This is nothing ground breaking or revolutionary but still interesting nevertheless. By now we all probably know how effective PBN's are. I mean.. there are literally hundreds of guides online and plenty on BHW already on how to create and manage your own PBN. A lot of these guides are extremely helpful and to be honest.. if you were to spend a whole week reading some of the PBN related material on this forum you would have the necessary knowledge to go out and bang out your own fully fledged badass network. But it's a shame that only a small % of people actually take action once they've read something online. Anyways, this is for those who have set up their PBN and want to squeeze that extra bit of power from them. (If you're a PBN service seller, then maybe give this a test as well and make your clients happy ). SOCIAL SIGNALS Social Signals have always been quite a controversial subject. However, for me personally, they've always worked quite well so long as you integrate them intelligently into your campaigns. Obviously you shouldn't expect to rank Page 1 using just social signals but if you added them into your link building strategy in the right portions, they'll definitely help. When it comes to building my PBN's, I always try to ensure that I have everything covered. Right from the basic hosting footprints all the way to making sure the sites look genuine, adding social media accounts, carrying out regular monthly link building... and so on. For a lot of my PBN's, I always build and send social signals to it. I usually send the signals straight to the homepage but this time I wanted to send them directly to actual post pages with outbound links to see if they play a significant role in rankings. I already had a rough idea at what I was going to expect, but I wanted to test it out nonetheless to get some actual data. There have been quite a few tests like this on other sites online but some of them are outdated and most of them don't know how to create a PBN correctly. This should also help a few of you who have a PBN whether it's a small 5 site network or a large 100 site network. PURPOSE OF TEST The purpose of my test was simple. Send social signals to an actual PBN post page (which contained 1 link to a money site). I was then to track the results over the space of 30 days approx. I initially did the test using a few pages but after a week the results were too confusing/unreliable, plus I realized there were a lot of external factors that were significantly affecting my capability to determine the "true" value of the actual social signals being sent. At this point I literally wasted around 10 days with an experiment that failed miserably. *insert epic fail gif* Went back to the drawing boards and planned it all again from the beginning. I realized with a test like this, there was no way to be 100% accurate as external factors such as SERP fluctuations/algorithm fluctuations were impossible to avoid. The best I could do was carry out my test on as many pages as possible so I could get a very detailed set of data/results at the end. So this is what I ended up doing.. Learning from my previous mistake, I did the test using 20 PBN post pages. So the basic outline of what I did was: Social Signals > PBN Post Page > Money Site x20 Some points to take into consideration: Those 20 PBN post pages were all targeting different keywords. All those different keywords were ranking already in Google. The actual PBN posts were already approx 50 days old. The money sites had no other link building done for approx 50 days.. so any movement I got was most likely from the social signals. I also had another, different set of 20 PBN post pages which were all targeting 20 different keywords/money sites. This was used in comparison so that I could compare both data from both sets of PBN post pages. All 40 keywords were similar in competition. I hope you're still with me. In theory, if the social signals had any effect whatsoever - then the 20 keywords belonging to the first 20x PBN posts should increase. And in respect to that - the 20 keywords from the second batch of 20x PBN posts should remain steady. So essentially I was sending social signals to the first 20x PBN posts. I left the 2nd batch of 20x PBN posts alone - I did not build any social signals for those. The 2nd batch was only to compare the data at the end. Once I had everything set up (it was a pain setting up all the SERP tracking links, etc).. but I eventually got it done. It was then time to start sending the social signals. SOCIAL SIGNALS SET UP This was my social signals set up: 50 Facebook shares 35 Twitter tweets 20 Google +1's Pinterest pin + 50 repins Pretty straight forward, nothing complex. I have a supplier for these who did them for fairly cheap - but usually you'd be able to find social signal services on places like Fiverr or even here on BHW for fairly cheap. All the social signals were dripped out for 7 days. The above set of social signals were sent to each of the 20x PBN post pages over 7 days. I then waited approx 30 days afterwards for results to kick in. I could have waited slightly longer but temptation got the better of me. I analzyed all the SERP tracking links and got one of my VA's to compile the data into an excel sheet that was straight forward and straight to the point. The results? Well, the results can wait. Let me talk about something else real quick. USING SOCIAL SIGNALS TO AVOID A GOOGLE 'SANDBOX' Today on Skype someone asked me the following question. "I have a brand new site stuck in the sandbox. Built PBN links and everything else you can imagine but it's not budging.." This "sandbox" glitch or process has been something which I've even seen myself on a few brand new domains. Up until a few months ago, I thought it was unavoidable and all new sites went through it. Well, not really. For those of you who don't know what the "sandbox" issue is.. it's basically when you build links to a brand new domain and it doesn't rank no matter what you do. Eventually though (after 1-3 months) it'll start ranking and you can continue your usual SEO efforts. However, for people like me, waiting 3 months on a churn/burn project is just not practical. So what can you do? Here's where social signals come into play again. You see.. social signals are not just useful for juicing up your PBN posts. If you actually know where to implement them and you do so strategically and intelligently, they can produce some kickass results. With the following method, I rarely ever face "sandbox" issues and I've had sites ranking Page 1 in as little as a week. It's not rocket science. The process is simple: You have a brand new site that is a few days old. Instead of rushing to get it ranked - hold off with the PBN and other links for a while. C'mon guys.. have a bit of patience. You don't feed a newborn baby with a 10 piece chicken bucket from KFC... so stop spamming or rushing your brand new site with heaps of PBN links/contextual links, etc. Give it a few days and start dripping out social signals for about 7 days. If your keywords are fairly low competition, you can make your drip duration slightly shorter (3-4 days). The point is to begin with social signals. These are the types of links that Google will expect your site to get during its early stages. If you're a local site, then get some citations. If you're not local, then try something else like outreach/guest posts/press releases. The purpose of these links is not to get you ranking.. but to get your foundation set up. Therefore, it'd be recommended to target brand anchors instead of your money keywords. Drip these out for a similar duration - around 7 days. Now it's approx 2 weeks since you set your site up. Now freely bring out your arsenal of bad boys. Contextual links, PBN links, authority links.. spam.. whatever. If you decide to start creating PBN links.. then at least make sure to drip them out as well. Don't just blast out 50. Drip a couple every day or week. Watch your rankings magically appear in your 3rd + week. Although I have been a victim of this "sandbox" glitch, it doesn't always affect me and by following the above strategy.. I'm able to rank for a lot of sites very quickly. Sometimes I just skip the longer drips and drip out everything in 2-3 days.. and then I bring out the PBN links immediately afterwards.. which causes me to rank in just a week! Like I said, it's not rocket science. Use social signals smartly and you'll be able to reap the rewards. RESULTS FROM THE TEST Anyways... back to our results. These are the results of the keywords from the 20x PBN posts from the 2nd batch (this was the batch that received no social signals). 9/20 keywords went up (with the maximum gain being +4 positions) 10/20 keywords went down (with the maximum drop being -9 positions) 1/20 keyword remained the same All in all, it looked pretty normal and pretty much typical to what you see in the SERP's normally. There weren't really any major gains. And here are the results of the keywords from the 20x PBN posts (which received the social signals!). You don't need to be a Mathematician to see the difference in results. *insert celebrational gif* Let's summarize the results.. 17/20 keywords went up (with the maximum gain being +74 positions) 3/20 keywords went down (with the maximum drop being -20 positions). 1 thing to consider.. Although the results are quite convincing in showing that social signals played a positive role.. it's still not "100%" reliable. These rankings may have changed or fluctuated either positively/negatively if I had waited a little longer before analyzing the results. Due to daily SERP fluctuations, it's not possible to conduct a 100% accurate test. However, I think the results from the experiment/test is quite self explanatory. CONCLUSION Sending social signals to your PBN posts clearly have a positive affect to your rankings. If you own a PBN.. or if you're a PBN seller.. start sending social signals to every post you make and you'll be able to squeeze the most juice out of your networks possible. Social signals aren't even that expensive.. so it's worth testing and posting back with your own results. I'm already carrying out a few more experiments linked to this and hopefully can post my data and results for that in a few weeks or months. Testing different things take patience Few things to consider.. Using sites like Fiverr should be fine for your social signals... but if you're sending social signals to 30 different post pages on your network.. then make sure to use different providers OR double check and triple check with your social signals supplier that they'll be leaving no footprints behind. For example, some Fiverr sellers sometimes use the same social media accounts for various orders so this is something you need to avoid. If you have a perfectly built PBN.. don't **** it up by ordering badly built social signals. If you're only sending signals to a single page or 2 then you should be fine... but if you're sending a bunch of social signals to various pages like I did - make sure you leave no footprints behind. I know the information shared here is nothing ground breaking but the whole point was to share my results. If you decide to carry out this test for yourself, make sure to let me know how you get on!