A PBN or private blog network is simply a site that is being used to rank another website. For the purpose of this article there are some terms you will need to be aware of before we go any further. First, any site you are wanting to rank is known as your “money site”. PBN sites are typically found as your tier 1. Tier 1 is the first level of sites that link directly to your money site, but they could be further back on tier 2, 3…. Again a tier is just another layer back from your money site. Any tier 2 would link to a tier 1 before the link juice traveled to your money site. Link juice is what the sites have that they pass on to other sites to help rank your money site.
It is also important to know that unless you work for Google, this cannot be considered science, but more of an art. Everything I talk about a series of educated guesses made by experts in internet marketing as well as myself. Because Google keeps all the exact specifics locked up there will never be many hard set rules, and there will be sites that violate some of the rules in big ways and are still able to rank well. I will attempt to cover everything in the best detail I can to give the most amount of accurate information I possibly can.
Most people buy PBN sites from a domain registrar like Godaddy, but because of the time involved many simply pay a little more to have someone else do all the hard work of filtering out the millions of domains and buy them from a domain re-seller like www.highpadomains.com Yes I do own that site, and it is a shameless plug. There might be other ways to get these sites, but the main ways are the ones we just covered.
People pick out PBN’s for the different metrics they have, and how well they think it will help them rank their money site. There are several current metrics to look at, as well as some legacy metrics that people still use even though most SEO professionals now refer it as not an effective measure of quality.
The first one we will talk about is page rank or PR as it is nearly always referred as. PR now is not an accurate measure of a sites quality simply because Google has all but ended the updates to it. In the last 12 months (at the time of publish) there has only been 1 update to the metric, and many experts agree that the update was outdated at the time of its publish.
Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) are 2 of the most trusted methods of determining how powerful a site is now for passing good link juice. PA is factored by the quality and quantity of links going to the individual page, DA is the quality and quantity of the links to the entire domain. While these 2 metrics are some of the most useful, they are no means the only ones you want to consider when looking at your domain.
Trust Flow is another good metric. It is needed because it is possible to game the PA/DA metrics with spammy links. Trust Flow is another metric produced by another service that tells you the overall quality of things. This metric is possible to game, but much harder than PA/DA and it is why these are the top 3 metrics considered for picking a good domain. The domains you will want to buy should be a minimum of TF 10. Now that PR has gone out the window many people are wanting a higher TF and +15 is now common.
Many vendors will charge based on the metrics of the site. The better the values for the 3 metrics, the more it will cost you. It is not all that common to find domains with high values in all 3 metrics, so they’re not only charging you for the quality, but for the rarity too. Every day I end up sorting through nearly 100,000 different domains that are available, and most of them are just garbage. On a great day I can find 10-12 good ones, but in the 6 days before I wrote this tutorial I only found 3 domains worth buying total.
Other things you need to consider when looking at domains to buy or use is the backlink anchor text. The anchor text is what the wording of the link is made up of. It might be a url, it might be the brand of the site, one of the owners names, things they are trying to rank for. All of those would be a good thing if it had the proper ratios. Brand and url links should often be the the highest. Keep in mind that brands and url’s can all be written out multiple ways.
What you do not want to see is things that are clearly spam. 99% of the time anything with Asian characters are spam. I have found 2 really good Thai sites so far and 1 Japanese, but other than the rare gem, I would not even bother checking them. You do not want to see keywords an old domain was trying to rank for with the majority of the anchor text. You also want to stay away from any domain with any drug, pharmaceutical or payday loans references.
The last thing you always want to check, and is the most important, is the domain indexed? If the domain is not indexed it is WORTHLESS!! You always want to check first by typing in site:domain.com, replacing domain with whatever the domain is called to test to see if its indexed. If its not indexed it will tell you no results are found. The no results could be for any number of reasons, but all of them could be huge problems, so you just want to stay away from them.