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How To Effectively And Safely Set Up A PBN

Private blog networks are extremely powerful means to create the links your site needs to rank. However, it’s not as easy as just building a number of sites, there are a number of things to look out for. In this article, we’re exploring how to you can safely set up a PBN that will get results.

1. Selecting and Registering Domains – The first step to creating a PBN is selecting domains. There are plenty of ways webmasters can choose domains including scraping expired domains, bidding on auction sites, and buying from online domain vendors. Upon selecting the domains, they must be privately registered in order to prevent leaving footprints that may point the PBN to a single person or company. This can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the PBN websites and increase the chances of the network getting wiped out from the search index. provides a great way to find domains that are both powerful and niche relevant aplenty.

2. Unique Web Hosting IP – For many years now, Google has the ability of seeing where websites are hosted, allowing them to reduce the value of links that originate from the same IP address. To avoid this issue, PBN builders must create multiple hosting accounts from different hosting services for each of their websites. There are people who choose SEO hosting but this can prove less effective compared to having unique hosting for each domain included in the PBN.

3. Content Creation – There are 2 basic ways of generating content for PBN domains, namely creating new blogs or restoring the old website. Publishing new blog posts that are relevant to your niche is the more common way of generating content for a PBN domain. As an alternative, webmasters check the domain’s history by using their Wayback Machine.

The archive shows images and text from the previous versions of the website. Webmasters look for domains that are already under the same niche, enabling them to rebuild the old site and use it to create links to their money site without exerting so much effort in terms of creating new content. This is a pretty common technique but it pays to be careful in order to prevent any copyright issues, particularly if the old site has been rebuilt on a new domain.

4. Generating Social Signals – PBN builders have realized that high authority websites must also come with plenty of social signals. To make the website look more natural, social signals must be sent to all the domains in the PBN. Studies show that PBN websites with a lot of social signals rank higher in the search listings, which can also mean that they can better influence the ranking of the money website. By extension, PBN builders must also create social signals for their money site in order to boost its organic rankings.

I always recommend creating social media platforms for your PBN, especially these days when social media signals influence SEO.

5. Link Placement – Once all the domains in the PBN are set up, builders must make it a point to limit the amount of outbound links. Imagine that every PBN has 100 ranking points initially. Each outbound link added to the domain reduces its power, meaning if there are 2 links, each link has 50 points. Builders must take into consideration the total power of their PBN in order to determine the number of outbound links that should be added to each site. They must also ensure that the speed at which backlinks are created must be regulated. Creating multiple, contextual and authoritative backlinks in a single day looks completely suspicious for a domain that has not been receiving a lot of traffic for several years.

For those that use PBNs, link placement is very important. Often, it dictates where a targeted keyword will rank. We know that backlinks are a Google SEO ranking factor. We also know that internal links can surface in your keyword rankings.

Now that 2017 is here, anchor text diversification is crucial. Gone are the days when we used exact match anchors to rank keywords. Your anchors need to be diverse now, using multiple variations of the targeted keyword to give it the ability to rank high on the first page.

6. Design – Your PBN websites should look like genuine authentic websites (if you’re only using it as a ranking platform). For those of you that operate authentic PBNs, you’re likely adding new components to your network on a regular basis.

The design, look and feel of your PBN domains need to mimic what real websites look like. Some things to consider are;

  • About Page
  • Contact Page
  • Privacy Policy Page
  • Logo
  • Images
  • Social Media Icons
  • Videos

While there is always the risk that the PBN would get de-indexed or penalized, nobody can deny that it has tremendous ranking power. Some of my early mentors have been using PBNs for decades and continue to use them today.

It’s still my personal opinion that you can create safe PBNs by creating authentic websites that really do give value to users. I’ve been testing theory for a few years now, ever since Google cracked down on PBN networks.

7. Tier Link Building – What’s a PBN without SEO, right? Another way to protect your PBN network is tier link building. If you’re familiar with PBNs, you may already know this. Some SEOs recommend 3 tiers, some recommend 4 tiers.

For those of you that don’t know tier link building, it’s a pretty easy format to follow

  • Tier One Links Point To Your Money Site
  • Tier Two Links Point To Your Tier One Links
  • Tier Three Links Point To Your Tier Two Links
  • Tier Four Links Point To Your Tier Three Links

8. Unique Content – Lastly, I want to touch on unique content. Often, PBNs can be traced down due to their terrible content strategy of copying content. I don’t use this content for my PBN nor my first tier backlinks. You need to make sure all of your PBN content is authentic.

The key to any PBN is hiding the footprints. Today’s bonus is blocking SEO software spiders. You can do this using your Robot.txt file. If spiders can find your network, you can be in trouble. Make sure you block the bad spiders but not Google’s spider.




Richard Hale is the Founder of Hale Associations, a company that provides Web Development, SEO and Marketing services globally.