The State of PBN’s After the Latest Google Update

people freaking outA lot of people have been freaking out over the last few weeks. The latest Google update has de-indexed a good deal of PBN’s that people had, and destroyed the rankings of their money sites. This post is intended to let people know that it is not effecting everyone, and there are some ways you can protect yourself. Yes, they are the same things I’ve been saying for quite some time now, but I’ll say it again as a reminder to everyone.

One of the most important things by far is the content you put on the site. You want the content to be readable with minimal typo’s and gramatical errors. It should pass copyscape. You can use spun content, and if you do I suggest you use spun content designed for your PBN, and that you go through and you clean it up after you run it through the spinner. One article can easily be spun into many articles. If you clean it up while its in the spinner you can save yourself a lot of time by not needing to clean each article after its un-spun. I find that I can get most of my articles cleaned up in 10-15 minutes.

Sure it is not what I want to be doing for 10-15 minutes, but if you are only doing 1 article a week it is a very small investment of time. This small investment can save you a ton of time down the road. As I have seen, if you invest a small amount of time up front, it usually will save you a ton of time later if things happen (hacking or de-indexing for crap content).

So now that you have content taken care of, you need to think about your links. As I’ve been saying since 2012, make sure you link smart. Google does not want your website to be a funnel or a dead end. You clearly do because that is how you keep the link juice and help your rankings. So you need to make Google think you are playing by their rules. The best advice I can give is to make sure some of the links you have go to authority sites within your niche, but that you do not directly compete with. If you are a pet grooming website, it does not hurt to link to another site that sells toys, or another that sells pet food. You would want to avoid a site like Petsmart because they offer grooming services. You do need to spend a few minutes to find these links, because it will help your network overall.

OK, content and links down, what next? Hosting, you want to make sure that you don’t have too many domains from the same host linking to your money site. Most people suggest 2, at most 3 domains from the same host. There are a ton of 1$ hosting options out there. Hosting options like Godaddy or another domain registrar, you may be able to get away with 3-4 of your pbn’s there just because of how many people use them. It would not be un-natural at all to have several domains there for this reason. What you do need to worry about though is real sites linking to you from hosting you are already using. For this reason you might want to keep it to the 2-3 per host.

The last thing is domain privacy. I’m the first to admit I’m lazy. I buy the privacy. There are ways around it by giving your registrar fake info. I know people who do this, I know it works or they would not keep doing it, but again I’m lazy and spending a few bucks for me is just easier. The other downside is that Godaddy likes to send out emails making sure the email I gave them is correct. They usually do this about 2x a year. I think it would be a hassle to have to verify all of my domains in my PBN if they were all set up with different info. The good news is, the site itself does not appear to be taken down if I don’t verify the email. It appears that they just stop me from transferring it to another Godaddy account.

Is there more? There is always more. These are the basics though that you need to keep your networks indexed and keep the link juice flowing. If you are interested in some more advanced topics look into either editing the .htaccess file to keep majestic and moz and ahrefs bots off your pbn or simply use Spyder Spanker to do this. It will keep your network hidden better from your competition.

The next thing I’m working on for my next post is about a company that has made their PBN public that I saw while I was on vacation last week.  I still have a lot of research to do into this, but it should make for a great read.


  1. says

    Hi Bill
    I am building my first PBN I have allocated 8 websites I own they are aged domains and and have pr of 2 – 4 I have put them with different hosting accounts and applied privacy to the registrar.
    my question is twofold
    1. with regard to linking do I have a link from each page to the money site
    2. How quickly should I build the site out 1 article per week or quicker or slower

    • Bill says

      With linking, I would post the articles and the links from the page on your PBN that has the link juice. This will usually be from the main page, however if you use ahrefs you may be able to identify other pages on the site that have good link juice too.

      Posting articles is really up to you. You can do 1 a week or 2 a week. It all depends on how many articles you have and how many clients you are trying to push links to. Whatever you do try and be consistent. You can set all this up in WordPress to publish things on a schedule. You can set all this up weeks or even months ahead of time.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Steve says


    If you install Google Webmaster Tools on your “money site”, will it tell you if it doesn’t like any of the links from your PBN sites?

    • Bill says

      WMT really never tells you it does not like individual links. It will tell you when it thinks you are doing something wrong (and at this point it is too late to really do anything except fix the problem). I suggest using it as it is a useful tool to see how your pages are indexing or finding out impressions and click through’s you are getting for various keywords.

  3. says

    I am pretty much green when it comes to building PBN’s so, my question would be is there a mind map to how to build the pages and the importance of what kind of pages are
    in your new domains as a PBN. I have watched your great Youtube “Rank any website”
    How many domains should be in a PBN, one or multiply domains as a PBN. I am not clear on this part, not sure if a PBN is one domain or 5 to 10 sites (domains) pointing to a money site, when I watch the video above.
    thanks for all you help and great info

    • Bill says

      I don’t know of any mind map, but you always want to state a privacy policy for your site and include an “about” page. Google expects to see this on sites, and not having them can hurt you. Other than these 2 pages there really is nothing else “required” except for whatever it is you are doing on your site. As far as the privacy policy goes you can often copy someone else’s policy and put your website inplace of theirs. Google isn’t looking for unique privacy policies, just that you have one. Also make sure you read it before putting it on your site and make any changes needed so that it says what you intend for it to say.

      As far as how many PBN domains you should own all depends on how many you can maintain, and how difficult it is to rank. Ranking for volcano scuba diving is going to be much easier to rank for than something like Nascar. If you are in an empty niche you might only need to have a website to rank, but ranking for anything to do with Nascar you will need some good link juice flowing.

      As far as how many domains a PBN is, it again is all up to you. It might just be 1, but it could be 5, 10 or 200.

      Hope this helps.

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