Believe it or not you can build a private blog network that is a complete useless piece of shit. You spend countless hours between domain prospecting to actually hosting and setting up your sites. But what if after all that hard work you go to drop some links and things just don’t move the way you want?
There are so many factors now days trying to stop you from PBN linking an SEO needs to be much more aware than the old days. We will be covering the more bone headed stuff that people do in this article.
Cloudflare – This on gave me a chuckle for a while, use cloud flare IPs to setup your PBN domains. Yeah if you’re a fucking jackass. I repeat, do NOT do this, come on pay for some hosting people.
Robots.txt footprints – Be careful what you use in your robots file, in fact you don’t even need to block bots via robots.txt at all. But as an example of the crazy shit people do, check out some of these search queries for the common backlink bots useragents in robots.txt, you might even find some PBN domains.
Example: inurl:robots.txt “MJ12bot” “user-agent”
Unnecessary plugins – If there is a plugin that you don’t need, don’t use that shit. Like a bot blocking plugin for example, why use that when you can just modify your htaccess file? It’s redundant and can leave you exposed. I recommend going with the most minimal setup possible, and do vary it up slightly if you can. For example, you can use a few different redirection plugins instead of the same exact one each time. Also why not use html sites sometime?
Lack of hosting diversity – Back to the cloudflare nonsense. There are a lot of different ideas on how to actually host your PBN, but I’ll make it simple for you. You need different unique IPs and they should be as diverse as possible. So your Hostgator reseller breaking off 5x IPs all in order like:
Isn’t going to work very well. Think your link profile might look a little strange like that? Use cheap shared hosting, there’s an endless supply of it out there, like endless. Just use your expert Googling skills and find the best deals, coupons, email support, do whatever it takes. Bottom line shared hosting doesn’t cost shit for companies and your PBN sites hardly take up any space and use very little bandwidth. So just put in the hustle and you can find all kinds of decent hosting for about $30 a year. That’s the price I usually shoot for on average.
Not blocking link checkers properly – This is by no means a difficult thing you just need to have your htaccess file formatted properly and need a current list of all the backlink bots. But if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s really easy to botch this and let your competitors snoop all your links.
No authority links – If you aren’t dropping healthy amounts of authority links on your PBN then 2012 called, they want their PBN back. Don’t think of it like you’re sharing a chunk of your precious link juice, it’s important to camouflage your links and help make Google think your site is related to the authority sites. Don’t use your direct competitors of course and don’t just use wikipedia a bunch, use all the big sites.
Duplicate content – How are you generating your PBN content? Most people are probably royally screwing this up, just like anything else you need unique content for your PBN. At the very minimum you need a sentence or two with your link in it, be smart about it.
Not faking whois – Another one of those important pain in the ass details when it comes to building a PBN, whois information. How do you handle this? Use privacy on some of them? All? None? Well, I’ll tell you what to do, put fake info on them. This gives you the additional hoop to jump through of email verification but nobody said this was going to be easy.
SOA Email footprint – If you’re using any sort of reseller hosting setup than you best be changing the SOA email on each account DNS zone. Otherwise you’ll be able to google your email in quotes and find them domains.
Not checking archive.org for spam – If you’re not already doing this then you might need to go fix yourself a drink. It’s absolutely crazy how many domains have been previously picked up and spammed with now days. News flash, building a PBN isn’t exactly a new tactic. So use what is arguably one of the best free tools available for SEOs, archive.org. Make sure you thoroughly click around the history to determine if someone else snagged the domain and spammed with it. It’s not set in stone of course but I live by this rule, if there was any sort of spam previously on the domain I don’t touch it, just too risky. I can’t be going through all the trouble and expense to set it up, then put a link on it and be scratching my head wondering if the domain is tainted.
Domains won’t index cuz they spam – Occasionally I might even snag a bad egg, it’s rare but if the domain won’t index then something is wrong (ey why not try pointing a link at your competitor, fuck it).
Underestimated the Importance of Relevance – As Google gets better and better at spotting the difference between “relevant” domains and a generic PBN domains you should also be getting better at serving Google what they want. Even a small handful of relevant domains can tip the scales and get the results you’re after.
Being a dumbass – It shouldn’t go without saying, but being a dumbass can lead to major PBN failures. I could almost go on all day pointing out mistakes I’ve seen over the days. Then for near all of those mistakes I’ve seen a case of a site ranking breaking those rules. Hopefully that doesn’t blow your mind ;-)
So take my advice for what it is, don’t get caught up in the bullshit and execute. That is for my brothers and sisters who actually do things they read in blog posts!