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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.


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


About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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