10 Effective PBN Strategies for 2019
Ranking your site is of utmost importance. And in reality, it’s a struggle especially if you don’t know where to start. Some would even risk getting de-indexed experimenting on trial and error strategies.
Over the years, private blog networks (PBN) have become a staple link-building strategy. And if done right, it can help give your site the boost that you are looking for.
Before we start discussing the best practices for PBNs this 2019, let’s first discuss what PBN really is. This way, everyone stays on the same page. It is basically the process of buying old expired authoritative domains. As you know by now, Google puts more importance on old websites compared to new ones.
After buying the URL, you can now create a website from these expired domains. Once you have a working website from this domain, you also create content on a PBN site and make it rank and become authoritative on its own.
It’s a strategy of creating backlinks. Some create links from PBN that points to a money site and it signals the search engine that there are backlinks. But then, it also has a number of risks. The worst is getting penalized.
A question on everyone’s mind: Is it really worth investing in PBNs? Yes. Regardless of the risks, it’s about understanding the algorithm.
By going with SEO experts who know what they are doing, PBN is a great way to boost your site and have an edge against your competitors. But this is easier said than done. Though you have total control of your backlinks, remember that Google’s algorithm is smart. And as it makes updates every now and then, an SEO expert should understand that the same practices today may no longer be applicable a few months or years from now.
Why PBNs of all the SEO strategies out there?
PBN is one of the most effective SEO strategies, if not the most effective strategy that can pass a highly authoritative link to a money site. PBNs offer an effective solution that allows you to stay ahead, helping your site to go up in the rankings faster.
Since it is the beginning of the year, it’s a good idea that we discuss some of the best PBN for 2019 and beyond.
1 – Start Off on The Right Foot
You may have heard of the adage, a work well started is a work half finished. This is applicable even in ranking your site. A common knee jerk reaction by new websites is to jump immediately into whatever it is that can get your website to the top the soonest possible time.
Despite beating other websites in terms of your links, whether it’s volume or quality, it isn’t enough for your site to outrank older websites. New websites are constantly watched by Google whether or not you are going to follow the rules or not. Having instant links from PBN on a website could easily be marked as a red flag by search engine spiders.
At this point, it is more important to build your content. Though you can build your backlinks, it’s important that you don’t go trigger happy with it. Have a slow and steady pace and work on your content consistently.
Keep in mind that content is king. High-Quality content can easily be noticed by people in your niche. And therefore, you can build reputation the right way. Consider your new site’s probationary period as a blessing. Consider this as an opportunity to create sustainability within your site.
2 – Content Strategy on PBNs
Don’t expect the age of your PBN’s URL to do all the leg work. Content is most likely the costliest part of building your PBN. Search Engine gives more importance to websites that can produce fresh content every now and then. A good rule of thumb is one fresh content every month. But before you go all in especially on a new PBN, it’s a good idea to do these precautions to know whether or not it has been penalized in the past.
• Precaution #1
Once you have a website ready for content, it is a good idea to first write content for the purpose of testing if it has been penalized in the past. You can wait for 2 weeks whether or not the PBN is going to get ranked. If it isn’t ranked after 2 weeks, it is most likely penalized. But if it does, then you have to go to precaution #2.
• Precaution #2
The next precaution that you should do once the domain has been indexed is that you should check if the domain ranks when you search for the naked URL. For instance “mywebsite.com” should rank at the top when you search “mywebsite”, “my website”, and “mywebsite.com”.
Now, if it doesn’t rank on “mywebsite.com”, it’s highly suggested that you wait for a while until it does. Once it starts ranking, you can now start investing in content and even link out to other websites.
As a general rule of thumb when it comes to generating content, always treat your PBN site as if it is your money site. Always make sure that you are doing on-page SEO for these sites. The goal is to get natural traffic from Google. And also, write the best content. Be sure to make it engaging and be sure to target an audience whenever you are writing. This can also have weight during manual reviews.
3 – Limited Number of Links That Point to a Money Site
Another good practice to follow is to never overuse one PBN in linking to the same money site. Google has introduced an algorithm that diminishes the value of multiple inbound links coming from the same URL. As a rule of thumb, you can put a cap on 2-3 links coming from a PBN domain going to a particular money site.
4 – Limit the Number of Outbound Links
It’s generally believed that the more outbound links that you throw, the less valuable the link becomes for a money site. Just think of it this way.
You have your wallet full of money. Consider the links as your money. The more links you give, the less cash you have in your wallet. As rule of thumb, we limit the number of outbound links to around 15.
Also, you need to be very particular whether or not you are going to do a no-follow on a particular outbound link. This feature has been implemented by Google mainly to assess the confidence level of site owners to a particular website.
For trusted sites, it’s a good practice to not have a no-follow link while it’s better to do a no-follow on small sites.
5 – Make the Backlink Look Natural
One common problem that a lot of link builders do is that they don’t maximize their links by using the wrong anchor text. When it comes to anchor text selection, it is imperative to make it look natural. For instance, no one is going to believe that you have multiple links pointing to your site with the very same anchor. For example, you want to rank on the keyword “best electric car”, you don’t want all sites pointing to your site using this anchor text.
A good solution is to also make use of what is called pillow anchor. What’s a pillow anchor exactly? It’s a link that isn’t a target anchor. Basically, this is a trick to make your link building process free from backlink manipulation.
For Diggity Marketing, he weighed on how to make anchor text distribution look natural even in the eyes of search engine spiders. According to the site, it looks something like:
• Brand or URL Anchors
A brand anchor or URL anchor would either be your company’s brand name or URL itself. For example, a website named ChessGenius.com will have an anchor “Chess Genius”.
• Topic Anchors
For topic anchors, a good example is “Carpentry Tools” used on keyword anchor “best laser measure”.
• Target Anchors
A target anchor is a keyword that you want the website to rank for. In this category, it also involves longtail keywords.
• Miscellaneous anchors
For miscellaneous anchors, it’s basically a call to action. “Click here”, “Buy now”, “For more information” etc.
Does it apply that all sites should have the same distribution of anchor texts and pillow texts? Should all sites just limit their target anchors to 8-10%?
That’s when research comes in handy. Take a closer look at market leaders in your niche and see their link distribution. Here, you will have an idea what you should be aiming for.
Also, you have to use the target anchors only on the best sites that are pointing on your site. This makes your site look good in the eyes of Google’s spiders. As for pillow anchors, you can do this via other link building strategies such as directories and PBNs.
6 – Be Wary of Cannibalization
One of the things that every website should be wary of is keyword cannibalization. This is when multiple pages rank on the same keyword. You might be thinking at this point that you are eliminating the competition by having your pages up on the page.
Why exactly does it hurt your site? You have to understand that SERP real estate is important. Imagine undesirable page going up in the ranking first than the page that you are trying to rank? Perhaps, you have your older blog ranking first than your more recent content.
And also, it has been seen as among the reasons why some websites can’t reach the number one rank. It basically drags down both pages. But there is an exception to the rule. If you hold number 1 and 2 spot, then keyword cannibalization isn’t exactly applicable.
So what can SEO experts do to fix this problem? The first option is to de-optimize a page. Determine the keyword that makes the undesirable page to rank. Next, you can also minimize the internal links pointing to the undesirable page. Why not swap it to the desired page that you want to rank? You can also try to email those websites that used the old content as their reference. Why not point them to an updated content?
7 – Outreach Links and More Outreach Links
One of the things that make PBNs tricky is that most of its links only point to the homepage. You may argue that homepage links are considered highly authoritative by current Google standards. However, this type of link is also rare. It also means that overdoing links to your homepage can make it look suspicious.
And that’s why SEO strategy should also give the same importance to outreach. But the thing with outreach is that you will have to do the hard work in finding the links. You will need to do some guest posting or something that is of equal value.
In 2018, many agencies have utilized PBNs linking to outreach links as well. This strategy has been used in building tier 2 and tier 1 PBNs. Tier 2 PBNs is a good way building tier 1 PBNs that can eventually improve the rank of money sites.
8 – Building Links at a Steady Pace
Link velocity is another thing that any website should keep in mind. Though it is very tempting to build links at a rapid pace, this will certainly affect your rankings or could even increase the risk of your site being de-indexed by Google.
So what’s the right velocity? How many links should you be having every week or every month? Though there really is no rule written on paper, we discovered that 3-4 links per month are already enough to make noticeable changes in a website’s ranking. And not only that, this pace is considered safe.
9 – Be On Top, Stay on Top
So what happens next when you hit the top spot? You are now number one, so what’s next?
We understand that this is a reason to celebrate. But you have to keep in mind that competitors are constantly chasing you. They want what you currently have. At this point, we recommend that you don’t stop building links.
Now, that’s where recycling PBNs come in handy. How exactly does it work? It works by killing one link one week at a time. You then replace it with another. Another strategy is to add two links and remove one. Or you can even opt to add one while removing two. What it does is make your backlink activity look fresh. And therefore, you build a strong case to Google’s algorithm that your site should be on top.
10 – PBN Should Ace Manual Reviews
The PBN should look natural to the point that it is going to pass a manual review. So what are the things that make a PBN site look natural? Here are some things that should be in the PBN site.
• Contact info
Who exactly is behind the website? It is imperative to create a fake persona for this. It is highly advisable to give visitors an option how to get in touch with the person behind the website.
• Blog comments
Interaction is important. You can add some fake comments here and there on the blog posts to make it appear that there is legit interaction between the website and its readers.
PBN is still a great way to kick things off on your website’s ranking. But keep in mind that you should let the experts handle it. Building too many links on a short period of time can be a bad thing for your site. It is often times a good thing to choose the slower option over the fast one. And also, always have a long term outlook.
Now that you’ve learned some of the best PBN practices in 2019, what do you think? We would love to hear from you. Let us know how we can help you.