Private Blog Network Course

1. Introduction

This is a course that goes into depth on how powerful private blog networks(PBN’s) can be when boosting your website rankings up the ladder whilst staying undetected by Google.

  1. Private Blog Networks

This is basically a set of websites and domains you own that you can use to collectively rank any site you want. The process involves buying high authority domains that have expired then creating a unique site and placing a link back to your main site. That’s it.

Although this seems like a simple technique, it is extremely powerful when done correctly. It’s a lengthy process but the long term benefits are worth the time and effort it takes.

Building your first site can be quite a daunting task but after you get the first site built, you’ll begin to understand the process involved and can repeat this.

Private blog networks are set up to be used by you and you alone, you may see people selling posts on private networks but this can easily become what is known as a public blog network. The more links on a website means less linking power to go around, the purpose of a private blog network is to keep all of your linking power to yourself.

Private blog networks consist of a few overall steps that I will summarise below.

  1. Buying an Expired Domain

The prices of domains can vary quite drastically and I will show you the best ways to find high quality domains for reasonable prices. The next point to note down is that any domain you purchase has to be relevant to your niche.

2. Web Hosting

The next stage would be choosing hosting for your new expired domain. I will explain how to do this without leaving a footprint for google to find and penalise.

3. Build The Site 

Now all you do is add your preferred CMS, add your content and plugins and place links back to your own website.

That’s the process of building a private blog networks summed up, the course will go into more detail with each of these points but this is just a simple breakdown of what a PBN does.

Now you have a general idea of what a private blog network is and the benefits of having one, it’s time to start planning how you are going to build your own PBN.

2. Where To Begin

When you begin planning a private blog network one of the main parts that you will think about is the cost. It may sound like it will be expensive and there is a lot of people and information out there that will lead you to believe this is the case but it is far cheaper than what you would think.

The costs are split between buying the domain and hosting. Prices can vary but ultimately the average costs won’t be to extreme ranging from £2 to £10 a month. Expired domains on the other hand can be very different. If your lucky it is possible to get high authority domains at the same price as a new one which will only cost you around £5. If you decide to use the many sites that sell expired domains in an auction based marketplace then you could spend anywhere between £20 – £100.

Another expense you could be faced with is content. If you decide to write the content on the site yourself you will save spending any money but it can take some time writing 5-6 articles that all have unique and well written content. On top of this you will want each to contain at least 400 words. There are lots of copywriters out there that will charge £5 per article which means per site you could be spending roughly £35 – £50.

When building a private blog network there isn’t a set amount you have to do, this allows you to work at your own pace, within your own budget. You can begin slowly by just building one site a month or you can build as many you want for faster results. It’s best to start with one site first, this will not only help you fully understand how the process works but it’ll also prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by throwing yourself right in at the deep end.

This section gives you an overview of the costs involved in building a PBN, so now let’s look at hosting companies in more detail.

3. Hosting

Hosting your site(s) is a pretty straight forward process however, it can be quite easy to make the mistake of leaving a footprint for Google to find. The whole purpose of a private blog network is to make sure every site within the network is completely unique to each other. This begins with hosting:

IP Address

Every computer connected to the internet has a unique IP Address and so does any site on a server. IP addresses are set up into four different classes, Class A, B, C, D. In a private blog network it’s important that the class C of a sites IP address is different than any others on the same PBN. There are good tools out there that will act as an IP class checker.

c class checker


All you do here is enter the domain or multiple domains and this will tell you the C class of each of the websites. If you decide to build a bigger network then you can begin to use unique A and B class IPs.

Never use the same IP Address for Multiple Sites

Although there are people out there saying it is okay to use a few websites per IP the risks aren’t worth it. It can be cheaper to cut certain corners but your private blog network can become useless for the sake of saving a bit money. Make sure every site has a unique IP address so your PBN won’t be targeted by Google.

Use Different Hosting Companies

If you have five sites all with different IPs and C classes but they all exist in the same hosting company then you will yet again run the risk of being found out by Google. Using only one hosting company is a massive footprint so it’s best to use a couple of different companies just to keep Google guessing.


Any domains you register will have a nameserver, it’s important none of the sites on your network share the same name server. Every hosting company will provide you with a control panel where you can go and change the site’s nameserver.

The IP owner

You can check any sites owner buy using a tool called whois. This tool provides you with all the information that can leave a footprint for Google to find. If the domain registrar is the same on all of the sites in a PBN then this can catch Google’s eye. It’s important to vary this up to keep google guessing. Another one to check is your domain’s state of authority. This information may leave footprints as it can show the registrar’s email address. If you have used the same email for every site then Google will yet again catch on quickly.

If you are running a very large private blog network then you can get away with having the same owner on a few of the sites but a small group of sites have to be varied enough to make sure Google doesn’t notice. This all might seem like a lot of work just for the sake of a couple of sites but a PBN is a long-term asset so you definitely have to treat in with a lot of effort to see it’s long-lasting effects.

Hosting Companies

First of all there are a few things that you should avoid when selecting a hosting company. One is ‘SEO hosting’. These are companies that offer bulk unique C Class IPs for low prices to host all of your sites. Although this might seem like the best option it’s not quite as it seems. This is because hosting companies have designed this specifically for SEO’s which means that the majority of their IP addresses already contain lots of private blog networks. Another massive disadvantage to hosting is that they leave footprints in the IP owner information and state of authority, Google are constantly targeting SEO hosting companies so you should do your best to steer clear of any hosting companies advertising themselves as this.

cloak hosting

A few companies to avoid are:

The next thing you should be looking to avoid is reseller hosting. This is basically set up to allow shared hosting, again this is one that is highly recommended and looks like a great option. The problem is that yet again it fails to pass the IP owner test.

A few reseller companies to avoid are:

Now that you know what to avoid it’s time to look at hosting companies to use on your network. The best hosting companies I would recommend is shared hosting companies. Using a different hosting company for every site is the best way to ensure your network stays hidden from Google. The only problem with doing this is it takes a bit more time and effort than using one of the other methods above. Instead of having all of the sites in one place with one login you will have five different account details you need to store and five control panels to work with. Although it can be tempting to try and save time by using the same hosting company it’s really worth just putting in the extra work and be sure your network is hidden.

The hosting companies that I use all offer hosting within the price range of £1 to £5. There’s a lot of companies to choose from so you should never have an issue with keeping every site unique. A few options are shown below:

There are a couple of methods you can also use to find more hosting companies. There are forums all over the internet discussing new hosting companies that offer cheap hosting. Hosting discussion is a site that can be worth checking out once in a while to see if there are some good deals on the prices of hosting.

Here is a list of a few mcheaperhosting companies I recommend you use:

List of Hosting Companies

Now you know everything there is to know about hosting. Before you go out and buy any hosting package you should wait until you have purchased some domains to host your site on. We will go on to discuss how to find high-quality domains in the next section of the course but for now ,it’s important that you understand how to set up your hosting without leaving any footprints for Google to find.

4. Buying Domain Names

Before you purchase any domains you need to understand the expiration process. There are a few steps involved when a domain expires.

Step 1: The domain name expires.

Once a domain expires it is put into to a state of renewal grace period. When a domain is in this state, the original owner has a set amount of days in which they can renew the domain without any extra charges. The time period can vary depending on the registrar, but most will allow you up to about 45 days to renew your domain name.

Step 2: The renewal period ends.

When a domain name is in this state, the owner of the domain name now has between 30-45 days to renew the domain from registrar hold but it comes with a fee(This fee can be anywhere between £50 and £100). At this stage, the domain is placed in an auction which anyone can bid on. The owner of the domain name still has a period of 30-45 days to renew their domain name. If this is the case any bids will be refunded to the bidder and the domain will go back to the original owner. If the domain is not renewed by the owner then the highest bidder will be handed the domain name after the days of registrar hold.

Step 3: Closeout sale

If the domain doesn’t sell within the auction and the original owner doesn’t renew then some registrars will offer closeout sales. This is usually in the form of cheaper ‘buy it now’ option. You have to be quick to grab domains with a good deal ‘buy now’ option and it is also possible for the original owner to renew.

Step 4: Registrar hold Expires

At this stage, the registrar will drop the domain name into a redemption period. In this state the domain name can still be renewed by the original owner for a fee. It cannot be deleted or changed and is left in this stage for another maximum of 30 days. At this point the website and the emails will no longer be working.

Step 5: Pending delete

The domain at this stage cannot be renewed or registered by anyone and all of the files remain deleted. This stage only last for a period of 5 days before being finally being deleted.

Step 6: Domain is deleted

At this stage the registrar drops the domain name back into the general public for anyone to newly register. This is the cheapest a domain name will be as it will only cost up to £10 to register a domain for the year.

What makes a good domain name

Now that you have an idea of how the domain expiration system works you need to know what makes a good domain name. There are a number of metrics that you can use to determine a good domain name and it’s important that you research any domain before you buy it. The last thing you want is to find out you’ve spent a lot of money on a domain that isn’t anywhere near as powerful as you first thought.

Domain Authority (DA)

what is private blog network

This is a metric that measures the root domains authority, you can use the tool Open Site Explorer to find out any domains authority score. This is a 1-100 point score that is measured using a number of different metrics. When looking for domains I usually look for no less than 15 PA. There is a moz bar that you can download and this will tell you the domain authority of any site you visit automatically.

Page Authority (PA)

page authority

This again is another Moz tool that acts in the same way as the domain authority but tells you on a 1-100 scale each individual page on a site and not the domain itself.

Citation flow (CF)

Majestic SEO is another place to measure the power of a domain name, one of the metrics is citation flow. This measures the strength of the links pointing to your site.

citation flow

Again I would be looking for domains with a citation flow of 15 or above.

Trust Flow (TF)

The trust flow measures how trustworthy the links are on the site. Again I would be looking for sites with no less then a 15 trust flow.  Whenever you are looking for a domain to buy you need to consider the trust flow to citation flow ratio.

The trust to citation ratio average should be no more than 2:00, the way to calculate your ratio is simply dividing your citation flow by your trust flow.

citation flow/trust flow

good trust flow

The picture above shows a good trust flow with the ratio being 1.45. The graph as you can see is pretty evened out and well balanced.

bad trust flow 2

This graph on the other hand doesn’t have a great ratio. With a ratio of 4.83 this shows the site’s citation flow is a lot bigger than the trust flow so it’s probably best to look for another domain.


The next metric to check is how many backlinks a site has. There are few different sites you can use to check backlinks, such as semrush and ahrefs. I would usually look for domains with about 50 links or above. Although sites can have high authority with only a couple of links, if it loses one of they links it could lose quite a bit of authority as well.

sem backlinks

The tool used here is called SEMRush, this can show you a whole array of metrics and as you can see the backlinks on this site is shown above. This isn’t 100% accurate but using this and a few other tools will help you get a good idea of what the site actually has. If you use ahrefs I usually find you get better results for backlink profiles than any other of the tools out there.

Referring Domains

This is another metric that is worth checking when you are checking backlinks.

referring domains

The referring domains is the amount of domains that the links are coming from, for example say you have 900 backlinks and only 10 referring domains then this means that all of your links are collectively spread across just 10 referring domains. The more sites that are linking to you the better so it’s best to try and get a healthy balance between links and referring domains. You should probably aim for over 20 referring domains when you first begin as it will ensure that your links are spread through a good amount of domains.


When looking for a domain there isn’t one set way a domain has to be, if the site has a really high authority and a good trust ratio then there doesn’t have to be as many links. It’s all about finding a domain that overall has strong linking power that you can use in your private blog network.

The metrics that are most important:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Citation flow
  • Trust Flow
  • Trust Ratio

Whenever you are looking for a domain you need to just keep the metrics above in mind and you should be on your way to building a powerful private blog network.

Places to Buy a Expired Domains is a free website that allows you to look for expired domains. The search system here isn’t the greatest as you can only search by ‘page rank’. PR is a metric that hasn’t been used in quite a while so if you decide on a domain you want be sure to check the other important metrics such as trust and citation flow before you buy it.

expireddomains list

This tool is connected to a lot of different marketplaces, giving you a good amount of domains to look through. You can also set up email alerts and save domains that you can look back on. If you do use this tool then do the additional research on the other metrics and you should be able to find good domains.


DomCop is a good tool you can use that starts at $32 a month. It has a massive auction that you can look through for free however, you should take a look at what is available before paying for the service.


This marketplace provides you with all of the metrics you need to know such as ‘page authority’, ‘trust flow’, ‘citation flow’ etc. You can narrow down your search by using these filters. If you click the ‘show filters’ button at the top of the page will be given a list of metrics you can search. For example you might choose to search for a high trust and citation flow. Now when the results show up a lot of them might look like spam which is why if you filter the results by trust flow, you will see it is much easier to find the ones with a closer ratio.

Domcop filters

There is an option at the top if you click ‘search’ at the top and then ‘simple’. This allows you to search through a more accurate filter which you lets you search for both the minimum and maximum as well different listing types. They even have an ‘advanced’ option that gives you SEMRush data and social sharing so you can really narrow the search down to what you need.

Domcop advanced filters

The archived section is where you can buy domains that have expired within the year. The great thing about these is you can buy them at the standard price of registering a new domain with no extra costs.

Overall DomCop is one of the best ways to save you the time looking through all of the metrics manually but it does come with a cost.

DomCop also offers is a 7 day free trial you should take advantage of if you aren’t entirely sure.



This is another 100% free tool called moonsy that takes all of it’s domains from the GoDaddy marketplace.


This tool will tell you the price of the domain in the GoDaddy auction and how much time is left on every domain. The tool actually has some pretty good filtering as well, with you being able to set the minimum and maximums for metrics such as trust and citation flow, domain authority, backlinks, price etc. You can also search by keyword to really narrow down your search.

Moonsy filter

The one problem with this tool is that it will only take domains from the GoDaddy marketplace which can leave it a bit limited but for a free tool it’s definitely worth checking out.

Fresh Drop

This is a free tool with a pro version available also. Fresh drop will give you a good amount of results and has quite a detailed search filter. It gives you metrics such as trust flow, citation flow and Moz rank which can come in handy for getting rid of all the useless domains.

fresh drop

The only problem with the free version of this site is if you try to organise the list of domains using one of the metrics you’ll be asked to pay for the premium features. This tool offers you a 60 day free trial that will cost $32.95 a month afterwards.

Click Mojo

Click Mojo

Click Mojo lets you search domain names using the traffic metric and it’s all free. This shows you the site’s traffic on a US monthly search. They have called this metric ‘traffic score’ here which basically means high traffic score = high traffic for the site.

If you find a site that is similar to you niche then you could buy that domain and direct the traffic to your money site or you can just use it for your PBN.

Another tool available on Click Mojo is ‘keyword popularity’. This tool gives you a list of domains that are pending delete and shows you the search volume on each keyword.

tree design keyword

For example you might see a site like the one above called ‘’. The domain is about to expire and there is a monthly search on the keyword tree design of 60,000. If you happen to own a company relating to design then you could buy this domain and direct it to yours.

Overall it is a good tool for searching for sites with high traffic but it does lack having any other metrics so be sure to research this information elsewhere.

This is a very basic site that will give you a text file listing all of the sites expired on that date.

expire biz

Once you visit you’ll be presented with the screen above. Click on any of the dates on the calendar to see a list of domains that have expired. A couple of disadvantages include:

  • It doesn’t show you any metrics so you need to do that research somewhere else.
  • this list is only taken from the GoDaddy auction.


GoDaddy is a massive domain marketplace but it doesn’t show you enough metrics to know if the sites are any good. There is a DomCop extension that you can download for chrome or Firefox. This gives you the metrics such as trust and citation flow, domain authority etc that you need to get a better idea of how good a domain is.

Once you visit you’ll be presented with the screen above. Click on any of the dates on the calendar to see a list of domains that have expired. A couple of disadvantages include:

  • It doesn’t show you any metrics so you need to do that research somewhere else.
  • This list is only taken from the GoDaddy auction.


GoDaddy is a massive domain marketplace but it doesn’t show you enough metrics to know if the sites are any good. There is a DomCop extension that you can download for chrome or Firefox. This gives you the metrics such as trust and citation flow, domain authority etc that you need to get a better idea of how good a domain is.

godaddy auction

You’ll probably notice that a lot of the prices are pretty high so you can click on the ‘price’ tab to organise the list from low to high. If you find a site you like the look of you can also click on the ‘+’ button. This gives you even more information like the alexa rank and number of backlinks.

Netpeak Checker

This tool doesn’t actually search for domains but Netpeak Checker is great for finding out all the necessary metrics you need to know about a domain, it’s also has a 14 day free trial for you to use.

netpeak checker

First of all this is what the layout looks like. On the left hand side you’ll see all of the metrics the tool can search for, you can un-tick any you don’t need and now head into the settings. The settings page is where you need to put in your Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic information. If you don’t do this nothing will show for these metrics so just make sure you add it for the tools you are paying for.

The next step is adding your domains. To do this click on the ‘load’ button at the top and open up any text file that you’ve saved your domains. Now that your domains are ready, set the amount of threads to whatever you want(for example 10 threads means 10 site’s at the same time).

Dom Recovery

This is a great tool to help you get any archived sites back from the Wayback machine. This will take all of the site’s content and images etc which you can then install back onto the expired domain. This can save you a lot of time in building the website side of things.


With all of these tools at your disposal, you need to find domains that are relevant to your niche, the next topic explains what makes a relevant domain.

5. Domain Relevance

Getting a powerful domain won’t really matter if it isn’t relevant to your niche. So many people fall down on finding powerful relevant domains, but it is a lot easier to find these than it seems. If for example your niche is a window company then you can find domains in:

  • construction
  • home improvement
  • home security
  • shopping

All you have to do is make a connection between the two sites. So if you got a domain for home improvement you can discuss, ‘windows design’ and with home safety you can write articles about ‘safety windows’.

Spammy Link Profiles

If a site’s backlink’s appear to be spammy then there is absolutely no point in buying it. This is one thing you should always check, yet again you can use tools such as semrush or ahrefs.

The area you go to here is the backlink profile which will look something like this.

backlink profile good

As you can see from the picture above, the link profile has plenty of sites relevant and don’t appear to spam. If you find that the majority of backlinks for a domain are spammy links such as dating sites and gambling then you should definitely steer clear.

Whenever you do check a backlink profile make sure to use a few different tools for the best results. For example, when you check a backlink profile on majestic SEO you may find that the backlinks look pretty powerful but when you check on ahrefs you may find it’s a completely different situation.

Wayback Machine

This is a great tool you can use which will show you copies of a website on the domain since it was first registered. It’s important to make sure any domain you buy has always ran a legitimate site and has not been used for any other private blog networks or spam purposes in the past.

As you can see below this image shows the same site with one copy in 2008 and the other in 2016. The one on the left is a pretty basic site and a few features that won’t load such as images but looking at the content you can see it has always been a legit site. Everything on the most recent corresponds with what’s being said on the previous versions so this domain is ideal for a private blog network.

Wayback machine

Below is an example of a site that should be avoided. Looking at the image on the left you can see the images of the cars at the top looks very similar to the one on the right about ‘car games’. However when you take a look at the text on the left you can clearly see the content is completely irrelevant and considered spammy. This is a domain you should definitely avoid.

Bad wayback example

Another factor to consider is when you search through the Wayback Machine database and the bot has been blocked, you should be wary of the domain. This is a bad sign that the site has something to hide that most likely isn’t relevant to what was recently on the domain.

Age of the Domain

Although this isn’t as important as any of the other metrics I have mentioned before, it is still something to consider when building a PBN. It isn’t the easiest metric to track due to the fact that websites registered ten years ago might not have gone live with a site until a couple of years later. Also if a domain is registered in 2005 and then expires in 2009, it could be then newly registered in 2011.

When building a private blog network you should try and vary the age of the sites just to help keep everything looking natural but there isn’t one set way in which this should be done.

There are a few tools available that you can use to check domain ages listed below:

Now that you know what to look for in a domain, you can’t leave any footprints for google when you finally decide to buy one. The next section will detail what is needed to stay hidden.

6. Reducing Domains Footprints

When you purchase any domains, it’s very possible to leave footprints for google to find. It’s important to keep everything random from the very beginning to make sure you don’t waste end up wasting your time on a private blog network that has been spotted before you’ve even made it.

  1. Whois Data

Your domains whois data can be either private or public. It’s important to vary this up with any domains on your private blog network and try and keep any of the public data 100% unique. This means using fake names and emails when registering each domain. There are tools available that will help you carry out this process faster, I’ve listed a few below:

2. Email Address

Whenever you use a new domain you should always use a different real email address. You can do this by just creating them yourself making sure you change up the providers such as Gmail and Hotmail. There are also a couple of places you can go to buy in bulk working email addresses if you want to save some time.

Bulk Emails

The tools I would recommend are – or

3. Registrars

When registering a domain make sure you don’t use the same registrar for all domains in your network. This is an easy mistake to make so be sure to use as many different registrars as possible. There are plenty of good options out there such as:

  • fasthosts
  • tsohost
  • 123reg
  • godaddy

There are many more registrars out there, you should never find yourself short of options when trying to hide a footprint from google.

7. Your site Design

Now that all of your site’s settings are done it’s time to move onto the design of the site. This part is crucial when building your private blog network. Every site you build should have a unique design and a logo. This can easily be overlooked by quite a lot of people but when you want to make Google believe your site is a real business then you should definitely have these points covered.


This is where the benefits come in when working with WordPress. There are lots and lots of themes available straight from WordPress that all look very unique and can give each of your site’s the differences that they need to stay unique.


Every theme on WordPress has a deep level of customisation you can work with which is really ideal in keeping your site completely original. Once you click on the ‘customisation’ tab you will see all of the changes that can be made, go through the list and start choosing any settings and designs you want. This section just like everything else is just about choosing random things.


There are quite a few easy ways to make logos. Keep in mind that any logos you make for your sites don’t have to be great designs, just having a unique logo on a site is at great at making your site look real. A few logo makers i’d recommend are:

Here is an example of one I created on, It’s just a simple design with a computer template that I added a few shapes to make it look a little different and a space to stick a company name. Remember that the logo doesn’t have to look great it just has to be there for Google’s sake.

Logo maker

These design tools have some decent features that you can use to build some basic designs. Now that the logo is designed you upload it onto your WordPress site and place it in the customisation section of the website.

Ultimately the main thing to remember is the site has to look like someone is using it for a real business. When you feel like you’ve finished your design, take a look and move a few widgets around to make sure that your site is completely unique from any others out there and you’ll now be ready to begin adding some plugins to your site.

8. Adding Plugins

There are a few plugins you’ll need to install on your WordPress site. You should never use the exact same plugins on every one of your sites, you need to make sure that you use a wide variety so no two sites are the same. This will help keep your site looking natural, leaving no footprints for Google to pick up on.

Necessary Plugins

The first plugins to add are the ones you’ll need to make your site useful in a private blog network. You need an SEO plugin, a XML sitemap and a social sharing plugin. There are lots of different options for each, go into the plugins tab on the left hand side and type into the search bar ‘SEO’ this will throw up a list of available plugins.

seo plugin

You can choose anyone you want, a good few I recommend are ‘all in one SEO’, ‘yoast SEO’, ‘SEO ultimate’. Once this is added you can go through the settings making any changes you think are necessary. Some SEO plugins also come with a sitemap, if this isn’t the case then you have to find a sitemap plugin. Again all you do is enter ‘XML sitemap’ into the Google search bar and choose any that catches your eye.

Finally add your social sharing plugin, once you add this just head into the plugins settings and select which of the buttons you want to show on your site. (You might find that some themes come with a social feature, if this is the case then you don’t have to worry about adding one.)

Optional plugins

This is the area where you can get a little creative which will help get each of your sites look original. One plugin you can add to your site is a contact form, whenever you build a site it’s best to have a few pages such as a privacy page, policy page and also a contact page.

Following the same process as the last plugins just type in ‘contact form’ into the search bar. A couple of good ones to lookout for is ‘contact form’ and ‘contact form 7’. With contact form 7 for example it has a line of shortcode that you paste on to your page keeping it nice and simple. When you add a contact page be sure to use different names for it every time. You might use ‘contact us’ on one site and then ‘get in touch’ on the other, same would apply to a policy and privacy page.

Contact form

As you can see from the picture above you can customise the contact form to say what you’d like, this is an extra way to help keep the site unique.

Next thing to add is a policy page. With this again you can just look for a plugin that provides you with a template to work with. It’s also possible to make this page on the site without a plugin, so use whatever method you’d prefer. Fill in the necessary information and paste the shortcode onto your site.

Privacy policy

The plugin I am using here provides you with both a ‘privacy policy page and a terms of service page’. With this all you do is add in your information like name, location, domain and the plugin generates your policy page. You can separate them into two pages or you can put them both on one, there’s not a correct way to set it up so work in any way you’d like.

With every site you build not all of these pages have to be added, you might choose to have all of them or just the contact form etc.

9. Site Settings

When you enter the settings menu you want to try and make everything completely unplanned as possible, this means you don’t have to put too much thought into any of the site’s settings.


First place to start is general, the key is to make sure all of your sites on the PBN has different settings. In here will be things like your site title, timezone, date and time formats etc. Just pick random settings with no real thought put into it.

General settings


The writing stage again you can just tick and untick any of the settings here.


In here will let you change the amount of blog posts that are shown on the site’s page at one time. Just choose any amount you like and it’s up to you if it shows a summary of the post or the full thing. The robots.txt is in this section as well so always remember to keep this different on every one of your sites. One point to make sure of is the search engine visibility box is ticked otherwise the search engines won’t be able to see your content which you will need to be indexed.


The discussion settings is the area that controls anything to do with comments. Pingbacks and trackbacks should be disabled and you can also disable email alerts for every comment posted on your site which is pretty ideal as you will most likely be hit with quite a lot of spam.


To factor into disguising your private blog network you should have comments enabled on some sites and have them disabled on others. Later in the course I will show how it’s possible to create fake comments to help the legitimacy of your site.

If you choose to allow comments on your site just tick a few of the options changing any of them you want. Always make sure that you do choose the option that moderates comments. If you don’t then your site will be open to spam hitting your website.

Lastly you’ll want to choose any avatar.


The media section doesn’t really have much in terms of changes but you can set the default sizes for an images on the site.


Finally permalinks is a section where you control the site’s structure, this area again you can just choose any options you want.

This is everything you need when working through the settings and next up is the site’s design. When you repeat the process again with your next site just make sure you work in an unplanned way again so all sites are unique.

10. Keeping Your PBN Hidden

The best way to build your sites in using WordPress. This is an easy platform to keep updated and is very easy to mix up the design to keep google from noticing any similarities.

When you first add a site to the domain you might think that the best thing to do is add lots and lots of articles and content. This straight away is leaving a mark on google’s radar. It’s crucial that any site you build on your PBN looks exactly like a legitimate company.

Here are a few things that you should be aware of whenever you plan on building your sites:

Username and Password – From the very beginning you need to be thinking about footprints. Every site should use different usernames and passwords that you should store in a spreadsheet somewhere to easily keep track of.

Email Address – Don’t set up all of your sites with the same email address. Another obvious footprint.

Templates – Always use a different template for any sites you build, it leaves a massive footprint if google finds two or more sites linking together that not only have the exact same theme but will inevitability look very similar

Plugins – Every site should have a wide variety of plugins that isn’t the same as a site you build before.

Logos – Every site you build should have it’s own unique logo

Forget about using one set formula for your sites. Everything you do in each shouldn’t have any kind of similarities to the other sites in your PBN. Once you first install your WordPress site, make sure that all of the default content and comments are removed. You do this by entering the comments and page section at the sidebar and simply deleting any existing content.

Sample page

Blocking Bots

Once this is done it’s time to block any spider bots from crawling your site. As you know by now there are lots of tools you can use that will check a competitors backlink profile. The problem with this is if you have a link on there that looks suspicious anyone can click on it and might discover that there is a private blog network. As soon as this happens you’ll most likely get reported to google and your site will be blacklisted.

To work your way around this you have to change your robots.txt, this is a publicly accessible file that can be seen by simply typing it into the URL. If you block bots from accessing the robots.txt when the bot comes round to your site it should ignore your data which means no one can see your backlinks.

Again keeping a footprint in mind you can’t have one set way you have your robots.txt. There is a plugin you can download called ‘wp robots txt’. Once you download this you will find it in the settings menu. You now have the ability to edit the robots.txt file adding your own custom code to stop bots from crawling your site.

Below is a the piece of code that you can add to your site which will block most bots from crawling your site (there may still be some bots out there that will ignore this request).

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

Again when adding this code you don’t want 2 sites in your network to use the exact same code so you should always use a variety. You can change the code you are using by replacing the ‘*’ in the code and replacing it with the name of the bots you know exists, for example:

User-agent: AhrefsBot
Disallow: /

User-agent: SemrushBot
Disallow: /

Here is a robot.txt file you can use.

Mix it up with different bots on every site on your PBN, you also shouldn’t use this method on every site you make. You might decide to completely ignore the robots.txt on a site just to keep network that bit harder for google to spot.

Htaccess File

Another method you can use to keep your site hidden from bots is to edit the htaccess file. This is a file that you should definitely take care when editing otherwise your site could come down. Again there is a plugin you can use called ‘wp htaccess editor’, once downloaded you can add the appropriate code in this plugins settings page.

RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (googlebot|semrushbot|ahrefsbot) [NC] RewriteRule .* - [R=403,L]

The code above will block any bots from crawling your site and show a 403 error to the bots that crawl the page. To add any more bots type them into the brackets by putting a ‘|’ in between each bot.

11. Content & Comments

Any content on your site has to be completely original and there has to be enough of it to be sure it will be valuable in the long run. Content on the site is split into sections

  • Static content(content on your pages)
  • Blog posts
  • Widget content
  • Comments

Static Content

If you decide you don’t want to use a plugin for your privacy pages, you can set these up on your pages using free privacy policy generator. If you do a quick search you’ll find lots of generators out there. Just make sure that with every site you mix it up enough to keep every site original.

Policy generators

The next page your site should have is an ‘about’ page. You’ll most likely want this page on every one of your sites, this page is a great way of showing Google that you are a real person by giving information that no other site will have. This is a page that you will have to write yourself and won’t be able to generate. It might seem like a bit of a pain but the benefits of having a unique ‘about’ page makes it worth while.

This page should consist of about 200-400 words explaining a bit about the business or the person if it’s a blogging site. Once you have a bit of information written you can add an image. This can be a photo that you take straight from Google, if you do this make sure that it is labeled for reuse with modification. (you can use the search filter located just under the search bar in the Google images tab). When you’ve taken the image you need to make a slight change whether it be adding some text, changing the size so that there is no way google can find it when it’s typed into their search bar. You can mess about with little things like adding a link back to your contact page for example just to help the page seem more genuine.

Content for your Posts

When it comes to writing content, you’ll want to add at about 5 articles each containing about 400-700 words. Again there is no set structure here so don’t be afraid to write a 1000 word article or write a 300 word one. You can also add images to these posts or add embedded videos, vary up every article you do.

There are a couple of ways you can get articles for your site. The most obvious one is writing it yourself, this can become quite time consuming as all of the content you have on your site must be original and worth while. One way to get round this is finding another site in your niche and copy what they are saying but in your own words. As long as you don’t directly copy anyone word for word then google won’t pick up on it. Although there are tools out there that can spin articles for you, there is no better way to keep your content unique and readable than having them hand written.

You can pay for people to write articles for you which can cost as little as $1, just a quick search on google will throw up a list of sites that sell hand written articles. Here is a list of a few sites you can use below:

Once you have your articles it’s time to put them on your site, to do this you’ll want to add a new post and then paste in the content.



With posts in WordPress you can use a few features to make your articles seem a bit more lively than ordinary plain text. Things such as bullet points, lists, making your titles bold text are great ways to keep your articles interesting. Whenever you have an article it’s a good idea to mix them up with a some different variations. There is a couple of things to think about when adding any articles to your site:

  1. Use 1 or 2 images on the occasional article
  2. Embed a video in an article
  3. Add an internal link
  4. Try and add 1 or 2 contextual links

Before adding any of these, make sure that you fill in all of the SEO information at the bottom of the page. When adding an image to your article make sure that you use the labeled for reuse with modification filter on Google just like you would with the ‘about us’ page. With any videos you embed make sure you mix it up with different sizes etc. Once you have a few articles on your site you can begin internally linking between certain ones as long as they are relevant. Depending on what you write about you should try and add some contextual links as well.


The main thing to remember is when you get the content on your site, having a random mix of images, videos and links will be the most important thing to make your articles worth while.

Widgets and Sidebars.

For any site on your PBN, you should change the default theme widgets which you can find in the widgets tab under appearance. Some of the plugins you’ve installed previously might have the option to appear on your sidebar such as a contact form or social sharing. The theme that you currently use might come with pre-installed widgets also which you should use to vary up your site’s content.

Widgets menu

Another piece of the site you should edit is the site’s menu. This can be changed in the menus section under the appearance tab. In this section you can completely re-arrange the order of your main navigation bar and select what pages show on there and create sub categories if necessary. Make sure to mix up the menus with every site you build.



Comments are a great way to show Google that your site is a genuine active site. It’s really easy to leave fake comments on your site, all you do is open up your site on a private window ant then post some comments. You can ask some questions in the comments section and then answer them yourself to make your site look lively. You can just add a fake name, email address(this won’t show up on the site’s front end). You don’t need to enter anything in the website box. Now that the comments are posted you’ll have to go into the back end of the site to allow them to go live on the site.

One thing you need to make sure is that all of the comments don’t look like they’ve been posted within a couple of minutes of each other. To do this, head into the comments section and edit the dates so that there’s about a day between each of the comments.

Any comments should only be added to the blog section of your site, when working with any other page make sure you disable the comments section. You should probably try and add 1 or 2 comments to a few of your articles making sure that it’s something different and original every time.

There are a few extra features in the next topic, you can add to finish off your site which helps it look that bit more legit.

12. Extra Factors To Consider

Now that you know how to find high power relevant domains and know what how to build a site for a private blog network, There is a few more elements you can add to your sites just to help give it that extra legitimacy.

Advertising Banners – Banners help give your site that extra level of legitimacy. All you need to do is search for some images on Google of businesses that are relevant to you, just put a text widget on your site and paste the code in. Now you just place the widget somewhere in your sidebar. Make sure that you never use the same ads on two of your sites, always keep them unique.

Social Media – One thing you can do is get your site on some of the main social media platforms. Twitter for example is a great platform to use. There are sites out there such as Fiverr that you can buy lots of followers for £5. You can also buy likes on Facebook etc which all helps getting your site out to different social media platforms.

Fiverr social


Hide my WP – One potential problem is that building all of your sites on WordPress might leave a footprint in the code.

wordpress code

If you don’t want all of the sites on your network to show up as running WordPress then you can download a plugin that will hide any sign of the platform it’s using. The plugin will cost you $23 per website, it will change the names of the plugins, removing any trace of WordPress. Again to keep things looking natural you don’t have to use this plugin on all of your sites as some sites can look like there on WordPress and some not.

Now that you’ve got your site completely built, it’s time to start looking at link building strategies for your network.

13. Linking Strategies

Only link once per site to your main site

When it comes to placing links on your private blog network, the formula continues of not having a set plan. A common mistake is linking to your money site more than once from the same site. There isn’t any extra linking power benefit to linking to your site more than once and it will also run the risk of leaving a footprint for Google.


The next is to make sure that any link you place has contextual relevance. It can be very tempting to just place a link somewhere randomly to your money site as soon as you put in all of your content but does it make sense for it to be there? Any link you place must look like it’s a benefit being there. Google will notice if your randomly throw links onto your site.

Never Interlink

Don’t ever link between multiple sites on your PBN, this is a sure fire way of getting your network found.

Where to place your links

When placing links on your sites make sure it’s random placement and not the same area over and over again. With one site you could place a link on the homepage and the next you could choose an inner page or a blog post. Just keep mixing it up with every site you build.

Don’t Sell Links

Selling links will quickly turn your private blog network into a public one. If you decide to sell your links for a quick profit your network will inevitably be found out eventually, keep all of your linking power for yourself.

Links on the Homepage

If you decide to place a link on your website’s homepage then you need to make sure that it is set up as a static page. Put some general content about what your site’s about with some images and internal links. Links from your homepage will send most of your linking power to your niche site but you need to be careful not to get carried away with this.

Homepage links

Links in blog posts

Links in your blogs are a great place to use. With this you would follow the same guidelines as before but also place a link in your blog post. This can be somewhere in the text of your blog or you could place a link in an image.

Static Pages

Your inner pages like ‘about me’ or ‘services’ are going to be static pages. These are an ideal place for a link as it will most likely feature on your navigation bar which gives these pages more authority. A common static page that people create would be a ‘resources’ page that you can place a few links to companies relevant to your own. As long as you put enough relevant content on these pages you can link from here with text or images depending on what you think is best.

Another option is to create a section on your about us page that recommends other pieces of information. You could add a few internal links and one for your niche site to help it blend in.

Links In Text

Text links are an obvious and effective method of placing a link. With there being many different types of anchor text to use, it is quite easy to mix up the way you add them. One thing I wouldn’t recommend is adding a link to your main site in the first paragraph of an article, you could however add a contextual link if it seems necessary. Just always remember to switch things up like adding the link at the end of one article and the middle of another.

Links In Images 

Images are also an area where you can place links that can go undetected by google. It’s very possible to take an image from your main site and place it onto your blog with a link back to it’s original source(your main site). It’s perfectly natural for images to link back to it’s source so this is a very effective method.

Don’t Link from your Sidebar

One problem many people have is place a link in their sidebar. A link in the sidebar means it will appear on every one of your pages. This offers no extra linking power than just one link form your network site but it also runs the risk of throwing your anchor text ratio off. It is possible to work your way around this but it is very easy to mess this up and your site could be penalised for it so it’s best to just try and avoid placing a link in your sidebar.

Anchor text.

Having 100% match anchor text on your website used to get your website ranking without any issues but google have updated since then and things have become a little more complicated.

There are different types of anchor text and you need to know the differences between them and how you should use them throughout your PBN.

Exact match

First of all you have exact match anchor text. For example if you had a site on your called “” and you want it to rank for handbags Glasgow, then you’ll want to add a link that links to that specific page on your website.

This is called exact match because it is a link that contains exactly what you want it to rank for. It is the most effective anchor type there is but it is the most risky one to use. For the purpose of a private blog network you shouldn’t ever use exact match anchor text just to be safe. However, if you do have a large network then you could probably get away with using it on one of your sites and you can judge for yourself how it turns out.

Phrase Match 

This is keywords that are a bit longer than your exact match but in can contain this in some way. An example of this would be again using the keyword ‘hand bags glasgow’ you can use a few phrases such as:

  • we have cheap hand bags glasgow
  • best hand bags in glasgow
  • buy new hand bags in glasgow

When you begin to rank for these longer keywords, the exact match keyword essentially begin to rank here.

URL Match

This is simple placing a link that contains the URL of the site your linking to. This will look something like this:


These are very natural looking links, they don’t target specific keywords but they do hold a lot of authority.

Generic Anchor Text

These are the generic text you can use on your site like the ones below:

  • Click here
  • see this page
  • check this out
  • discover this info

Here is a list of generic anchor text for you to download: Generic Anchor Text

These links are what you could find on any website out there and although there is no URL, brand, phrase or exact match these are good links to throw in to reduce your footprint. As long as these links are surrounded by relevant content then these will pass on good authority to your main site.

Brand Match

Brand anchor text can contain some exact or phrase match terms but also includes your the brand itself. These terms will look something like this:

  • provide high quality hand bags.
  • buy hand bags at
  • Purchase some from hand bags glasgow

This is another option you can which includes a good mix of anchor text.

Circulate your Anchor Text

Now that you know all of the different types it’s time to start working on circulating all of them through your PBN. This will all come down to the current backlink profile on your main site. If for example your site already has lots of generic anchor text, then you’ll need to work on balancing it out with some of the others.

There isn’t one correct amount you should have per site but below is a rough guideline on how many you should work:

Exact match:10%

phrase match: 20%

generic match: 25%

brand match: 25%

URL match:20%

This is just a rough guideline but this gives you some sort of direction you should be heading towards. Just remember that every site is different and always judge it based on your main sites existing backlinks to get a good balance.

Check Your Competitors

Not every niche is the exact same which means different rules can apply, have a look at the top few competitors on Google’s anchor text will help you get a good idea of how what is ranking the sites in that niche.

You can use tools like ahrefs and majestic to get a good idea of your competitors anchor text ratio.

Anchor text

The tool I’ve used here is Majestic, it shows a marketing company offering courses. You should always want to cross reference any site you are researching with another tool like ahrefs for more accurate information.

The next part of the course will show you how avoid leaving footprints with your linking strategy.

15. Maintaining Your Network

Managing your network can become a bit of a pain depending on how big it gets. More sites means more plugins and themes that need updated regularly. On top of this websites can go down, links can break etc. and unless you are checking every page of every site daily then you could run into trouble. There are quite a few tools you can get to help handle dealing with all the website’s management duties.

There are quite a few plugins you can download that will help with managing all of your websites.

Manage WP

Manage WP is a tool that offers a wide range of features like bulk updates on themes and plugins, bulk manage any comments, alerts on website etc. To use this tool you need to install the tools plugin which allows Manage WP to work with your site. To do this you can manually go into your sites and install it or you can automatically add it through the tool. When you first open the tool you’ll be presented with the list of sites you’ve added which will be synced up to check for any possible changes on your site. Once finished it will show you how many updates or comments there are and it will alert you of any website errors. Another great feature here is the ability to backup your site.You can do this by clicking on the ‘backup/migrate’ window which allows you to take a copy of the site and save it to various platforms such as Dropbox, email and google drive. Manage WP also has the ability to perform security checks on your sites for any malware and you can create posts directly from this plugin which can be published live on the site.

Manage wp

Another great feature here is the ability to backup your site.You can do this by clicking on the ‘backup/migrate’ window which allows you to take a copy of the site and save it to various platforms such as Dropbox, email and Google Drive.

Basic features of this tool are free for up to 5 websites which is a good starting point for you try it out to see if it’s for you. The premium features of the tool will allow you 5 sites for $12 with any additional sites costing $2.40 a month -depending on whether you pay annually you could also save yourself money.

One thing to note is that you shouldn’t stick all of your sites in one management tool, this in itself is a footprint that Google could could pick up on. Depending on how many sites are on your network you should try and vary the tools you use as well as manually checking a few yourself.

Manually Managing your Sites.

If you don’t want to rely on a system then you can do a few things manually to help save costs.


The first thing you could do is create a simple spreadsheet(you can download Microsoft Word or find any free alternatives such as open office) with all of your site’s domain information, site contents and hosting information. This makes everything that bit easier to manage if you can access all of your sites from one location. A spreadsheet would be stored offline on your own computer so you can put all of your sites on a list without leaving any footprints for Google to find.


One thing that is really important is keeping your sites up to date. The older the site becomes the more vulnerable it can be to attacks which could bring your site down or be penalised by Google for having an infected site. Although updating can be a chore, it’s something that’s necessary. There isn’t any better way to be 100% sure that your sites will be okay than just updating them manually. However, because it is so time consuming there is a plugin called ‘Advanced Automatic Updates’.

Advanced auatomatic update's

This will perform automatic updates on your themes, plugins and even core WordPress updates. You can set up email alerts for when a site has been updated but make sure you don’t leave a footprint here. Any Google hosting email addresses should be avoided if you plan on using this. If you do decide to use this plugin on your sites then be sure to still check them regularly as it’s possible updates can go wrong and change the appearance or even bring the site down.

Back ups

Every site on your PBN should have some sort of backup, no matter how careful you are some sites can just go down from a faulty update or a problem with the server it’s hosted on. You can take free automatic backups on Dropbox, email etc. using a plugin called ‘UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore’.


This plugin allows you to manually backup or set automatic updates. You can set this as frequently as 4 hours or every 2 weeks. It gives you quite a few places to store your backups including your email address. This is an area again you should definitely be careful with. Don’t use google drive to store your websites as it could leave a footprint. Dropbox gives you 2GB free worth of storage which can be useful to start with.

Website Monitoring

Once you’ve got a lot of websites in your network you need to find a way to monitor them. You could look through each one individually to see if there’s any problems but this can become a tedious task. You can use a tool called ‘Uptime Robot’ which will check your every site 5 minutes for up to 50 sites for free. If your site does go down you’ll also get an email notification.

15. Avoiding Footprints

When you are building your network you always have to be aware of leaving a footprint behind, link building has to follow the same guidelines.

Following all of these steps will keep you hidden from Google, if you make any common mistakes it could ruin your private blog network.


When you begin building any one of your sites there are some key footprints that you should take into consideration.

  • Don’t use the same template
  • Don’t have the same the username and password on two sites

Link Placement

Always mix up where you place the links on your network. As your PBN expands it can become very easy to start getting lazy with your link placement. Make sure you take care with every site to be sure you don’t leave any obvious footprints behind.

Control your anchor Text

Make sure that you have a balanced anchor text, always keep an eye on your sites to be sure the ratio isn’t too far off or you might get penalised. Always have a look at your top competitors so you know what kind of anchor text you should be aiming for.

Never Link From The Sidebar

When working on link placement avoid using your sidebar at all times. I’ve explained how it’s a bad idea in the last topic but this is just a reminder to how fatal this can be to your private blog network.

Don’t Interlink

You shouldn’t start interlinking between the sites on your network. It might seem like a good idea to take a couple of your sites and stack their authority but this is a massive footprint you’ll be leaving for Google.

Only link from a site Once

This is another area that can leave massive footprints. Although it can seem like a good idea to put a couple of links throughout your site, you really shouldn’t place anymore than one link from a site in your network to your main site. Google will pick up on this pretty quickly and you will be penalised.

Internal and Authority links

Remember when adding links don’t just place them all on your main site. You need to have a decent mix of internal links throughout your site and a few high authority ones. Don’t just link to sites at the top of Google either, always make sure that any links on your site are contextually relevant.

16. Other Possibilities With Private Blog Networks

Selling Posts and Links

I must stress how risky it can be to sell your blog posts. Eventually your private blog network will get caught if you choose to sell your content on a public forum like but you could potentially make a lot of money in the short term. Depending on how many sites you have and how powerful your network is you could sell a single blog post for around $20.

Selling links to other agencies is a good way to earn some extra money. The way a lot of agencies work is, they sell their client’s SEO and they will go to a third party (you) who would then sell them the links they need to improve their client’s rankings and the agency is paid for the work. Basically what this means is you do the work, they take a cut for selling to the customer. The prices can vary depending on what kind of niche your are selling to. The more competitive the more you can charge. Do your research and charge what you see fit, keeping in mind that you are making it a whole lot easier for them and that’s what they want. When selling links the benefit in your part is they will write the content, which makes it a simple copy and paste job for you.

Building Niche Sites with Expired Domains

Instead of building a site on a new domain, you could build your niche site on an expired domain. An expired domain with high authority is the best way to start a new niche site. Doing this could give you and extra boost to begin with it’s current high authority. Then on top of this is, building your private blog network on top of this would improve your rankings much quicker than a brand new domain.

Selling your Private Blog Network

You could always decide to sell your private blog network, They’re are sites out there that sell private blog networks like Flippa, you need to do a lot of research on what PBN’s in your niche are selling for to give you an idea of what yours is worth.

To summerise

Now this course has been designed to give you the processes involved in building a private blog network. It’s now up to you to put all the information here to good use. Just remember how important it is to keep google guessing with everything you do. The common theme throughout this entire course has been the word unique. As long as you stick with these guidelines you will eventually have your own PBN’s with tonnes of power, making your life in SEO a whole lot easier.

For any help with your SEO campaign, feel free to get in touch.


seo profile image

Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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