What I look for in PBN hosts

Updated: March 2017

There are five main things I look for in PBN hosts and I’m also reviewing all the hosts on this site based on these five things.

IP Diversity

As many A- and B-Block IPs as possible. Registered to actual different hosting providers, not just proxied from one server or from companies not actually hosting websites on the IPs. If you ask the SEO host who they host with and who owns the IPs and they’re iffy with their answers, just turn and walk away.

PBN HostingNameserver Addresses

Ideally, I want nameservers provided by other hosting companies, not the PBN host. This makes it look natural and is untraceable. If there are nameservers provided by a different company, I’d like to see it from large DNS providers.

Footprints

Probably obvious but I really don’t want to see footprints on my host – be the platform itself, DNS, IPs, error pages, server headers or anything else really. The blogs I host must be clean.

Ease of Use

First of all – I really don’t like cPanel (or WHMCS). It looks like something out of the 90’s and while I’m used to it, the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. So I welcome providers that have their own dashboards which are usually a lot better designed (and which, honestly, is not that hard). That said, it has to conform to at least the basic user friendliness concepts. In 2017 I still review way too many hosts with downright stupid user interfaces. It has to look at least like someone took 10 minutes to think about user experience.

I’m also looking for any kind of automation features, like automatic updates, backups and anything else that can make my, and my VA’s, life easier. We’re in the year 2017 when cars drive themselves so I really shouldn’t waste time manually updating my blogs or setting up backups.

Price

We should all be aware that hosting for serious sites costs serious money. That said, I usually don’t host my popular money sites on PBN hosts and therefore only expect solid reliability and speed for my barely-visited PBN blogs. Anything around $2-2.5 per IP (usually per domain) is great, anything above $3.5 is a bit expensive. However, I avoid hosts for $1 since I had a lot of bad experience with them.

Summary

I also add my own subjective “overall” score with which I rate the general experience I have with the host, be it support, responsiveness or their general cooperation. If you have any other stuff you look for in your PBN hosts, let me know in the comments or email me!

>>> Check out my Current Favorite PBN Host <<<

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Updates for 2017!

It’s been some time since I last posted, have been crushing it with my other sites and was very busy. And so have been PBN hosts! There are at least two new competitors in the space and I can’t wait to review them. I’ve also reviewed my existing reviews and will be updating them as necessary.

And here are the new reviews I just published:

I’ll be honest – they’re not that promising. ALL of them require you to wait for them to setup the domains and one doesn’t even have a frigging dashboard. Go read to see which was the biggest disappointment.

Hopefully, new entrants will improve on this.

Watch this space in the coming weeks!

New discoveries in the deindexation research

Guys at EBN blog have posted a new article about avoiding deindexation. There are some surprising results, like did you know that comments can help your blog get more googlebot visits? Or that some expired domains are penalized from the start and you can never get them to index?

This information will again enormously help the SEO community. Go visit the EBN blog and incorporate what you learn when you build new PBNs.

Myth busted: cheap hosts are not the best option for your PBN

The guys with EBN had some awesome research done again. The default answer to “where should I host my PBN” has been to use cheap hosts for a long, long time.

Well, it seems that advice was ill-informed. By analyzing websites hosted at 80 cheap hosting providers, EBN team found that only 20% have their own servers. What does that mean? Well, far less diversity than you’d expect when signing up to 80 hosts.

They emphasize that this does not endanger your PBN, however, you will receive A LOT less IP diversity than you’d expect. So if you want to go that route, make sure to analyze the homepage’s ASNs to make sure you’re not just buying EIG’s IPs 10 times over.

Or jump to my Easy Blog Networks review to see how to get almost twice as many ASNs from just one dashboard.

CloudFlare is not enough to hide your PBN

Guys at Easy Blog Networks have another awesome post about footprints. They analyzed 60 PBNs that were given by The Proper PBN Group users and used CloudFlare. They found that two thirds of those sites leak the real IP.

Here are the methods they used to find the IPs or potential footprints with CloudFlare:

  • CloudFlare nameservers (limited amount of combinations)
  • Misconfigured zonefile with CloudFlare
  • MX records show real IP
  • CrimeFlare keeps a history of sites on CloudFlare
  • cPanel leaks
  • WordPress pingbacks
  • Server default page

I highly recommend you jump to their blog and read the whole blog post.

Major CloakHosting leak of all their IPs!

dangerYesterday someone posted on two popular FB SEO groups a complete list of CloakHosting IPs. The list contains 937 IPs and looks legitimate. As reported by the publisher, the list of IPs was collected easily and without any attacks on their system.

It is a terrifying thought that CloakHosting has been vulnerable for so long and no one noticed. This is why companies need to have a secure disclosure policy and need to do third party audits (Easy Blog Networks is still the only one doing this).

I am therefore removing my (reserved) recommendation of CloakHosting.

Why NS lookup is more important than reverse IP

footprintWe hear a lot about checking IPs (reverse IP) on which your PBN blogs are hosted to see if the IP is in danger. But did you know there’s also “reverse nameserver” (NS lookup)?

It shows which websites share your nameservers.

Why is this important? Because it can be used against you far easier than IPs.

Did you know that in the big SEO hosting deindexation years ago, it was nameservers that were used to find SEO sites, not IPs?

Why you ask? There are many reasons:

  • IPs can be shared between customers and SEO sites and legitimate sites, nameservers very rarely,
  • IPs can change hands often between who uses them and who owns them, nameservers do not,
  • IPs are owned by big hosts while nameservers can be created by anyone.

So if you’re hosting with an SEO/PBN hosting provider, make sure the nameservers are not unique to their customers.

Updates for 2016 – PBN Hosting

2015 has been an exciting and successful year for me (lots of travel, fun and a bit more money too). Hopefully it’s been the same for you too.

There were also some news in the PBN hosting space – Easy Blog Networks has become an undeniable first choice for anyone looking to build and host their own PBN. IP NetworX has gone downhill fast and they’ve been offline for days at a time. No changes at all for CloakHosting or NoNameInternet which says something in itself. We also saw a new entry, CloudBoss.pro, whose owner tried to spam the review from the first results. He failed.

I’ve taken a few hours today and updated the reviews so they’re all bright and shiny for 2016. There are also at least two new entries in the PBN hosting space and I’ll need to review them soon, so stay tuned.

Until then – keep rocking the SERPs!

How to block bots and crawlers

When you’re building a site in a competitive niche, you know that everybody is doing A LOT of research on their competition.

cut-throatAnd when the competition is cut-throat, then that research can and will be used against you.

One of the best ways to get a good look at your competitors’ backlinking is by using Majestic, Ahrefs or Moz.

When they find your backlinks they can:

  • impersonate an agency doing SEO for you and request removal of “bad links”,
  • duplicate your backlinks if they’re open to all,
  • report your PBNs to Google’s web spam team.

 

So the best way to hide yourself from the competition is by blocking all of the mentioned bots.

There are multiple paid and free options out there, from Spyder Spanker, Link Privacy to Spider Blocker. I prefer and use Spider Blocker on all my websites because it’s published on WordPress.org.

Download it for free on WordPress.org >>

How Terry Kyle sent spam backlinks to my blog

This is what happens if you step on an SEO’s toe. I was told months ago that Terry’s a really good guy and has some good knowledge to share so I started following him. However, on the first webinar I attended he started bashing the competition, revealing their customers’ websites and flat out lying to promote his new service CloudBoss.pro.

I called him out in my CloudBoss.pro review. The review started ranking #1 for “CloudBoss.pro review” and #2 for “CloudBoss.pro”. I’m sure this annoyed him quite a bit.

So he sent me a sulky email how I have no idea about SEO and how I should “blog about something I know about”. Looking at the results when searching for the service, I think I’m doing a pretty good job, don’t you think?

I replied and requested he explains where I went wrong in the review about his service. I received no answer.

A week after that, some weird backlinks started appearing. A LOT of them, few thousand. With exact match anchor for cloudboss.pro review and some Chinese anchors.

anchors

Not even trying to hide who’s behind it. Really good job, Terry. Really good job.

Terry’s Awesome Copy/paste-writing

Oh, and Terry, get a copywriter so you don’t just copy/paste your competitor’s headlines. With all your awesome SEO history, one would think you’d be able to afford it.

Easy Blog Networks Headlinea
Easy Blog Networks Headline
Cloudboss.pro Headline
Cloudboss.pro Headline

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