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The post SEJ don't want you to read!

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by JournoNick, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. JournoNick

    JournoNick Power Member

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    "We published a post about private blog networks today, that after additional review, we have decided was definitely not a good fit for our community (or any marketing audience, for that matter). A few have even said this challenged their trust in us as a valued news source. This is obviously not what I want to hear, as I know how hard our team works every day to keep improving. That being said, as head of the editorial process, I know that I personally fell short this time, and I apologize. We have decided to remove this post and appreciate your faith in us, as well as the chance to continue to be better. -Kelsey Jones, Managing Editor" - link to original post

    So now I present the article, written by Alan Schill on Search Engine Journal.


    SEO 101: 6 Strategies For Building Private Blog Networks That Work

    There is a lot of talk about private blog networks and whether they are an SEO goldmine or a high risk that should be avoided. After all, SEO is all about ?quality content? these days right? Wrong.

    I am here to tell you that private blog networks still produce amazing results when done correctly (emphasis on correctly). Do they work? If they didn?t would Google continue to sniff them out and take action against them? A private blog network is a network of websites that are created to look like real sites, but they only exist to pass link juice around. This is a gray/back hat method used by more people than you think.

    You see, the majority of people somehow don?t understand what the true definition of ?private? is. According to the dictionary, ?private? is an adjective meaning, ?belonging to or for the use of one particular person or group of people only.? If you visit any of the SEO forums you will see everyone and their brother selling private blog network (PBN) links. Private? These are far from being private because they are selling to anyone willing to pay, therefore exposing their ?network? and putting everyone at risk.

    If you buy self-proclaimed private blog network links and got wacked, you can?t say they don?t work. What you can say though, is that PUBLIC blog networks don?t work and they are high risk. Think about it for a moment ? what is to prevent or stop a Google employee from ordering and either using the report these sellers provide or tools to discover the links and quickly crush any site linked. They could do this is a single afternoon if they were really bored and wanted to ruin some people?s day.

    You are wasting your time if you purchase PBN links that are really public blog network links. If you are serious about rankings, then you need to build your own networks and keep it truly private. Let?s go over some simple steps to help you build a network of sites that you can use for your own personal SEO benefit.


    Identify Quality Domains

    There is absolutely zero benefit of building a network of crappy sites. Google loves signals of trust from websites that they deem as high quality. While you always want to go after niche related domains, the truth is finding a large amount of high quality domains in a single niche is not realistic.

    Ignore page rank. Too many people get suckered into chasing PR and they end up with domains that have zero backlinks and a high PR due to redirects. Remove page rank from your vocabulary when looking for domains. Look for domain names that are very broad, because you can always make them more niche-custom by alerting the title tags, meta descriptions and themes/logos.

    You want to turn your focus to the link profile of any domain you are considering adding to your network. Spammy links and spammy anchor text should always be avoided. Look for domains that have high quality links from authority websites. If you see domains with 10k inbound links and Chinese anchors run far away and never look back. Avoid using these ?bulk domain checking? tools ? they aren?t always accurate and if you are serious about building a solid network you will need to check them all manually.

    Here are some of my favorite tools to use to dig deep into the link profiles and history of domains I come across:


    Open Site Explorer

    Many SEOs talk about Moz?s Domain Authority (DA) like it is the second coming of Google?s page rank. It can be a decent metric to analyze, but it can be inflated with pure spam. It is important that you don?t just look at the DA and skip over actually combing through the link profile. Use common sense when checking a domain through OSE. If a domain has a DA of 15 but has a few high authority inbound links it can still be a very strong domain. With that being said, a domain with DA 50 that contains spammy links is completely worthless and would be toxic if you added it to your network.


    Ahrefs

    Ahrefs will typically give you the biggest link profile to dig through. Look for high quality links and kick that domain to the curb at the first sign of low quality links. You have to be very picky, because once you start to let one or two spammy links into your network of sites you essentially let your guard down and put everything at risk. Use Ahrefs to analyze the anchor text profile and ratio as well. Look for a lot of brand anchors and avoid anything with anchor heavy keywords that reek of spam.


    Majestic

    Last year everyone was on the Domain Authority bandwagon. Well, for 2015 get read to jump on the Trust Factor (TF) train. Majestic?s TF metric is one of the hardest to unnaturally inflate, in my opinion. Will that always be the case? There is no way to tell, but for the time being it is very solid. As a rule of thumb I won?t even consider a domain that isn?t TF15 or higher. Again, there are so many different factors to consider ? and Majestic is also another great tool to look into the link profile of a domain.


    Way Back Machine

    The last thing you want to do is add a domain to your network that was previously used in a network. Use Way Back Machine to check the website history as far back as it will let you. See what kind of site it was all the way from the beginning up until just before it was dropped. If you see any low quality content or spammy footer and sidebar links toss the domain into the reject pile. This can also give you a good idea about how to ?rebuild? the site for your network.


    What Are Clean/High Metric Domains Worth?

    Honestly, they are worth whatever you are willing to pay for them. There is no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to the niche, the link profile, and good old fashion supply and demand. I have seen great domains ranging from the registration fee to a few hundred dollars. I would highly suggest you spend some time learning what to look for before you go on a domain shopping spree.


    Locate Golden Domains

    Everything we have talked about up to this point is useless if you don?t know where to find good domains. I have three ?go-to? sources when it comes to buying domains for a network. One requires a lot of time and effort, but the price is great. Another will typically have some really good offerings but the prices can skyrocket into bidding wars, resulting in overpaying for a domain. The last one is the ultimate lazy-person dream.


    ExpiredDomains.net

    I check ExpiredDomains.net multiple times a day and I like it because they offer a lot of filtering options. Remember, in order to really find great domains, you have to do a lot of manual work, so anything you can use to make that easier is welcomed. Their filter system will allow you to sort by PR, DA, TF, and domain character length, just to mention a few. There is also an option to eliminate fake PR, but don?t rely on this alone as you MUST manually research any domain you are considering. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is well worth it.

    This is a great tool to get yourself familiar with if you are just getting started acquiring domains. These domains are available to register, costing you just the registration fee.


    GoDaddy Auctions

    GoDaddy auctions are my favorite source to find very strong niche related domains. Yes, you are going to pay a premium, but they can be a great source for some very healthy metrics. However, sometimes the bidding can get out of hand, and I have personally seen domains that were worth no more than $100 sell for thousands.

    I will check the auctions on a regular basis and watch domains that I am interested in. I determine the max price I will pay for a particular domain and once it goes beyond that price, I take it off my radar. You have to be very disciplined when buying domains at auction. Don?t let the bidding game or your emotions come into play. That is how unnecessary spending occurs.


    Smart Registration Required

    It would be extremely convenient to have all of your network domains in one registrar account, but that is a huge footprint you need to avoid. You might think it will be a pain to manage several different registrar accounts, but as long as you are organized it really isn?t that much of an inconvenience. You want to build your network knowing that there is a very good chance Google will be looking at your websites. Non-existing footprint = less likely that your network will become discovered.

    Create an excel spreadsheet to make your registrar management simple. I would suggest spreading your domains across as many registrars as possible. As your network grows you can continue to add to each, but always be on the lookout for new registrar options.


    Multiple Hosts Are Key

    Do not host all of your sites on the same server, the same host, and avoid anything that is labeled as ?SEO hosting? if you want to avoid waving a major red flag that screams, ?Hey, Google?over here! Please de-index all of my sites!? It amazes me how many people will spend time and money to build a private networks of sites only to try to save a few dollars on hosting. Then they get mad when their not so private network is discovered.
    Use separate hosting accounts for each site, spread across as many hosting companies as you can find. This gives you major IP and server location diversity. Again, staying organized is key. Keep a spreadsheet that contains all of your login details to make your life easier. If you aren?t willing to spend a few dollars per site to host your network then this isn?t for you.


    Be Smart When Building Your Sites

    WordPress is the easiest CMS out there, but you can?t have all of your sites built using WordPress and you MUST use a different theme for every WP site in your network. Again, this helps to avoid leaving a footprint. WordPress can account for a large percentage of your sites, but also add in some HTML, Drupal, and Joomla sites for some diversity.

    Make sure each website has an about page, functional contact page, custom logo, and detailed navigation. A terms of service and a privacy policy page is also a good idea. Limit each site to 2-3 links per homepage. If you have a sidebar or footer loaded with links (especially keyword heavy anchors) you will get nailed eventually. You want to also include some outbound links to authority sites to make it all look very natural (and real).


    Feed Your Sites Regular Content

    One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is completely ignoring their sites once they build them and add their links. I?m not saying that you need to add new content daily, but you should be adding new content at least a couple of times every month. Some niches will require very frequent updates to keep them looking real.

    Include images, video, and outbound links to niche related authority sites in your content. Never drop unrelated links in the content you add and never use cheap spun or outsourced low quality content. I?ve seen sites that got very lazy and started to update with spun content that was barely readable. That is a major red flag. Get yourself a quality writer if you value your network and want it to be around for a long time.


    Build Links to Your Network (But Not From Your Network)

    Never interlink your sites. Now that we have that out of the way, let?s talk about link building. A real site is going to have inbound links on a semi-frequent basis. Not all sites are going to have them coming in rapidly, but a link here and there will help paint the picture of the site being real.

    Build a few decent links to your network sites every month and make sure to share your new content over social media, but never from the same accounts. Hey, nobody ever said this would be easy, hence the reason why so many fail. Laziness will kill a private network faster than anything else!

    There are no shortcuts when it comes to this. You are either in or out. When you are smart about it and do it right the results can be amazing. Also, remember to keep your sites truly private. Never rent out links or share them with anyone.
     
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  2. Hawkster

    Hawkster Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I Never considered way back machine to check what the site was like before i purchased the domain, hmm im going to do that now, this thread is bookmarked for more reading later. Good read so far.
     
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  3. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    As a PBN builder beginner just want to ask.

    You said "Limit each site to 2-3 links per homepage". But I thought links inside the homepage is powerful than internal links (links that are not on homepage). Or the lower the OBL of the homepage the power internal links have?
     
  4. JournoNick

    JournoNick Power Member

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    Before the article starts, it clearly says.

    This means I didn't write the article. It was deleted by Search Engine Journal (read the first paragraph) and I simply reposted it in-case anyone was looking for it.

    If you just want a comment from anyone regarding outbound links, then the lower your OBL number is, the less likely you'll be flagged and the less link juice you're passing on, leaving the percentage per link higher. Also if you look at the links pointing to your expired domain, you will most likely see links pointing to the home page, so to avoid link juice evaporation you can put the links on the home page; which are generally contextual links in article where the article is not displayed as a snippet.

    Here a is a picture about link juice flow with a nofollow tag (thanks to woorank)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. InsanelySane

    InsanelySane Power Member

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    SEJ sucks

    This pbn stuff has been repeated over 9000 times and everyone that does it acts like its top secret new info.
     
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  6. musgravegeorgem

    musgravegeorgem Newbie

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    This plan is also repeted many time.

    so please stop spam.

    if you not stop then we compalint
     
  7. prab1996

    prab1996 Elite Member

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    Any thing new ?

    why the hell you want to inflate price of domain ? it has been already became too expensive to get good domains on godaddyauction.
     
  8. fc-dh

    fc-dh Elite Member

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    There is nothingin this post that hasn't been posted at least 10x before, so...... what are you selling?
     
  9. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    same old same old
     
  10. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Senior Member

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    Don't even know why it was taken down, this is basic beyond belief, I would barely even call it blackhat to be honest!
     
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  11. Reeshua

    Reeshua Power Member

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    Yes, spam repeted many time already. Compalint we shall be doing.
     
  12. Reeshua

    Reeshua Power Member

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    PBNs probably fall under "grey-hat SEO" for white hat evangelist, which of course they will shun.
     
  13. cocococo

    cocococo Senior Member

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    SEJ make out as if they giving out some holygrail of SEO, there are countless of tutorial on this forum alone.
     
  14. indianfreak

    indianfreak Power Member

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    Guys, stop bashing OP. He just posted an article that has been deleted from the main source. Might not be useful for most of the experts, but who knows, some one would have wanted to know what info was in the article that got it deleted.
     
  15. Paulie W

    Paulie W Regular Member

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    Stupid me fell for the catchy title. Well played SEJ.

    This is what is bothering me when posting articles in my PBN. On the one hand you want to link out to authority pages so that the article and hence the link to your MS will be more trustworthy, on the other hand you dont want to much link juice. Of course you could tag all the links to authroity sites as nofollow and onl the links to your MS as d0follow, but thats a huge foot print.

    Imo its the best to link out to 1 or 2 authority sites in each articles, because for me authority / safety is worth more than the link juice
     
  16. 75715

    75715 Newbie

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    I can trace the first PBN to 2008 and everyone and their grandma did it starting from 2010. Why did PBNs get so much attention in late 2014 and even now in 2015? Because Uncle G cracked down on the noobs.

    Now all this articles spring up, rehashing the basics. If a noob follows this, they:

    1. won't be able to afford anything because the domain acquisition methods described here (and in every other POS article) are not noob friendly.

    2. will get busted anyways because all the precautions described barely scratch on the surface.
     
  17. Viberation

    Viberation Newbie

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    This is an informative post, worth a reread. Bookmarked.
     
  18. dennica

    dennica Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    is there something new?
     
  19. BHopkins

    BHopkins Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    People need to relax in this thread! OP posted that SEJ took down a post. OP provided that post. It's nothing new, but to people who only do white hat it made them gag a little so SEJ removed it.

    Those of us who actually rank and have tested this stuff won't find anything new, even those who just read BHW won't find anything new.

    New info wasn't the point of this thread, OP was just sharing what SEJ removed.
     
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  20. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    SEJ...one of the worst sites in this niche. Eighty percent of the articles are pure fluff, written so someone could get a link there. I can prove it, but no one serious gives a damn about their site.

    I had similar article submitted for my blog few weeks ago and I declined to publish it because there was nothing new or groundbraking or worth sharing there.

    SEJ should be penalized because they do not provide updated information to their readers, they publish stupid, boring articles.