Marc September 23, 2014 With all do respect and I’m not an expert. I’m actually somewhat newer. But this comes down to being ethical and not trying to game Google. The PBN in MY opinion are not ethical therefore Google isn’t stupid. Don’t put the blame on Google. Nic Oliver September 23, 2014 It’s a matter of semantics – how you define PBN. It used to be clear – it was the next evolution from link farms. But now? Let’s assume 5 websites: 1 money site and 4 subsidiary sites. Let’s further assume people build all five sites as proper sites, with about me, blog, contact page, privacy notice etc. The 4 subsidiary sites are all themed around the same topic as the money site. Each contains 2 or 3 links to the money site, no more. Is this a PBN and will Google de-index the 4 subsidiary sites? Done well, it would be very difficult to spot. After all, there are legitimate reasons for using WhoIs privacy (fear of cyberstalking and/or cyberbullying for example). There are legitimate reasons for a dedicated IP address per site (to avoid blacklisting from being on a shared IP where someone else is spamming comes to mind). There are legitimate reasons for blocking a whole load of bots, renaming plugin folders, even hiding you are using WordPress (stop hackers, malicious bots etc). The situation is by no means as clear cut as the article’s author makes out!
“I’ve been working with Nemanja and PBN Fox for almost 6 months now. His team is not only responsive and affordable, but their work is incredible! Give them a standard you want, ask for a quote – say yes… be happy. Thanks buddy” Colby WrenInternet Marketer, Niche Nectar
Moz, Majestic and Ahrefs only crawl together a small percentage of the internet. Hence its normal for a website to show X links in Majestic and Z in Ahrefs. You should add all of them together. You should also double check that the links are still there, before you purchase the domain – sometimes the link has disappeared, but the tools have not updated their databases.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have not got round to writing that update yet, it is on my list! Both of these are great options, I use niche matching regularly. Purchasing niche relevant domains is definitely the best option, and saves you re-niching. When I’m purchasing new domains now, they are always niche relevant.
George September 22, 2014 So, what do you suggest doing now? We need links to rank our sites or is that a myth now? Spencer Haws September 22, 2014 Of course you still need links. I referenced several previous blog posts and podcast I’ve done in the post above…read those for linking strategies that work. Ray September 22, 2014 You still need links to rank but Google is the ultimate decider of what is a good or bad link. They will find it more difficult to completely destroy BLOG NETWORKS, because they’re deadly effective at increasing rankings. Most people would now go further underground with further schematics to avoid detection. If not for other webmasters submitting reports to Google, their efforts to destroy PBN’s would not be so effective. Marc September 23, 2014 Also try any of Erica Stone’s courses. Her courses are white hat. Marc September 23, 2014 Quality content, low competition keywords.
Josh September 23, 2014 Awesome post Spencer. I have started to see a small but awesome uptick in my rankings and page visits after using some link building for a small niche site I was building. I was ready to jump in and go to Rank Hero after adding a few more articles to my niche site, but now I know that’s not the right way to go about it. I haven’t lost my visits, though they’re not that high anyways, just yet, but I plan on building up content similar to the plan you and Perrin are doing to get back in the good graces of Google. I also think I’ll rededicate my time to the site I started months ago, but haven’t really touched since putting up a few pages.
Hammerhead Domains (I am an affiliate for this service.) Hammerhead Domains crawls the web for high-authority expired domains and provides filtered lists of these unregistered domains for free. This is your best option if you can’t afford to purchase 10 or 20 domains from a broker, but don’t want to spend the time it would take to find them on expireddomains.net. The domains are not all spam-free so you will have to check domains for spam, but they’ve developed some special filters so you don’t waste much time looking through the lists of obviously spammed domains. Josh, the creator of Hammerhead Domains, did a free in-depth tutorial on spam checking, called How to Get Cheap PBN Domains that Actually Help You Rank. Sign up for a free account and you’ll get access to a list of 10 domains/day. The free account is the perfect way to get started on PBNs on the cheap.
PBN’s not working anymore? Sorry Spencer, Im not convinced..(Controversial) September 26, 2014 recently read Spencer’s detailed post on his recent experience with a number of his niche sites. Unfortunately for Spencer his sites got
It can work. Old directories themselves as a link, add little to no power. But it’s a good way of finding very old sites. Still going to be difficult though, since people have been doing this for years now.
But, you may not have heard about the ever elusive band of SEO’s called the “tin hats.” In a nutshell, tin hat SEO has a lot less to do with actual “ranking” then it does with “generally being freaked the hell out about everything crashing down in a single instant and ruining everything you’ve setup for the past year.” Read about the origin of the term “tin hat” here.
seems like a good decision Spencer, I guess I will not use PBN’s even though I just started to build my first PBN lately. Game is over before it started for me
And, keep the Google tools out of the PBNs too. You should be concerned about traffic there anyway. If you want to check, you can usually find some kind of stats on the cPanel for the domain.
Mark N. September 23, 2014 Hi Spencer I do have a question if you don’t mind: for your sites that were hit, were they using PBN links _exclusively_ (be it from private or public networks, don’t care), or was there a healthy mix of PBN links + other types of links? Thanks in advance. Spencer Haws September 23, 2014 There was a mix of links. We never used PBNs exclusively on any of our sites. Mark N. September 23, 2014 Thanks
Spencer Haws October 29, 2014 Jason, if you have filed a ticket with the Rank Hero team, then it will get resolved. I apologize for any delays, but the people involved in issuing the refunds are indeed going through the process. I would recommend just following up with your ticket if you haven’t heard back in a day or so.
Now if someone is really curious about PBN’s and is willing to accept the risks that come with them, why not. It’s a business decision, there’s no good or bad.
Arthur September 30, 2014 Spencer, I assume when you say to “Just deindex the old domains (takes just a minute)”, you are talking about going to Google Webmaster Tools and using that to deindex your site? Spencer Haws September 30, 2014 That’s correct. Once you click that button, its basically done…Google will remove your site from their index very quickly.
Joash September 23, 2014 Glad to read the second part of the post about the warnings of using PBN’s. I gave up trying to game Google after Panda. Wasn’t easy because I “came of age” while link building SEO was at its height. But Panda and hearing the story of the guy who built the addiction website and sold it for like $250,000 (or something huge like that) convinced me it is just best to focus on posting both quantity and quality is best moving forward. Link building in the past eventually just wasted time and money that I could have focused on my sites. Financial Samurai September 23, 2014 I wonder if the strategy now is to SELL / OFFLOAD as many websites as possible in the portfolio that have a risk. Site prices go down as a result due to supply, but the sites that have NEVER been hit in a long period of time e.g. 5 years or more might rocket in price? Chris September 23, 2014 Yep, that’s Patrick Meninga, and he’s been saying to put all your time, sweat, tears, and resources into ONE BIG AUTHORITY SITE all along. Will check out. I’ve followed the authority site model with Financial Samurai. So far, things are fine and it hasn’t been hit by anything yet. I also don’t do any link building. But, I’m waiting for that one day when the hammer drops. So, I’ve decided to start a podcast too. Sam Ray September 24, 2014 Hi, which “addiction website” are you talking about, Joe? I’d love to look at it.
Joe Jones May 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm Permanent homepage links are usually paid for on a monthly basis. A good provider will only do 10, a bad provider may do 30+, since they don’t care about results. It’s very scalable because you can just build more sites. 10 links from a single PBN is a lot, if you’re using them correctly i.e. actually ranking, you should be making a solid ROI. Reply
I’d never worry about it with like 20 PBNs, but it’s something to consider, especially as your PBN grows. I’d just make sure that when they’re transferring to a registrar that the default whois information they’re set to isn’t always the same. I’m sure you can customise this with your registrars.
Tim September 23, 2014 Spencer, Thanks for the article. I’ve stayed away from PBN but tried other things to game the system but its a bit of a cat and mouse game with the cat (google) normally winning. I appreciate your comment that in the short term it was worth the risk. It will be interesting to see if you can or how long it takes to recover the website traffic. Cheers Tim
Yet, I have no plans to build a PBN. In fact, I have no plans to seek out links of any sort even if it could increase organic search traffic.
Private Blog Networks, PBNs, are generally groups of blogs or sites often controlled by one publisher, with the goal of building up links within the network as a way to help particular content rank better in Google. They aren’t really “private” from Google or the public. They can be seen but the “private” name seems to come out of the idea they aren’t really meant for public visitors but instead just to generate links mainly for SEO ranking purposes.
Hayden September 22, 2014 Glad to hear that Tomas. The sites are in the process of being taken down now, so no need to disavow. Travis Jamison September 24, 2014 PS the disavow tool is 100% useless for algorithmic penalties anyway. It’s just propaganda and a way to help Google better detect artificial links. The last thing you want to do is disavow unless you have a manual action.