PBNs: Do they Work and Should you use them?

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are widely used by SEOs to boost the ranking of other sites.

But do they really work…?

In this post I’ll reveal if they work or not and talk about how you can use them.

But first, what actually is a PBN?

To put it simply, it’s a collection of sites that are used almost exclusively for your own use. You have full control over them and can edit them whenever you like.

They are usually domains that have good ‘value’…which means they have a nice backlink profile…which means the backlinks are from relevant and credible sources, no spammy sites like gambling, adult content, etc.

The PBN has perceived value so is bought with the sole intention of using it to link to a site or set of sites that you want to rank higher in Google.

I say bought because the domains need to have been around before. If they were brand new domains they would have zero value and no backlinks.

Where to Buy a PBN

You could try buying from a domain seller, such as GoDaddy auctions or NameCheap. The problem with this way is that there are a load of other people all doing the same thing so the costs are much higher.

The Manual Approach

You can also find them yourself. This takes time and effort but is something you can get a Virtual Assistant (VA) to do.

The basic idea is this: Search the internet for sites that are relevant to yours and on those sites find links that are broken. The broken link shows us that the other site is no longer available and might be available for purchase.

If the other site was a high value site that has just been left to expire, it might have good value. You can then purchase it for the cost of a normal domain.

Here is a step-by-step Process to do it

Step #1 – Cast your net

You need to look for sites to scan. The higher value the better, but also there is less chance that the site will have broken links if it’s really high value and most people will have already scanned it. For example, BBC.co.uk would be great or any University site.

Use Xenu link sleuth is a great tool to use for this. It checks any site’s links and reports back broken ones.

Step #2 – Have a Butchers

Once Xenu has shown up a list of broken links it’s time to take those links and check them out. Is the domain available? Use a bulk domain checker for this.

Throw away all those that are not available and keep the ones which are available

Step #3 – Verify

You want to make sure that that link profile is good, which means you need to look at who has been linking to that domain and the quality of those sites. Any dodgy, foreign or spammy links are a bad sign. It’ll be pretty obvious when you see bad ones.

Use the MOZ Open Site Explorer tool for that. Get a free account, you don’t need a paid one.

Ditch any spammy looking ones and keep the good’uns.

Step #4 – Go back in time

If the above checks are all positive, the next phase is to see what the site used to be about at various points in its past and to make sure no one else has used it as a PBN before. Head on over to Archive.org to do this.

Step #5 – Buy, Build & Link

That’s it. If you’re happy, buy the domain and get some cheap hosting to run it on. Build the content back up on the site and make sure it’s similar in subject to what was on there originally.

Then, start publishing new content, keep it up to date and link to the sites that you want to promote.

Simples…Just time consuming!

Author: David Tung

David Tung is a niche website builder enthusiast who has been helping webmasters create gain credibility within their chosen niches since the dawn of time...David is a regular writer for many sites, but mainly works on private jobs. In this blog he shares with us some of his insights into effective niche website building.

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