes the tactics are still as relevant today as the were when I wrote this guide. PBN’s have been used for years and have only come to be known to the masses in the last 2 years.

    If you are group buying you will need a more general PBN and you need to make sure you are all on the same page as to content quality/frequency and link velocity. I wouldn’t recommend a 30 site PBN linking to the same 10 niche sites for example. Build a bigger one and have other OBL to different sites and add images and video etc.

    Also set up social profiles for the PBN sites to make them more legit.

Ed - last year

Hi Lewis,

You’ve got some of the best information on PBN’s out there – very easy to follow.

If you’re using PBN’s to rank money sites will you put all of those money sites into one Google Search Console account?

Is that likely to cause a footprint or cause issues if one of your money sites is detected as having a PBN? Therefore leaving the rest of those sites in your Google account with the possibility of getting a penalty?


    Lewis - last year

    One site per Google account is the safest way. Never add them all to the same account.

      Ed - last year

      Thanks Lewis. I was going to add all the sites to the same account but I’ll create new ones now. I guess you’re right that there really aren’t any shortcuts.

Dania - last year

Great post, the best part is that it is easy to understand, I have been reading your posts since this past week to be honest because it is only now that I figured out PBNs (too slow I know) but I am hoping to build one for myself and see if thats a success. So each PBN should only have one money site right?

Is there any chance that you assist people in person with their querrires too?

Thanks Lewis,

I am a writer myself and I’d say
Great post!!

Oliver - last year

Great article Lewis and love your blog! Am just realising the benefits of PBNs myself and it has resulted in one article jumping from the top of page 2 to the #3 spot.

Am I correct in thinking that when registering your domains they should be registered on different accounts, even if they have WHOIS security?

    Lewis Ogden - last year

    Great to hear Oliver…and yes, that’s how I do it and the best way to protect your network from being found and deindexed.

Billal Sarker - last year

Nice guideline to stay safe with PBN sites. You can write few more details about content & pages. Personally I create a money site/blog by a expired domain, not actually PBN. So my personal experience is good. I never create any one time website.

The good news is, few of my PBN sites earn money from Google Adsense.

Adiel Khan - last year


I have a shared hosting account with 3PBns linking to 3 different money sites is there a risk in this>?

    Lewis Ogden - last year

    I would say this is too small of a PBN to worry about, especially if all 3 are pointing to 3 different sites. I would worry more about them all being in the same webmastertools account

Alban - last year

Hi Lewis,
If I had let’s say 10 PBN’s and want 5 of them to connect them with Google tools(with sepparate gmail accounts), google+, twitter from my home IP, would that be a footprint?
If yes, should I use VPN? Would that be footprint-free gmail account, webmasters, analytics? And all this from sepparate browser? Looking forward on this answer. To be honest I haven’t seen too much info on this

    Lewis Ogden - last year

    Why would you use Google Tools? Avoid anything with Google altogether.

      Alban - last year

      But avoiding Google for all of my pbn that would be a footprint right?

        Lewis Ogden - last year

        Not really, there are lots of sites that don’t use any Google products. I guess it depends on your acceptable risk factor and how many sites you have – for me it’s just not worth allowing them to see my PBN, switching IP’s everytime I want to log into a site etc.

Mully - last year

If I understand correctly, there must be only one alone on all pages of the networking site to the money site?

Or you could add a link on each page of the PBN money to the site?

Thank you

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