What is a PBN and how do you start?
Maybe you have already heard the term PBN during your online journey or in a conversation? Either way, if you ended up on this page, you probably don’t know what it is or how it works and you’re curious to learn more. Fortunately, private blog networks are actually quite easy to understand.
What is a PBN?
A Private Blog Network or PBN is a network of authoritative websites used to build links to your money website(s) to rank higher in the Google search engine. A money website is a website you want to rank, ie the one that actually makes money, like an Amazon niche site or affiliate website. This can also refer to a customer’s website.
PBNS stands for ‘PBN site’ and refers to a website that is part of your private blog network. A very important detail here is that each of the individual PBN sites is not linked in any way.
The idea of a private blog network is that the websites seem to be separate from each other, they seem like natural links, unlike someone who links to his or her own website from his other websites. This means that only one to max a couple of websites are on the same hosting account, to leave as few traces that they are in the same network of sites.
A PBN can be a few sites to a hundred in the more extreme cases.
Is it against Google’s guidelines?
Absolutely! The only time Google tells you exactly how to rank is when they advise you to use AdWords. But for rankings within organic results, Google is the worst source of information. And wouldn’t you do exactly the same if you were in their shoes? Why would you tell people how to rank higher for free when you earn millions of dollars a year from advertising revenue.
Does it work?
If a Private Blog Network didn’t work, Google wouldn’t try to target those who do it and scare people away from the strategy. But this is nothing more than a scare tactic. People are still building private blog networks and thus achieve a better rank.
PBN’s have a bad reputation, but they do work if implemented correctly.
Why does it work?
Links are the most important factor in getting a better rank. What makes this strategy effective is the fact that the websites that make up a PBN are considered authoritative by Google. You will not receive links from a brand new or unreliable website. You will receive links from a popular website that Google’s algorithm loves.
To better understand the above, we have an example for you. In 2011, an initiative was launched to clear the streets of Chicago. A website was created under www.cleanchicagostreets.com. The initiative received a lot of publicity and was featured on the local government website and news websites. In the end, they got enough publicity and they could raise enough money to follow their plan. They did all this within a year. But since they have reached their goal and their website is no longer needed, renewing the hosting and domain has become pointless. So they drop it. But this is a domain with links from local government websites and news websites. And because it contains links from these very reliable sites, Google also assumes that this website is reliable. Long story short, what if an SEO or niche website builder finds this domain? He or she can look up the statistics to see how reliable and authoritative the domain is considered. The CEO can then decide to buy the domain from any domain registrar and use it for his or her blog network.
Between 30,000 – 50,000 domains expire every day (yes you read that right), many of which have good metrics or metrics for a private blog network.
What you need to know about metrics for expired domains
These expired domain metrics simply represent the power of the domain you’re looking at. What you need to understand is the following:
- Referring Domains – A statistic that shows the number of websites linking to the domain. Anything over 30 is good enough here.
- Backlinks – This is the number of links the website has. If a single website links to the domain three times, it’s 3 backlinks but only 1 referring domain. So make sure to check the backlinks before buying a domain.
- Checking for spam – Assuming there are a large number of referring domains and they are decent backlinks, you just need to make sure that the domain has never been used for spam.
Where can you find expired domains?
Knowing what to look for in domains is only part of the game, after that, you also need to know where to find the domains. But before looking at this section, you need to know what types of domains you can find.
A domain that has been completely removed and is available to register at standard domain registration fees. These are usually weaker and last for months until they are worth pairing.
This is a domain that has reached its expiration date but is held by the registrar for auction or sale. These domains keep their age, ie if the previous owner registered it 5 years ago, it remains a domain registered for 5 years. Our advice is to only buy expired domains unless you have a strategy to easily find dropped domains and buy them cheaply. But again, expired domains are associated with drawbacks:
- They are usually weaker (ie there is a reason the domain has dropped and no one else has tried to buy it)
- They are obsolete – our tests have shown that to test the power of these domains you need to set up a site and wait at least two months before adding links to get the full power of them
Options to find expired domains
The first option is of course with a registrar. Your second option is auction websites. Before scraping became popular, most people bought domains from auctions. These are expired domains, they keep their age because the registrar sells it after the owner has not renewed it. Usually, you will find more powerful domains at auctions than just scraping them, because the removed (expired) domains are quickly picked up by your competition. The disadvantage of website auctions is that you pay extra to make the first choice.
Important considerations when buying domains
Private is the first word in a private blog network. Hiding from Google is difficult and almost impossible, but you need the domains on your websites to see the links and pass on the power. It is important that you pay attention and ensure that there is no connection between these websites. They must look independent.
When buying domains, this means that you mix up your domain registrars and registration data. Don’t always buy from the same. In addition, make sure you don’t have your name and information in the ‘whois’ for each domain.
Now that you know what a private blog network is and how it works, you can start setting up hosting (click here for 3 months for just $1) and setting up your website. If you’re having trouble with this, we recommend contacting a professional to help you.