How to buy the most powerful expired domains for your PBN
The Power of A Private Blog Network
You have probably heard many things about Private Blog Networks ( PBN ). Some internet marketing experts talk about them being a blackhat method.
Others will tell you that if they put together in the right way they can be beneficial.
So what are they?
Private Blog Networks are basically a network of websites that you have control over, and they link back to your money site.
If you are planning on building a PBN, there are specific steps you need to go through.
Firstly, you need to find a great expired domain using our excellent domain service.
Secondly, you set up web hosting.
Thirdly, you have to build the site.
Finally, add your links and keep it under the Google radar.
So typically at the heart of a PBN is a high authority domain that has excellent backlinks and can pass link equity to your site.
If you have a PBN ( Private Blog Network), then the power of your domains are the bread and butter that hold it all together.
What Are The SEO Benefits Of A PBN
One of the most significant advantages for you when you build a PBN is that you have control over the website, both the content that is created and any links that are created.
One of the leading SEO benefits is that you can control the anchor text of all links that are posted on the site – more about that later.
Buying A Domain
When looking to buy a domain, you need to buy only expired domains that have high authority.
It is essential that you only select the best domains for your network but there a few different things you need to understand about the domain buying process.
For example, you do not want to buy a bunch of domains that have a spammy backlink profile, so due diligence during the buying process is crucial.
There are several things you need to consider so you can get maximum bang for your buck when buying your domains.
The Expired Domain Buying Process
You might be under the impression that when a domain name reaches the expiry date that if the existing owner does not renew it, then anyone can buy it.
It is, in fact, not as simple as that.
Current domain owners have between 1-75 days to renew their domain once it has expired.
Did you know there about 120,000 domains that expire every day and only about 50,000 of those come around for others to register?
You may not also know that .com domains ( the most popular) usually get deleted/made available to renew between 11.00am and 2 pm Pacific time.
Where To Buy PBN Domains
The buying process for a PBN domain is slightly different from a typical domain purchase as you are looking for specific metrics.
There several places where you can buy PBN domains. Obviously, we recommend DomFinder.com but you dont have to use our service. Check out all of the optoins below to buy expired domains…
The best domains with the best backlinks always seem to find there way to domain auction sites.
Perhaps the best auction site out there are the moment is GoDaddy Auctions.
There are other sites that are also worth a try, such as Namejet, Snapnames, Flippa, etc.
The downside of using an auction site is that as soon as you show interest in a domain, it attracts others.
This then causes the price of the domain to rise.
One trick you might employ, similar if you use eBay, is to only bid on a domain as it is nearing the end of its auction time.
This makes sure that your bid does not attract other buyers and helps keep the price down.
If you are new to PBN domain buying, then it might pay you to use a broker.
They will do all the hard work for you like looking at backlink profiles checking on domain history etc.
The only downside here is that of course, the cost of the domain is going to be much higher than if you purchased yourself.
If you are thinking of this route, then check out our excellent domain finding service DomFinder
Domain Life Cycle
There are five stages to a domains life cycle, and it is essential you understand those stages and the critical step when to buy.
Stage 1 – Active Cycle
This is where the domain has been registered and is active. Obviously, any domain that is active cannot be registered by anyone else.
You can register a domain to be active between 1 – 10 years.
Stage 2 – Expired Holding Cycle
When a domain reaches its expiry date, it is held by the register for between 1 -45 days.
At this point any website that is attached to the domain will become inactive; however, the domain can still be renewed by the existing owner/
Stage 3 – Grace Period
There is then a grace period of about 30 days where any of the Whois data is usually deleted.
Once again it gives the original owner the last chance to grab their domain back.
Stage 4 -Pending Delete
Once a domain reaches the Pending Delete phase, it can no longer be claimed by the original owner or for that matter anyone else.
Stage 5 – Available
After the pending delete phase, the domain drops back into general circulation and can be registered by anyone.
When buying expired domains, there is a certain amount of jargon
that goes with the territory – let’s examine it.
The Stage 2 of the process known as the Expired Holding Phase is also known as Pre Release Auction phase.
During this phase, the domain buying market places are actively trying to find a buyer.
The only danger here is that if you are the highest bidder, the original owner can still come along and claim your prize!
Domains that did not sell in the Pre Release Auction phase are then considered as Closeout Domain Names.
You can typically find these available for sale at fixed prices or buy it now prices.
However, once again, the original owner can still claim the domain ahead of you.
After Stage 4 the Pending Delete Phase the domains then show up as pending delete domain names.
You can back order these or wait for when they become available.
When the final drop into the Deleted Domain phase, they can freely be registered by you.
This metric was developed by Moz and predicted how well a website would rank on search engine result pages.
Domain authority (DA) is calculated by the evaluation of a multiple of factors such as link root domains, and total links to the site.
The score ranges from 0 -100 where the closer to 100, the better the domain.
As a general rule, WEwould look for domains that had a DA of over 15.
This is another Moz metric and is a logarithmic scale once again from 0 -100.
Like with Domain Authority you want to be looking for a Page Authority score of at least 15 and above.
Trust Flow & Citation Flow
Majestic SEO introduced trust Flow and Citation Flow.
Trust Flow is a reliable indication of how trustworthy the sites that link to your domain are.
Citation Flow will give you an indication of the strength of the links pointing to your domain.
Once again, when looking at your domain buying process, you need to come up with a metric that combines both Trust Flow and Citation Flow, the Trust Metric.
The trust ratio is the ratio between Majestic Trust and Citation flow figures.
Majestic analyzed the top 25% domains and found that an average TF/CF ratio was 1.09
They found the median was 1.81 and for a spammy site 9.87.
So, in essence, the closer the Trust Flow ration is to zero, the less spammy it is.
So any domain you are thinking of buying is within 0 to 1.81 is a premium domain to consider.
Number Of Backlinks
There has been a lot of noise around backlinks and their importance, let’s see if we can demystify it when it comes to buying expired domains.
If a domain has only five backlinks but is very authoritative, there is a danger that if it loses one, it could, in turn, lose its authority.
Although when buying a domain, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the number of backlinks you probably need a minimum of 50.
The final metric to consider when buying domains is the number of referring domains.
This is another good indicator of how stable the domain is.
For example, if there were 8,000 backlinks but only six referring domains, this means that those backlinks are spread across those six referring domains.
So when buying a domain, you might want to consider at least one with 25 referring domains to ensure the link profile is made up of a range of diverse sources.
Once you have discovered a domain that has the relevant metrics, there are a few things you also need to check to ensure the domain is going to be suitable.
One of the biggest headaches that most people have is to find a domain that is relevant to the niche you are trying to rank for.
One of the ways to do this is to bridge the topics with the content.
Let’s look at a few examples.
So you have a money site built around the automotive industry and particularly car parts.
So if you are looking for a domain around this topic, you could consider domains from niches such as:
- Health – ( you could produce content around disability vehicles)
- Technology – ( you could create content around car technology, GPS, dash cams)
- Music – ( you could produce content around car entertainment systems)
What about if you had a site around chicken coups? You could use a number of different niches to point to your main topic. When you get creative, you can think of topics like this…
- Farm animals
All you need to try and achieve is to bridge the topic gaps with pieces of content that tie it all in.
Don’t be put off if you find an ace domain and it seems a million miles away from your money site topic – with content you can bridge the gaps to make it relevant.
Spammy Link Profiles
It might be tempting if you have found a great domain with great metrics to ignore the link profile.
You do so at your peril.
If the domain has toxic links, it can have a devastating impact on your website performance.
Google looks for unnatural links coming from;
Forum profile links
Article text links
How To Identify A Spammy Back Link
Using our list above, let’s look at how you identify them on your newly purchased domain.
These come from blogs and forums.
They try to make the links look natural by putting them inside the content of a blog post or forum post.
Link networks generally do not make any effort to generate links back to the blog, so they have a small number of links pointing to them.
Each site on the link network usually links out to at least two money sites.
To filter these links out, you filter down to the blog posts or forum posts and consider their metrics and any links to the actual backlink.
One other way to discover if the backlink profile is unnatural is to compare it with a competitor and check for discrepancies in the two backlink profiles.
Try not to have too many links in your footer it will undoubtedly raise a red flag for Google when crawling your site.
If you have an unusually high number of footer links, Google will presume they may have been required from sites that;
involved in link exchange schemes
are carrying out SERP manipulation
partners of your business
If you find only a few footer links in your domain than your sites overall profile, it shouldn’t be a problem.
These have been abused so much in recent times that they tend to be analyzed carefully by the Google algorithm.
For those that are unsure what a blogroll is, it is just a list of links that usually appear in the sidebar of a website.
You should check out any blogrolls on your purchased domain and ensure that any unnatural links are disavowed and dealt with.
Site Wide Links
If your site has unnatural sitewide links, you will get a penalty from Google.
A site-wide link is considered to be a link that is automatically replicated across all the pages in the website.
If your site does not have the authority and has a couple of sitewide links from low-quality sites, it will appear on the Google radar.
A website that has many sitewide links will carry little value.
Blog commenting that creates spam and form of keyword stuffing.
Most comments are marked as no-follow by blogging platforms like WordPress to stop Google indexing them.
If you own a blog, you will know how much spammy comments you get with people trying to plant links through your site.
Look out for nonrelevant blog comments and get rid of them into the trash.
Many sites have a forum attached that can be a great asset for building a buzz around your site.
However, if your building links through fake forum profiles and posting content that links automatically will hurt your Google rankings.
Google quickly identifies these unnatural links.
Once again look for the number of links coming from both forum and blog profiles, and once again high numbers need dealing with.
You have probably come across web directory posting services promising thousands of web directory postings.
Having too many direct links coming from web directories is not a good sign for your site.
You don’t need hundreds of web directory links to have a successful link profile.
Only a few links from high-quality web directories that are related to your niche will do just as good a job.
Once again if you have an extensive list of inbound links from web directories, you need to deal with them and check them out.
This used to be a well-known technique for driving quality backlinks to a website.
However, having too many links from article directories is a sure sign for Google that something unnatural is going on.
It is essential that you disavow these links as soon as you can as they are easy to spot for Google and will create penalties.
Anchor Text Distribution
Anchor text is brand keywords, your money keywords or navigational, i.e. ‘click here.’
Be careful that your anchor text is not over optimized and is natural looking to avoid those penalties.
There has been a lot of talk about the relevance of the age of the domain you are buying.
When buying a domain for your PBN, you want to be sure that your network is made up of a mix of metrics with everything from the number of backlinks to the Trust ratio.
This will also include the age of the domains in your network.
In your mix of sites, you will want to ensure that you have a random mix of domain ages.
You will want some domains only 1-2 years old and others that are more aged. There is no right or wrong mix to ensure that the combination is there in your network.
The problem with using Domain age as a metric is that it is not always accurate.
For example, if a domain was first registered in 2002 and then wasn’t used between 2008 and 2015.
If that domain were then registered again in 2016, the domain age would show as 2016 although it was first recorded in 2002.
If the domain you are buying passes the spammy backlink checks the next thing to check is the history of the domain.
You will want to look back on the history of the domain and the types of sites that were built on it.
You want to filter out spammy looking sites and sites that might be part of someone else’s PBN.
The way to check out the history of a domain is to use Archive.org.
Archive.org lets you look back in time over the domain and what type sites existed on the domain.
You can access a snapshot of the sites and how the domain looked and the type of content they had.
If the archive.org bot is blocked, this might act as a warning sign on the domain.
Hosting & Domain Footprint
If you are buying a domain to include in your PBN ( private blog network), you need to minimize your detectable footprint both during hosting and in the domain itself.
There are several quite straightforward steps when setting up the hosting of your network that you need to adhere to.
This enables your network to stay under the Google radar.
C Class IP Address
For those of you that may not know an IP address is the address of your computer on the internet.
Like a house number of a street, every computer has a unique address over the web.
An IP address typically looks like 184.108.40.206 or 146.685.948.3
So IP addresses are made up of 4 blocks of numbers.
You need to ensure that every site/domain in your network has a different set of numbers in the CCC section.
So for example, if you had a four-site private blog network that had the following IP’s
This would leave a hosting footprint for Google to find because all the C Class numbers are the same ( 54 ).
Whereas if the IP addresses were;
Every site has a unique C class number, so Google would not detect this.
A & B Classes
If you are building an extensive network, then you may want to make your A & B class numbers unique also.
So as a minimum, you need every site to have a unique C class number, but you can also introduce unique A and B numbers.
The use of IP class numbers is the biggest thing that Google can detect when looking for a hosting network.
Site IP Address
It is also essential that you only use each IP address only once.
So, in other words, do not have two sites with the same IP addresses.
It is probably tempting and not as costly to build out 2-3 sites using the same IP address, but it does leave your network exposed to being detected.
So you should always use unique IP addresses for every single site in your network and remember to take account of the C class numbers.
You can check a site’s ip address with a simple ping at your command line or use this handy ip checker tool.
You should also try to spread the hosting of your PBN sites, as much diversity as you can.
You could host three sites with GoDaddy each with a unique C class Ip address, but the fact they are all hosted with the same hosting provider leaves a footprint.
In tandem with the above, you also need to use a different nameserver for every domain in your network.
It is the nameserver that translates the domain name into an IP address.
Every domain name has a State Of Authority record. This has various snippets of information about the domain, but it also sometimes includes your email address.
This can create a footprint.
As stated earlier, every computer has a unique IP address, and with that comes a registered owner.
If several IP’s have the same owner, this can also send out a footprint to the crawling Google algorithm.
Types Of Hosting To Avoid
Firstly, steer clear of ‘SEO Hosting.’
The problem with SEO hosting is that they are the underworld for hundreds of other PBN users.
So straight away, they become a target for Google to visit.
The other hosting to avoid is ‘Reseller Hosting.’
Although they can make it easy to manage your PBN, the problem is that they leave exposed footprints for Google to find.
How To Build Your PBN Site
Now you have bought your domain, and you are satisfied with the health of the domain and the backlink profile, it is time to build the website to go with it.
As it is a PBN site, there are specific criteria to stick too.
You must make sure that every website in your blog network is unique, random, and different.
Be as random as you can be to keep those sites under the Google radar.
We will take you through the website building process using WordPress using specific techniques to make them unique.
Once you have installed WordPress, you need to enter things like your blog name, username, email, etc.
Tip 1 – don’t use the same email and username twice.
You can usually pick up email addresses from Fiverr.
Make sure you untick the privacy option, so your site is not indexed yet.
Once installed, remove all the dummy content, posts, and comments so you have a virgin install.
The next thing to do is try and hide your site from your competitors.
There are many backlink checking tools out there (WEuse Ahrefs).
If your competitor checks your backlink profile and finds some suspicious looking links, then discovers it is a blog network they can report you to Google.
To stop that happening you have to block Bots from crawling your site.
One way to do this is through the Robot.txt file.
This file sits at the root of your site and gives instructions to any visiting bot.
A Robot.txt file will tell a visiting bot, say from Ahrefs that it is blocked from reading the site.
In theory, the bot will move on.
To add a robots.txt file, you need to install a plug-in called WP Robots Txt.
Another way of achieving the same thing is by changing the htaccess file.
The next thing is to randomize your website settings.
Change the timezone, date format, time format.
In writing untick the formatting.
In Reading, you can change the default settings to a different number.
In Discussion, you can disable pingbacks and change default settings.
Lastly, change the Permalinks structure.
Making these random will help reduce footprint visibility.
Website Look & Feel
For the look and feel for your sites, you must always ensure you use different themes.
If you are using WordPress, that is not very hard as there are hundreds to choose from.
The other thing is to use a different logo also.
There are many online logo makers out there so you can ensure each logo for each site is custom made.
To ensure every website is different and the settings are randomly arranged.
Once again here, the story is mix and match.
There are three plug-ins we would recommend for any PBN site.
One is an SEO plug-in like Yoast; the other is an XML sitemap plug-in and a social media plug-in.
Once again try not to use the same plug-ins on every site, make sure you mix and match.
Once you have these three installed, then we would suggest you add a few optional plug-ins to make your site unique.
We would also always suggest that you have a privacy page, a contact page, and terms of service page.
Once again, you can find different plug-ins for these.
Additional Actions For Authenticity
Once you have got your site set up and you have filled it with content, there are a few other things that will help to keep your sites authentic and authority looking.
Firstly, you need to add social profiles such as Twitter and Facebook, and get some followers.
You can usually go to somewhere like Fiverr and purchase a bunch of followers, retweets, and likes on Facebook.
The other thing to do is to add Banner ads to your site.
Banners make your site look more real and responsive.
Don’t use your affiliate link though as that will leave a footprint back to you.
PBN Link Building
So you have bought your domain and built your site, we will now finish by looking at how to link your websites in a way that will make them look natural.
It is now time to add a link to your niche site that will pass on all that authority we have worked hard to build.
However, this is where it is easy in your haste to make a mistake and expose your whole network.
The first consideration is timing.
It is tempting that once your site is built that you want to leverage as much as you can as soon as you can.
However, it is recommended that you allow at least 36 days before adding any links on your site.
You need to allow time for Google to index your site before adding any links.
What will happen here is that after a while, Google will re-crawl your site and then pick up the new links and pass on the crucial link juice.
So please do not build any links from your niche site to your money site until Google has indexed your site.
It is easy to check if Google has indexed your site.
Just take any page from your site and enter it into Google search.
If it returns the correct title and meta-description, you know that Google has re-indexed the page.
Keep Being Random
When it comes to placing links on your site, it is still vital to be random about where you place them.
Before we look at the types of links, you can place, let’s look at a few common mistakes that can be made.
One common mistake is to link their niche site multiple times from the same PBN site.
For example, it is tempting to link from both the home page and an internal page.
There is no advantage in doing this.
It can only lead you open to detection.
Only link your niche site once.
When it comes to where to place your link, there are a few options.
Remember only one link from your niche site and don’t make it look spammy.
If you link from the homepage, this will give you the maximum thrust for your link.
If you choose to do it this way, make sure on your website settings that you have a page set up as your home page.
You can add a link to a post on your blog.
The most obvious choice for doing this is a text link with your anchor text embedded.
You can do this at the start of your post, halfway through your job or at the end.
Once again make sure you mix it up across your PBN sites.
You can choose to use an image link to your niche site.
You can always use an image from your niche site then link that image to your niche site.
Static Page Link
If you have static pages on your site, these can be great for placing links as you can these pages to navigation menus.
As an example, you can create a resource page where you can list helpful resources to link too.
You could also use a ‘Recommended Reading’ to your about page with a link to your niche site.
Be careful using your sidebar to link to your niche site.
What happens when you place a link from your sidebar of a site in your PBN is it creates a connection from every page/post.
So you might trigger an over-optimization penalty.
There are several types of anchor text you can use, let us have a look at some of them.
Exact match – this is where the correct term you want to rank for is used as the link text.
This anchor text carries the highest risk in terms of visibility to Google, so avoid using exact match links.
Phrase Match – these usually incorporate your exact match phrase. And allows you to use the exact match but with less risk.
URL Anchor – this is just only using your entire URL as the linking text.
Brand Match Anchor – this type of anchor uses either an exact match or phrase match along with your brand name.
So now you have a smattering of knowledge around anchor text, how should they be distributed across your site?
The types of anchor text you might use will be dependent on the link profile of your site.
If your site has a high percentage of exact anchor text, you might need to focus on generic anchor text.
Some general guidelines on the spread of anchor text across your site should be:
URL – 20%
Phrase – 20%
Brand – 25%
Generic – 25%
Exact – 10%
This is not an exact science, but the above is a general guideline.
To conclude let us sum up the do’s and don’t’s of links across your PBN network.
- A mix of link placements
- Control your anchor text
- Never use the same anchor twice
- Never interlink
- Never link from your sidebar
- Don’t link more than once
- Don’t forget to include internal links.
We hope you have gained heaps of knowledge on buying domains for your PBN.
The art or science of building a PBN for SEO purposes is a slow burn method.
If you build too many links or your links look spammy, you will incur penalties.
Also, take your time building links don’t rush in as you could bring down the whole house of cards.
Building a PBN network is an excellent investment if it is done, and you have a great selection of high authority domains.
It can help you boost your money site and increase the SERP metrics.
We can’t stress it has to be created in a systematic, precise fashion as Google is on the lookout for networks that boost the fortunes of other sites.