Let’s Talk About PBNs

I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t going to write about PBNs as plenty of other people have already done so, and yet here we are. Several people expressed interest in a brief look at how I use PBNs, which is what I’m going to share below. If you’re looking for a how-to guide, then I suggest you check out this one from Lion Zeal.

Why PBNs?

After the big round of PBN de-indexing and manual actions that Google handed out to niche site builders, a lot of people have backed away from their use. But the fact remains that you need links to rank well, and high powered links are even better.

I never stopped using PBNs. Early on, I had a few PBN sites de-indexed but that was due to me never fully building them out. What’s really odd is that they ended up getting de-indexed before I ever got around to putting a link up to my money site. So, I’ve yet to feel the negative effects of using PBNs, but do know that the risk is very real.

Types of PBNs I Use

When most people talk about PBNs, they are talking about using expired domains that have a lot of power and authority behind them. Typically people buy up those domains and put up anywhere from 5 to 10 posts and link out to money sites in one, some or all of those posts. I do my PBN building just a wee bit differently.

Type #1

I do build some of my PBNs out with expired domains. When I do this, I attempt to put content up that is relevant to the niche that the domain was in previously in order to capitalize on the topical trust flow you see listed for domains on Majestic. And these sites regularly have over 20 posts on them. Why? So that is doesn’t look like a PBN site. I usually just fill out these sites with cheap articles from INeedArticles.

The disadvantage here is that this takes a lot of work all for a backlink. But the advantage is that I think I avoid looking like most PBN sites, which should (theoretically) keep my money sites safe from Google penalties.

Total cost I spend for one of these PBN sites is $37 minimum – that is $9 for the domain and $28.00 for ten 400-word articles from INeedArticles.

Type #2

I prefer to build out PBN sites that are more like mini niche sites because then you can earn from the money site and the support network sites.  To help you visualize what I’m talking about, let’s assume that I have a niche site in the kitchen goods niche. Below is how I might build out a support network.

network

What’s great about this method is that it is easy to expand as you notice your money site getting new rankings. Plus, you can end up with more than one site ranking on page one for your target keywords.

The disadvantage here is that the mini niche sites are usually newly registered domains with zero power. That means that you have to juice them with things like social signals and web 2’0s – or my favorite a Hoth Mini package. And since I want these sites to actually make a little money in addition to backlinking my money site, they need better content than INeedArticles offers, which increases the deployment costs.

The amount I spend creating this type of PBN site is a lot higher – and it takes a lot more of a time investment. Here’s an idea of what this costs me on the low end:

  • domain = $9
  • content = $220 ($160 for ten 800-word product reviews + $60 for a 3000-word buying guide….this is assuming that I don’t write the content myself, which I often do.)
  • backlining = $42.50 (cheapest option is creating single page web 2.0s and backlinking them, which means a $3.50 article for each web 2.0 and a $5 package on Fiverr to backlink each one. That is a cost of $8.50 per web 2.0 and I do at least five of them)

So, that adds up to $271.50 per support site right there – if I do it the cheap way. You can see why most people don’t do it this way. But at the end of the day, I’m earning from multiple sites targeting the same keywords and over time the ROI becomes worth it.

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