Authority Website Income

Category Archives for PBN

How to Check Backlinks of Domains


Over the last 8 years my team has been finding domains, buying domains and building PBN sites for both my own portfolio as well as clients. One of the most important parts in the whole process is finding quality domains that can give your PBN some power, and in turn give your money site some power.


Most people believe that just going based on metrics such as Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) are really the only things that matter when deming whether or not the domain is good. However most people forget that these expired domains were once used for something else and so checking the backlinks of the domain to ensure there isn’t anything spammy going on is very important and is often overlooked. You don’t want to put your money site at risk by getting links from a domain that has spammy links pointing to it because Google could penalize you for that.


Below, is a step by step guide on how you spot check the backlinks of the domains to ensure they were not once abused. For looking at the backlink profile, we always like to use Majestic as it is one of the more reliable tools that we have used.


Example of a Bad Domain

For this example, we are going to use the domain


As we can see in Majestic, it has a bit of TF and CF (although you want to try and get to as much of a 1:2 ratio as possible. If you can get a 1:1 that’s even better.

But there are two other places that need to be checked. The anchor text profile and the backlinks.


For the anchor text profile, you can see that their are not only spammy words being used but also foreign anchor text. This is a clear sign that this domain has been abused.

However, sometimes the Anchor Text appears to be normal and we would have to also check the backlinks to ensure there isn’t any foreign or spammy links.

As you scroll through the list of backlinks, first check to see if there are any unusual or foreign texts.

If there isn’t anything that stands out, click on a few links and open them up to see if there is anything suspicious that pops up. When we open up a few we get some pages that look like the below. This is a clear sign of spam.

Example of a Good Domain

In this example we are going to look at the domain


That domain has good TF and CF and has a pretty close ration of 1:1 which is a good start.

When looking at the anchor text profile of the domain, we can see that the anchor text words are relevant to what the domains topical trust flow is which is Society/law. There is also no spammy or foreign words.

When we go and look at the backlink profile we can see that they all look good and no foregin words are present.

When we open them up they go to sites that are relevant and not foreign content.

What’s Next?


After you have looked at the domain in, you then want to check it in and check a few different dates to see what the domain once was. Ensure that the domain wasn’t used in an inappropriate way or that it had foreign content on it.



I find that a lot of people miss a few of these steps which can be vital when looking at potential domains to link to your site. If you have any questions at all or need some further clarification on how to follow these steps please let me know!


Are PBNs Working in 2017 – Case Study and Test Results

So the big question…. ARE PBNs STILL WORKING IN 2017???

See the case study process and results below and how I generated 800 organic visitors in a day!

This post is a case study aimed at identifying the potential power of expired domains with actual traffic data and link metrics revealed.

Some of the results are pretty surprising…

PBNs have been a very controversial subject to talk about but have also been the most systematic way of ranking a website I have found.Continue reading

Cyber Monday – Services Sale!!

Today I have some special Cyber Monday deals on my productized services businesses.

At whatever stage you are at in your business I hope one of these deals below helps you progress in your business!

For the last few years we have found that creating teams and systems to deliver productized services to clients focusing on complex activities in the SEO / internet marketing space has been a good niche for our team.Continue reading

12 Frequently Asked Questions About Building and Using PBNs

Since 2013 I have been talking about, using and building PBN sites to help rank mine and other websites.

There are very few people that talk about PBNs in a balanced way. I hope this post helps answer some of the common questions people have.

If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments section and I will respond.


What is a PBN?

A Private Blog Network is a network of real, relevant and authoritative sites that are perceived to be independent from one another in the eyes of Google but you control and can link to your money site. These links being real and relevant drive ranking improvements within Google.


My Team Offers Two Services To Help:

Have My Team Build You a PBN
Use My PBN – Powerful Links

Frequently Asked Questions About PBNs…


ONE – Do PBNs Still Work to Rank Websites?

The short answer is that backlinks from relevant authoritative sites definitely still works! The question of how much does it work is answered in more detail below but I can say that it definitely does work on both my sites and clients.

Each week we receive emails like this one received last week…


TWO – What is the Best PBN Hosting Options Now?

Hosting can be a massive pain! I now have 1 person who works full time to manage all my hosting accounts.

I now have two simple recommendations for people who are looking to host a PBN…

  • Best Option for Large Network or Agency – Use multiple popular shared hosting accounts like we do to ensure your referring IP profile is as natural as possible. This strategy ensures your PBN sites are not located in a “bad neighbourhood” of other PBN sites.
  • Best Option for IndividualsEasyBlogNetworks offers hosting that is essentially a dashboard for multiple cloud hosts.
Best PBN Host

(prices increase for this host Sep 1, 2016)

THREE – Do PBNs help all websites rank and how many backlinks do I need to rank on the first page?

The type of sites that seem to respond the best are those in “boring” niches that traditional white hat link building is the hardest in!  This usually involves an affiliate site or a business site.

The sites PBNs don’t make a lot of sense to use on are sites that have an easier time to build links. For example a “mom blog” would do better to allocate its money for SEO to guest post outreach and creation.

Sometimes the ones that don’t respond the best are either the crazy competitive local niches (unless a lot of links are sent at them) or the large magazine style site who need a monthly link velocity way higher than the package purchased.

To help people answer the question of “how many links do I need” I wrote this post and provided a free guide.


FOUR – What is the risk of using a PBN?

There is risk with every marketing strategy online. I have an issue with SEOs who don’t try and communicate the risk of using PBNs.

The right level of risk vs reward to accept is highly dependent on everyone’s personal situation.

What I can share to try and help quantify the risk is that our lifetime deindexation rate over the course of 3,000+ sites being built is…

  • Over 3,000 sites have been built
  • 8% for done for you niche relevant exclusive PBNs (done for you PBN service)
  • 23% for Use my PBN, exclusive but shared PBN service with most of those deindexations coming in 2014 (see what I wrote about it when it happened here)

What will happen if sites do get deindexed is that the rankings benefit of the use of those PBNs is lost.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND someone only use PBNs as their SEO strategy. It is critical that your sites footprint remains distributed and not easily identified as a site that exclusively uses PBNs.


FIVE – For the Use My PBN Service do links on my PBN stay live after someone cancels?

Yes, links on my use my PBN service stay live even if someone cancels.

The most common reason people have for cancelling is that their rankings have jumped up to where they want them and they no longer need the service. So a lot of people tend to use the service until they achieve the ranking goals for their site or clients site and then cancel the service.


SIX – Can I Add More Articles for the Done For You PBN Service?

In our done for you PBN building service we create 1 article per site every 5 months. There are times that people would like to add more.

When we build your PBN with our done for you service we provide you with admin access to the site and you can post as many articles as you would like.

Many SEO agencies use this access for when they add a new client. A lot of our clients have a network relevant to a specific industry or geography and then when they add a new client use that existing PBN to build relevant/authoritative links to that new website.


SEVEN – Does it Work for Reputation Management?

With the growth of the online reputation management industry we have seen an increase in the number of people using our service for Reputation Management.

The basic strategy for reputation management fits well with our services…

  1. Create positive pages about the individual
  2. Drive links to those positive pages/profiles (using Use My PBN or Done for You PBN Service) to push them in front of the negative posts

Similar to the agencies mentioned above a lot of reputation management consultant clients we work with like to use a combination of having their own PBN network managed by us and as they add new clients simply post new posts to that network.


EIGHT – Does it Work for Videos?

Although it works for videos and clients have seen substantial ranking improvements there are a lot of strategies that are higher risk/lower cost that seem to be able to rank videos more cost effectively.

The reason is that the domain strength of YouTube is strong enough that if you throw some crappy links at the video it usually doesn’t result in the post getting penalized.

However, I believe this will continue to move in the direction that higher quality links will have a bigger and bigger impact driving results for your site.


NINE – Can I Rank My Amazon Private Label Listings?

This is a fun one I have been experimenting with lately.

The answer is that YES you can influence which Amazon listing shows up in Google.

It is either Feast or Famine when it comes to rankings Amazon Listings. Since Google only shows a couple results in Google you need to be in the top 2 for Amazon listings for the given keyword or you get no benefit.

Here is the basic strategy I have tested with success…

  1. Identify keyword to rank for, target relevant, buyers intent keyword with low competition (KC score < 30)
  2. Analyze the Amazon competition currently showing up in Google to determine the number of backlinks they have using this strategy.
  3. Based on the number of links you need go ahead and build links to that Amazon listing. I like to use the powerful links from my Use My PBN network to boost my Amazon listings to show up in Google.


TEN – Should I Hide My Sites from Crawlers like Majestic, OpenSiteExplorer and AHRefs?

I go against the grain when it comes to my recommendation to NOT hide your PBN from crawlers.

The reason?

You are only asking the crawlers to not index the links from your site and it would be easy for Google to create a crawler that looks for the sites that request to not have the link networks track their links.

Now once they have a list of all the sites that have hidden themselves from Majestic, AHRefs and Moz what is the chance that they are all PBN sites or doing something sketchy…. I would theorize it would be pretty high!

For that reason a better approach is to build a PBN that is real/relevant and could stand up to a manual review if necessary.


Eleven – When is the right time to start building a PBN or Links?

People that are just starting out often wonder what the right approach is to the timing for building their PBN.

The short answer is that as soon as you know you are going to be going into a niche it is a good idea to start building out a niche relevant PBN but do not let that stop you from getting started.


TWELVE – What is the PBN backlinking strategy I use now for new sites?

So, what do I do today to get a site moving up the rankings?

It of course depends on the competition and the number of links I suspect I will need to rank. Like I have mentioned above using PBNs exclusively is NOT the best strategy but using them strategically still makes a lot of sense for me.

What I really like about the strategy of using PBNs as the cornerstone of ranking a website is that it is scalable based on the results. Because of that here is the basic strategy I use with a new site…

  1. Build a 5-10 site relevant, niche specific PBN right away
  2. Once the site is created start dripping use my PBN links to it
  3. Measure the results of the ranking improvements and create a plan to scale up the links as needed.


Have My Team Build You a PBN
Use My PBN – Powerful Links


Are Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Effective in 2016? – $8 Million Dollar Case Study

This is a question always worth asking! In this post I will share why I believe using PBNs is right for my business and use data to show if PBNs are working in 2016 and their risk.

Why Do I Use PBNs?

I believe that those of us with limited time can systematically build useful websites that rank in Google and support the lives we want in less time than the average person watches TV in a day.

PBN's are one tool in my toolbox to help rank websites without me needing to invest a ton of my own limited time.

Jon Gillham

Why share this? Well I know there is a stigma around using PBNs and I understand that but my view is that I need to either not be in the game of making websites or find a way to leverage my skills of systems/processes to help rank my websites.

If I had unlimited time than certainly a pure white-hat approach would be ideal. However, day job, family commitments and other online businesses force the reality that pure white hat techniques executed by me is not an option.

So PBNs for me is a way to systematically continue to build my passive income portfolio to the over $10k/month I now enjoy.

Have you used PBN links to rank a website?

The key question for a lot of you, like it is for me as well, is how well are they working now in 2016 and what is their risk?

Using data I will try and answer some key questions…

  1. How Well Do PBNs Work in 2016
  2. How Risky Are PBNs
  3. How to Build a PBN in 2016

How Well Do PBN Work in 2016 – An $8,000,000 Case Study – WHAT??

Getting data on how many successful sites are using PBNs is obviously not easy. However, one location for collecting amazing data on this topic is the EmpireFlippers Marketplace where $8,000,000 worth of sites are currently listed.

I have done this analysis before and by using that snapshot in time at the start of 2015 vs this one I can answer the following questions…

Questions to Be Answered:

  1. What % of people building and selling profitable websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites?
  2. Has the % of people using PBNs changed from 2015 to 2016?
  3. Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  4. How much does the use of a PBN drop the value of a site bye?

Big Pile of Data to Answer These Questions...

  • 48 Active Listings
  • $287,757.77 worth of monthly net earnings
  • $7,894,504.01 worth of sites included in the data


  • Collect all the data
  • Remove websites that don’t use organic traffic at all (some ecommerce, most FBA etc)
  • Compare to previous results and answer questions


  • Question 1 - What % of people building and selling profitable content websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites now?
  • Answer 1 – 55% of content websites for sale (excluding FBA & ecommerce) use a PBN to help drive organic traffic to their website.
  • Question 2 - Has the % of people using PBNs changed from 2015 to 2016?
  • Answer 2 – Those of us using PBNs to help their content websites rank has increased from 42% in 2015 to 55% in 2016.
  • Question 3 - Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  • Answer 3 – PBNs rightly or wrongly often get associated with lower quality sites and not associated with the larger earnings sites. This turns to not the case with PBN sites earnings only a little less than sites that don’t use PBNs showing PBNs are used on larger sites as well. The graph below shows the average income for a site using a PBN vs the average income for a site not using a PBN.
  • Question 4 - How much does the use of a PBN drop the value of the site?
  • Answer 4 – No questions on this one a site that uses a PBN to get its rankings does sell for a discount. The average listing multiple for sites with a PBN was 25.8 vs 27.5 for sites with no PBN.


Based on this data there are a few clean conclusions…

  1. Use of PBNs in 2016 is widespread (over 50%) and increasing!
  2. PBNs are not typically used on the largest of sites and when they are used the site sells for a small discount compared to a site built without a PBN to help it rank.

Risk of a PBN

No discussion of using a PBN to help you rank your website is complete without an honest discussion around the risks with using a PBN.

Let me stress that my belief is that for those of us with limited time that want to rank a useful website building a niche relevant high quality PBN is a systematic method we can use help us achieve our goals if used correctly.

However, a PBN should not be the only strategy deployed!

De-Indexation Risk By the Data

My team has built close to 3,000 niche relevant PBNs with less than a 10% de-indexation rate. This is very low and the key is for each site to be a “real” site capable of standing on its own.

PBN Risk Priced By the Marketplace

Marketplaces, when efficient, price in the risk of businesses. Based on the EmpireFlippers marketplace and the 6% discount sites using a PBN are listed at we can interprupt that right now the "marketplace" prices in that risk at 6% of the value of the site.

If you have a site that is making a lot of money but has never used a PBN be aware that as soon as it is labelled as using a PBN you should assume you will lose 6% of its value. However, if the ranking improvement outweighs the 6% than it still may make sense.

I hope this discussion is fair/balanced, not everyone should use a PBN and this post was meant to help show people when/why I make the choice to use them. Like everything online there are risks with the decision to use (or not use) a PBN, this data I hope will help you make the decision that makes sense for you and your business.​

How to Use a PBN in 2016 to Rank

If the risk/reward for using a PBN as apart of your SEO strategy makes sense to you here are 3 options for using a PBN in 2016…

Build Your Own PBN Right Way

(100% Free EPIC Guide!)

Save Time - Use My PBN!

(Extremely Powerful & Exclusive PBN)

Done For You PBN Service

(Want my team to build you a relevant PBN?)

1 2 3 6