Creating a network of websites is something people have been doing for decades. The use of Private Blog Networks (PBN) to boost the overall power of your websites is nothing new. But what is new, is the methods and techniques used by Google to discover footprints and take PBNs down.
As of 2019, most people would tell you that there is no such thing as “no footprint”. This is both true and false. How? Your PBN will most definitely leave some kind of footprint, but that doesn’t mean that the particular footprint will be detectable or considered significant by search engines.
With that said, here is a list of all the steps you need to take in order to minimize the chance of your page leaving a footprint that can get you into trouble – and your website de-indexed.
Register Your Sites With Different Domain Registrars
Don’t just use one registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. Use various ones. If all the sites are registered under the same domain, that can raise quite a few red flags for search engines.
Don’t Keep All Your Domains Private
The use of real information is important. If you have all your domains set on private, Google will find the connection sooner or later, and when they do, they’ll hit hard.
Use real names and addresses when possible, then use fake names and addresses when you’ve exhausted option A.
Make Sure Your Sites Have Different TLDs
If all your sites have the same TLD like .net or .info, that will get search engines on your trail. Diversify them as much as possible. There’s a lot of options, and don’t be afraid to choose lesser-known ones like .biz and others.
Use Different IPs
Using the same IP address to create and work on your sites is practically suicide. IPs are one of the biggest footprints any site leaves, so make sure to use different IPs when creating your sites. For all of them.
Don’t Save Money On Hosting Providers
Cheap hosts are the go-to for many webmasters, as they’re both fast and easy on the pocket for anyone entering the world of SEO and wanting to test things out. But once things get going, you’ll struggle with loading speed and downtime if you are using one. Don’t do it. Pay up and you’ll enjoy the benefits in the long run.
Just like with domains, there’s no point in setting up your pages with the same hosting providers. There are many hosting providers to choose from. Some cheaper, some more expensive, but they will all help with covering up your tracks.
For example, you might want to spend a few extra bucks on the likes of LaunchCDN, which offers a top-notch PBN hosting service.
Check Your SOA Records
Your SOA records will let everyone, including Google, know how many pages you run through one email address. Of course, setting them up with one is OK, but you must change that information afterward, and you can easily do it through the cPanel.
Add Different Plugins To Your Pages
Some plugins are better, some are worse, but they all serve a purpose, and that is to improve user experience. You surely have a list of your favorite 5-10, but adding them on all your sites will leave a footprint. Shake things up a bit. Get your hands on 15-20 of them and shuffle them from page to page.
Make Your Pages More Authentic
Okay, this one sounds kinda vague, but truth is, changing and adding information in a few areas on your site can help make it authentic. Add contact info, change the names of the writers on articles and posts, and make sure to have legit legal info.
Add Relevant Links To Posts
Having links from authority websites will help you pass a manual review, as this will show that you are covering your niche and are well acquainted with who is who in your world. It also helps users notice you, as relevant, strategically-placed links improve user experience.
Avoid Adding Content to All Your Websites At The Same Time
Imagine a few sites having posts on similar topics with the same timestamp. Weird, right? Well, it’s weird for search engines, too. And this causes them to snoop around some more, which can get you in hot water very soon. So add posts on 2 sites, then the next day on another one, on the third day add on 2-3 more. Try to avoid leaving a pattern with your posting times.
Don’t Interlink In Your Blog Network
It seems like a logical step, but it’s actually a big footprint. Having a blog network with links is like bouncing, but with great risks. When search engines and manual reviewers go through them, they figure out that it’s something of a closed-loop, and this raises suspicion and alarms all over the place. Avoid at all costs.
Get On Social Media
A business/website without a social media account is not something you come across very often. And for a reason. Having an active social media profile or page will add legitimacy to your page, and will also help improve your SEO score. Do it!
Avoid Using 404 Redirects
It helps keep link juice, but with the recent updates to search engines, it’s more of a no-no. Manual reviewers go through most of your links, and after they get a whiff of the pattern, you’re toast.
This sure must be a lot to take in, but it will all be worth it in the long run, if you want to rub shoulders with the first-pagers. Running a PBN can be a risky business and one that requires a lot of caution and careful planning and execution, and, ideally, professional help. While all these tips will not make your PBN invisible, they will reduce the chances of your cover being blown, so you can work your way up to fame, bit by bit.