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[Not A Guide] Building a Private Blog Network for the long term

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by sudorank, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. sudorank

    sudorank Power Member

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    Original post here: http://www.sudorank.com/guide-building-a-private-blog-network-for-the-long-term/

    The whole "How to build a PBN" thing has been done to the death now IMHO.

    This is less of a guide and more my thoughts when building private website networks.

    If you're looking for newbie guides then have a flick through these BHW threads:



    Wait? A Private Website Network?

    Yep, IMHO the whole "blog" thing leaves too much of a trace for Google to come sniffing on.

    A more accurate term is definately "Private Website Network".

    A Brief Preamble

    The first time I saw what could be called a PBN, was back in 2010 when working within a busy travel niche. There were a couple of a fairly major affiliates (Including Me) and one guy who had essentially built a huge network of sites targeting keywords within the sector.


    The more I looked at this guys strategy the more amazed I became:


    • He had one national brand, a large site that I assume worked out very well money wise.
    • About 50 regional / local brands covering specific areas. (Each one linked to the national Site)
    • About 25 "Travel Blogs" - these were the sites he published interesting articles and got quiet a few of "organic links" from.

    When I see modern day PBN networks I often think back to this guy. He was so forward thinking given the time and still managed to build a better network than most in 2014.

    It really was amazing and quite a healthy chunk of it is still in use today.

    The Current PBN Method

    Current PBN thinking seems to revolve around:


    • Buying a domain with PR / DA / PA (Whatever new fad Majestic comes up with this Week)
    • Throwing a WordPress blog on it.
    • Do it for less than $500.
    • Profit???

    How Sustainable Is This Though?

    Aside from the whole footprint argument, (You can easily avoid prints Now) I doubt very much that Google isn't watching the whole PBN explosion with interest.

    And what do 99% of these sites have in common?


    • They're expired / just dropped domains.
    • They run WordPress.
    • They have a private whois.

    Anyone who thinks Google isn't figuring out the same thing as some country bumkin from South Wales is in a dreamland.

    Yep, they're gonna come for PBN's one day, could be next week or next year.

    They will come...

    And it's going to destroy some guys who spent everything to build them up.

    So, What Can We Learn From A Dude Back In 2010?

    I think quite a lot:


    • He didn't build "blogs" - he built websites. Some of his networked sites actually look like small businesses with Google Mapping Citations and yelp / yell.com listings.They even have local phone numbers (More on that Later)
    • His sites ranged from WordPress travel blogs to Joomla templates and even quite a bit of custom .php too (I suspect this guy was a bit of a Web Developer)
    • He obviously created some sections of his site to be "Press Machines". These sites published alot of content particularly travel news and holidays. He invested a fair amount on press and content IMHO.
    • I think for the most part he built his PR from scratch. He obviously figured the easiest way to rank a mammoth national brand was to build 100 smaller local sites and slowly turn it into a network.The bonus was when these small business sites started to work hard, they ranked and banked too.
    • He diversified everything, from addresses (He rented business addresses from the likes of Mail Boxes Etc in Britain and 1800 Mailbox in the USA) to local phone numbers using a service like Sipgate so he could get Local Business Citations. IMHO Private domain registration is going to become a huge red flag for Google when trying to pick apart a PBN. Fixing it now will mean your network stays alive whilst bedlam ensues on the BH forums.
    • He didn't horde his PR, in-fact he wasn't scared to link out to national websites, local authorities and others. IMHO a blog that doesn't link to anything apart from a handful of similar sites is a dead ringer for a PBN.

    TL;DR, So Where The Hell Does This Leave Us?

    For those of you who understand the PBN risks, know exactly how and why Google could come knocking on your door and have a plan to return your investment quicky, you're okay. You have your bases covered. (And I'm certain you've tricks up your sleeve to Boot)

    For those of you building blind, who are borrowing money to fund your PBN or to whom a Google ban will have life changing impacts, (Losing your home, car Etc Etc) then you really need to do three things right now:


    • Read this post and think about all those "shortcuts" you're taking to rank. If you can't afford the risk, you can't afford the shortcut. You might laugh at me but we've seen this before. Big tactic comes up, Google eventually slaps down hard. Forewarned (And Prepared) is the best tactic.
    • Think about taking a good year to build your network, maybe even 2. A good network is like a fine wine, no one wants to drink the cheap stuff.
    • Consider using mailboxes for domain purchases right now, all this talk about SEO hosting and other rubbish means important stuff that is a huge red flag doesn't get talked about. Private domains man, this shit could get serious if Google wants it to.
    • Diversify your choice of CMS and if you can't build a static .html site do it today. Some of the best PBN sites I've ever seen are static .html
     
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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. Magic5

    Magic5 BANNED BANNED

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    Its ok for churn and burn though right :p?
     
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  3. sudorank

    sudorank Power Member

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    Doh, you are so 2013 with that comment.....
     
  4. SEO Power

    SEO Power Elite Member

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    Not a guide but actually a guide to building a PBN that would have a better chance of surviving when Google comes down on PBNs. 99% of people who read this won't take any action to protect their networks though.
     
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  5. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Finally a good post on PBNs on BHW, probably (fosho) the best one. I am starting to get bored to death with all the PBN drama lately.
     
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  6. JamesPat

    JamesPat Registered Member

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    Good read .. Thanks OP. Planning to build my own pbn very soon.
     
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  7. sudorank

    sudorank Power Member

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    Ye me too, the major issue is that people are building them falsely believing they will stand the test of time.

    That to me, is the worrying trend.

    Probably not, yet they believe everything $99 get rich e-book super blogger guy called Jeff tells them.....

    Sad times.....
     
  8. XxUnivaxX

    XxUnivaxX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Just when I was going to start working on them again.

    Thanks for the awesome share, let me read it completely.
     
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  9. sudorank

    sudorank Power Member

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    Nothing wrong with PBN's mate, nothing at all.

    Just approach it with the right mindset, build it slowly and always think ahead as to what Google might do to uncover PBN's in the future.

    I would say now is the best time to actually start a PBN because you can learn from other peoples mistakes.
     
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  10. prab1996

    prab1996 Elite Member

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    Looks like it will be better then the recent pbn shit. will read in morning.
    -=-
     
  11. deepblack

    deepblack Regular Member

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    Ok, I agree with most of the things you wrote. However, the biggest problem to prevent footprints will be in the field of having whois privacy deactivated. In that case you would have to use your real data which again leaves new footprints.

    Any ideas how to overcome this problem aside using fake data which btw doesn't always work because godaddy and co understand that something is wrong (yes, happened to me).

    The only long term solution would be to do the classic link swapping with other related sites.
     
  12. YouLion

    YouLion Registered Member

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    This is great information it really opened my mind up thanks for writing this.
     
  13. DannyZhang

    DannyZhang Regular Member

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    Really good post OP. That's how a PBN should be built. "Legit" websites with good content. Sure it will take more time, but that really means leaving no footprints.

    All the recent noob guides about PBNs are just getting more people doing the same things for google to crack down on.

    Thanks!
     
  14. Laubster

    Laubster Senior Member Premium Member

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    I respect everything you're saying here, and agree 100%. Except...

    It all comes down to ROI. I can outsource 20 WordPress PBN's to my assistant in the Philippines for super cheap. I install a WordPress cloaking plugin and adjust all the settings so that all traces of WP are gone. Unique WHOIS on every domain. Copyscape passed articles that aren't shit. I now have 20 sites that look like they're built on diff. platforms since they all have diff. themes.

    What you're talking about doing here is insanely resource intensive, both money and time. If you know for a diehard fact you are going to operate in one niche for the rest of your life, yeah maybe you do this. For the rest of us, what you're talking about isn't feasible.

    And really, with all the effort outlined above, you're still not immune from a manual review. I'd much rather do it the cheap way than risk all that time and effort. By the time a cheap PBN gets burned, you should've made your money back multiple times over. Then just do it again. It's all about outsourcing and systems. Both of us are one snitch away from a manual review. And don't think that just cause you have legit looking sites you are not going to get penalized. It's 50/50 risk, except the costs explained here are nowhere near the costs of doing it on the cheap.

    Just my opinion. There's already a ton of info out there about PBN's, Google could've cracked down on them by now if they wanted. PBN's are nothing but PageRank combined with content. Google can't remove PR from their algo, which leaves them to attack PBN's based on content quality and things like private WHOIS. Take care of those issues and you're 95% covered. I'm willing to take that last 5% risk to save me from all that dramatic effort involved above.

    Once again, just an opinion. People get so emotional and caught up in SEO tactics, while forgetting SEO is nothing but a method of driving traffic (that should be directly tied to the costs involved like the paid traffic guys do it).

    This is also keeping in mind I'm not buying dozens of super juiced, $600 PR5 domains. In that case: Yes, you should protect them as much as possible. But let's face it: 99.999% of the people here are not buying those domains either. They're buying PR1-3 expired domains for $20-90 bucks, which are perfectly capable ranking many local and low-medium comp. niche sites.
     
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  15. bigkapp

    bigkapp Regular Member

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    Grate read OP. I'm about to start building my own PBN soon and the details you outline here will go a long way. It's going to be more for learning then anything else, although making a positive ROI wouldn't heart. I might just sell a few just to re-coop the coast.


    That's the same thing I'm trying to figure out deepblack. To better prevent the whole networking from getting hit what would be the best route to take when managing the Whois info.
     
  16. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    thanks sudo - that's the post that I should have written, but was too lazy.

    I've lost a 80+ site network through a manual review, which I'll admit was built lazily. I'm now in the process of building a small yet powerful niche relevant network and have been thinking along the same lines as you.

    The site that this network is being built to market hasn't actually been built yet.
     
  17. AsgharSK

    AsgharSK Regular Member

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    Interesting, good read thanks mate ☺
     
  18. Pilfer7

    Pilfer7 Regular Member

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    1. Build the 2014 version of a network

    2. Bank

    3. Use bank to build 2010 version of a network


    Good post Sudo, has me thinking about a few things...
     
  19. Seo Lover

    Seo Lover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good read , many interesting points .
     
  20. reza.suryadilaga

    reza.suryadilaga Newbie

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    i am interesting for your toturial
    thanks