Rank Keywords Using Your Own Private Blog Network – A New Case Study Is Born!

PBN_01I wanted to start my own “private blog network” for awhile but needed to do research before getting started. This is going to be an “epic” case study because I’m building a private blog network (PBN) from the ground up. I’ve seen many people do it in the past and achieved amazing results. I’m going to be building mine step-by-step with all of you and would like to start by thanking Jon Haver, who owns AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com, for providing the insight needed to get started. He pioneered the PBN (private blog network) model and has done very well ranking many of his niche sites over the past several years. Either way, I’m going to building my PBN from the ground up taking this journey with all of you.

Currently, I working on creating my 1/5 private blog network and you can use the links below to get an update on each phase. As I start adding more sites to my network they’ll be added below.

Useful Resources


I’m going to use this post to give you an overview of PBN’s and the requirements that each website should have within the network.

Let’s get started…

What’s a Private Blog Network or PBN?

A PBN is a network of smaller niche targeted websites linking to your main blog to increase the rankings of targeted keywords. Right now the old method is to build a website than submit articles, use blog commenting, web 2.0 and press releases to build one-way backlinks. These have improved results overtime but with the recent Panda 4.0 updates there not performing as well as they use to. As time went on, we’ve seen the introduction of “tiered link building” which is to build links to your main website by creating smaller sites on wordpress.com, weebly.com, blogger.com, typepad.com and others. Once you’ve created them, you’ll start adding content to keep them updated and build links to these smaller niche targeted websites through article directories, blog comments, bookmarking, etc. The structure looks like a pyramid and, as time goes on, you’re increasing the “link juice” to all of these sites strengthening the power of each link.

I’m not going into too much detail on “tiered link building” because I’ve put together a 1,100 word post that explains everything. Read: What is Tiered Link Building?

Here is a quick illustration of the tiered link building structure…


Next, what’s the problem with a tiered link building model after Panda 4.0? It’s clear that Google intends to penalize websites that have “low” quality content and “thin content. Tiered link building falls into both of these categories since many of your websites within the pyramid will consist of low quality spinned content. Another issue is that more than 1 page will be linked to other pages which have content no more than 100 words. This will be classified as “thin” content and as more Panda updates roll out, you’re website will be flagged as spammed and removed.

In the end, you’re main website, which was associated with this pyramid, might see a drop in your main keywords rankings. It’s pretty messy and should be avoided.

The New Strategy

Start building your own private blog network, which does take time, but the rewards and opportunities that follow are endless.

In a PBN, you’re registering domains with established domain and page authority. You’re building websites across different hosts while adding content which is nothing short of “high” quality.

Let’s look at each factor in more detail…



What Are The Requirements?

These requirements will be covered in more detail as I complete each phase of the project. Here’s a quick overview of what is required when building a PBN website.

1.  Expired Domain

We’re going to start off by registering an expired domain which has been purchased by someone else and not renewed by the owner. Purchasing an expired domain can be done through GoDaddy auctions and there are several benefits to buying an expired domain compared to a fresh new domain. You can find expired domains that…

  • has a domain age of 3+
  • PR 2+
  • has a domain authority of 15+
  • has a consistent page authority of 25+
  • has a diverse backlink profile from previous owner

2. Hosting Providers

Here’s where things get tricky because you’ll want to setup your sites so they look completely separate from each other. This is why it’s recommended that you host each website on a different hosting provider. Do not host multiple websites on a single unlimited hosting plan. The good news is you have several inexpensive shared hosting plans to choose from and once you’ve registered, you can simply point the name servers to the correct provider.

I’ll go into more details regarding this process when I setup my first PBN website. However, here are the basic hosting requirements…

  • 1 website per hosting account to ensure different IP addresses
  • Use the most popular hosting providers because they clean their IP’s more frequently
  • Google adds more credibility to websites built on popular hosting providers
  • Popular hosting providers have a 1-click WordPress setup process

Here are a few popular hosting providers:

  • Godaddy
  • Hostgator
  • Bluehost
  • Justhost

3. Building Your Website

Setting up your website can be done within a few minutes using WordPress. Many top hosting providers offer a 1 click automatic WordPress install on your hosting plan. Once you’ve installed WordPress, proceed with installing a theme, plugins, adding menus and uploading your logo. It’s a process that I’ve done over 50 times each taking no more than 10 minutes. If this is your first time setting up a WordPress website, than view my video tutorial: How to Build a Website From Scratch in 4 Minutes

Here are basic requirements when building each website within your PBN…

  • You can use WordPress for each website
  • Use a different username for each installation
  • You can use the same theme but make sure the colors, logo, widgets, etc are different
  • Use plugins that will not leave a trail back to you. For example, don’t use the same Google Analytics account because the registration leads back to one user. To completely protect yourself, don’t initially install Google Analytics
  • Don’t use Google Webmaster Tools
  • Avoid Google Adsense advertisements
  • Change what plugins you use when building your website (optional)

4. Running Your Network

Once you’ve setup several websites within your network (PBN), it’s important you manage it correctly. There are some important factors to be aware of which I’ll discuss more in detail when completing that phase. However, so you can start preparing your mind frame ahead of time, here are the requirements when running your network…

  • Never interlink between websites. For example, don’t link website 1 –to- website 2.
  • Interlink between articles within the same website. You can use WordPress plugins to streamline the entire process.
  • Write high quality content with subheading and bullet-points
  • 75% Maximum 1 link from each article to point to “main” or “authority” website
  • 25% of articles on each website should NOT contain a link to “main” or “authority” website. This will protect you from Google thinking you are building a network for external links only.
  • Content should vary in length from 500-1500 words
  • Include images in content
  • Include videos in content
  • No copy or spinned content. All content should be unique and manually written (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • Every 2-3 article published should link to high authority external source

5. Format & Publishing Content

  • Always produce high quality content
  • Include 2-3 targeted keywords within content
  • Include 2-3 LSI keywords within content
  • Add keyword with URL
  • Add keyword in description
  • Keyword density should be 2%-4%
  • Post frequency anywhere from 1-2 times per week
  • Confirm that the title is relevant (include keyword)
  • Include subheading and bullet points
  • Include image within content (25%-75%)
  • Include video within content (25%-75%)
  • Every 2-3 article published should link to high authority external source
  • Anchor text format
    • 1/2 EXACT Keyword phrase
    • 1/2 General (click here, more information, info)
  • Mix up your anchor text
    • If keyword is “link building strategies” than you can do “strategies for link building”, “build links using these strategies” or “link building 101”, etc.

Useful Resources