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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.

what-is-a-pbn

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…

improve-ranking-with-pbn

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?
 answers

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

Method:

  • 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

Results:

  • 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.

Conclusion:

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?)

Cyber Monday PBN Service Sale

For the first time ever my two most popular services are going on SALE for Cyber Monday.

If you are looking for a great deal on Hosting along with a bonus checkout my Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hosting Bonus.

These $100 promotions are LIMITED and ONLY AVAILABLE MONDAY (starting at midnight on Sunday EST)

Promotion 1 – Done For You PBN Service – Save $110 on a 5 Site PBN!

With this service I have helped over 400 customers build over 2,000 websites of which over 90% are still indexed and helping them rank their websites!

Today I am offering you a $100 DISCOUNT on my most popular service!

COUPON CODES ARE NOW LIVE!

Countdown Until The Codes Are No Longer Live...

00
Days
17
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Coupon Code:D4YPBNMon (Will Be Active Midnight on Cyber Monday!)

10 Limited # Available

Or

If you are looking for a safe way to rank a website in a niche that is difficult to get links than a relevant done for you PBN is the way to go.

Control your links and use them to drive your site up the SERPs!

Promotion 2 – Use My PBN – Save Over $100 on 15 Links!

This service has demonstrated its value time and time again. I have built up an awesomely powerful PBN with some pretty incredible domains.

This network I have built to the highest of standards and use it to really push sites up the search results FAST!

COUPON CODES ARE NOW LIVE!

Countdown Until The Codes Are No Longer Live...

00
Days
17
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Coupon Code:PBNLinkMon (Will Be Active at Midnight on Cyber Monday)

20 Limited # Available

Or

How to Build a PBN in 2019 – Ultimate Private Blog Network Guide

In 2013 I created the ultimate guide to expired domains and since then have built over 10,000 PBN sites the right way!

This new and improved guide has everything you need to  build a Private Blog Network in 2019 the right way! I get asked many questions about wether of not PBN backlinks are still powerful in todays SEO world and my answer is... yes and I have some data to show you just how PBN backlinks in 2019 still work in this case study here.

This MASSIVE 9,000+ word guide provides you with everything you need to build a powerful private blog network the right way easily and surprisingly cheap! 

This free guide is the result of years of experience, weeks of work, 10,000+ PBNs built, hundreds of customers, 230 comments on my last guide and dozens of people contributing questions.

​Thank You to everyone who has helped make this guide the MONSTER it is!

I truly hope that by the end of this how to build a PBN guide you will have gained a lot of valuable information that you can apply to your sites.

You will learn how to...​

  • ​Find premium expired domains that are powerful, relevant and free of SPAM
  • Build an effective PBN with no footprint
  • Use a PBN the "right way" to improve your rankings
  • Use an exact repeatable process (with my procedures)
  • Build a quality PBN at a remarkably low cost!

This guide has everything you need to build a powerful PBN by yourself but if you are tight on time and want to simply pay my team to build you your PBN right visit my service...

Jon Gillham
AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com & LightningRank.com 

This Guide Works - Less than 10% of the 10,000+ PBN sites my team have created have ever been de-indexed!

How to Build a PBN in 2016 Free Course


We recently passed the creation of our 2,000th custom built PBN site!

To celebrate I have been working on a follow up to my Ultimate Expired Domain and PBN Guide

EVERYTHING you need to build a very powerful and effective PBN easily and cheaply yourself in 2016!

Considering I have a PBN creation service doing this it is likely a terrible idea for me to share so much including my custom tracking document and internal SOPs but I have always believed in transparency of how I generate rankings and will continue to do so.

The purpose of this post is to get feedback from yourselves on what you would want to see in my Ultimate Guide to Building an Effective PBN Easily and Inexpensively!

My goal is to make this the best resource ANYWHERE either paid or free! (and this will be 100% free – not even an email opt in needed)

Why Am I Qualified to Write This Post?

  • Under 10% of sites ever built for custom PBN packages have been deindexed
  • Ranking results have continued to remain strong
  • Repeat customers have eaten up a large % of my monthly sales volume
  • Over 2,000 custom built PBNs created in the last 3 years

What Will Be Included in the Post/Guide/Course (whatever you want to call it)?

 

How to Build a PBN Course

  • Part 1 – How to Find Expired Domain for Your PBN
    • Done For You Service
    • Do It Yourself
      • Recommended Option – PBN Lab
        • Search Setup
        • Viewing Results
        • Sorting Through The Domains
      • Metrics to Target
      • Importance of Relevancy
      • How to Check Expired Domains for SPAM
        • Anchor Text
        • Link Metrics
        • Type of Links
      • 13 Point Pre Purchase Checklist
    • Register Domain
      • 7 Steps To Successfully Buying and Registering a PBN Domain
      • How to Get Fake WhoIs Data
      • How to Buy and Register a PBN Domain Correctly
        • GoDaddy
        • NameCheap
  • Part 2 – How to Host a PBN
    • 5 Requirements to Host Your PBN Sites
    • Done for You Option
    • Easiest Option – New Generation of Class A Diversity Hosting
      • Benefits of Hosting
      • Hosting Tutorial
  • Part 3 How to Setup a PBN Site
    • Done for You Service
    • Create Decent Quality Content Inexpensively
      • Identify Articles to Be Created
      • Post a Job on ODesk
      • Hire 2 Writers for Each Group of Keywords
      • Send Them a Message with Instructions
      • Receive, Review & Upload Articles
    • Build a Great Looking PBN Site That Can Pass a Manual Review!
      • SetupWordPress
      • Add Content
      • Finish the Layout
  • Part 4 – How to Rank With Your PBN
    • Articles
    • Number and Location of Links
    • Anchor Text & Destination
  • Final Result – LIVE PBN Example
  • How Much Did This Cost?
  • Glossary (PA, DA, CF, TF, LRD, PR, MozRank, PBN, Expired Domain, TLD, Money Site etc)

Question for You…

Please help me make this the best resource anywhere for building your own PBN…

  1. What questions do you have that I can help answer?
  2. What topic is currently not covered you would like to see covered?
  3. Any other suggestion/request?

As an additional bonus for you asking the question/leaving the comment here and helping make the post better I will thank you in the post linking back to your site (if you want it). I look forward to all the questions!