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How can you tell a domain was a pbn?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by pronstar, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. pronstar

    pronstar Junior Member

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    basically: how do you tell if a domain has been used in a pbn?

    why?

    Several times I have talked to people about a domain (none in particular) and they have said, "nah, it was used in a pbn"

    when I asked how d you know?
    they either ignore me or can't\won't tell me.

    I feel it's important that I also know how to tell this otherwise
    it would be easy to dupe me by devaluing a good domain I am trying to sell
    or over valuing a bad on I may want to buy.

    sorry if that sounds a bit garbled.
     
  2. CyberHour

    CyberHour Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    If there was a way someone to understand that specific domain was part of PBN don't you think that Google would be the first to know that?
    You can only guess that a domain was used for PBN if there is history availabe in archive.org and you are able to see what was the content of this website.
     
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  3. Bahmer

    Bahmer Regular Member

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    Backlinks, metrics, and archive.org history (if its available).
     
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  4. pronstar

    pronstar Junior Member

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    so, it can only be a guess then? I suppose someone that has done their own pbn's would be able to have an intelligent guess.
    thanks guys, confirms my suspicion that you can't really know for sure.
     
  5. pronstar

    pronstar Junior Member

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    speaking of Archive.org I wonder if I can get some old content of mine removed from it? I can't see an option on the site to do that.anyone know?
     
  6. CyberHour

    CyberHour Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You can send them an email saying that you want from them to remove X content of your LIVE website
     
  7. mbreezy

    mbreezy Regular Member

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    If they're still up and you're not buying an expired domain, a few things I look at are:
    SERPs - are there other sites that seem like a cog in a PBN that have similar content and targeted keywords
    Robots.txt - do they have any link exploring tools bots blocked like ahrefs or majestic? (trying to hide the PBN from competitors)
    Backlinks - have new backlink discovery discontinued? what do the links look like? (abundant tier 2 and comment links?)

    Just look for signs that you'd normally do with your on PBN.
     
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  8. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  9. pronstar

    pronstar Junior Member

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    Yes, that's a top clue, blocking ahrefs\majestic in robots.txt, why would a normal site do that,? top giveaway surely. thanks for tip.

    I've never done my own pbn that's why I didn't know that!
     
  10. CyberHour

    CyberHour Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You are welcome @pronstar , Good luck with your project :)
     
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  11. Neoterz

    Neoterz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think if a domain has more backlinks within the different sites with different metrics, which is less, then that is a part of PBN. I am not sure with it.
     
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  12. pronstar

    pronstar Junior Member

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    I think I get what you mean. If the site has higher metrics than the backlinks would suggest it should have?
     
  13. Peter Ngo

    Peter Ngo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The only way to know if the domain was once used as a PBN is by checking its wayback history.

    If it has blog format with tons of irrelevant links and content on homepage, then it is pretty safe to assume it was in a PBN.
     
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  14. KevinNouse

    KevinNouse Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Even I am looking for a definite answer on this.
     
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  15. mbreezy

    mbreezy Regular Member

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    Not sure that this tool looks at historic info (only current data & registrant info) but I just sniffed out a competitor's PBN with it: http://domainbigdata.com/
     
  16. internetvive

    internetvive Newbie

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    You will see lot of posts with links to other sites on web archive history. I don't know how people discover with type of backlinks that domain was PBN.
     
  17. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Senior Member

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    The main question you want to ask is: "Will Google still trust this domain?"

    And then you check for evidence that it has already been used and abused, such as:

    - Spammy anchor text profiles
    - Clear change in website topic & structure (ie from an informational site to a blogroll style site) (archive.org)
    - Multiple outbound links from the homepage using commercial anchor texts (archive.org)
    - Chinese spam pages (archive.org)

    What if the archive.org has been blocked?

    Sneaky trick 1:

    Screenshots.com can also provide good evidence as it's often not blocked.

    Sneaky trick 2:

    enter the url domain.com/robots.txt into archive.org, you will now see a record of all of the times the robots.txt has been crawled.

    A PBN has usually been dropped for a long time, and then registered a few years later, so you are looking for a long period without a robotx.txt file, followed by a re-appearance within the last 2 years, which is normally a signal that it's a PBN.


    Then if you really can't find anything but the metrics could be worth it, register it and submit it to a Webmaster Tools account to check for a penalty, restore the archive.org content and see if it indexes, point a link at another website to see if it goes up in rankings.

    There you go!
     
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  18. Mr Wonderful

    Mr Wonderful Registered Member

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    That's is probably your best answer. Use archive.org and look at the outbound contextual links. Usually the anchortexts are really unnatural (+buy +best +review) if the domain was ever used as a PBN. Also the domainname usually does not match with the content on the site. If the domain is something like mikesclassiccars.com and the content is all about 'car insurance' you know something is up.
     
  19. archixet

    archixet Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Limited number of posts
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    Less indexed pages..
     
  20. TheSEOWizard

    TheSEOWizard Power Member

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    I have been a PBN seller for long and personally find archive.org and screenshots.com to be the best guide on checking if a domain was a PBN in the past. Another pointer is the backlink profile (both fresh as well as historical). I a domain and website about cars has historical anchor texts for health products then it might have been a PBN in the past for example.