Are PBNs coming back in 2022?

If you’re in SEO, you’ve probably noticed a shift to Guest Posts in the past few years. This was most probably due to the increase in domain acquisition costs for PBNs. That said, the prices of guest posts are now getting ridiculous, especially since we all know a large majority of those links are on glorified PBNs (yes, they have some real traffic but come on). Yes, you can get posts on real blogs but you’ll be paying into hundreds of dollars which does not make any sense for one link with the metrics they provide. Two of those guest posts and you have a powerful domain just for yourself. One more and you can fill it with good Jarvis.ai content and start ranking with it.

So what will happen in 2022? Well, I think PBNs are coming back, at least in a minor way. I’ve seen a decrease in costs in my PBN domain acquisition and I’ve gotten some amazing domains for just registration costs (yes, in 2021).

So, some smart SEOs might go back to PBNs, or if they’ve not gone away, double down. The 2017-2018 bubble has gone away after biz-op people have left the industry and gone to whatever is the flavor nowadays. But PBNs are here to stay and I think it’s the right time to start (re)building one today.

PBN Hosting in 2019

For 2019 there are not many changes. The PBN hosting industry has been more or less the same for the last two years. No major entrants that would endanger the current top selection. The two that are by far most commonly recommended in FB groups and forums are, not by coincidence, also the two that I list on the top – Easy Blog Networks and Bulk Buy Hosting.

On the topic of Easy Blog Networks – they’ve updated their site. The previous version was there probably from the beginning and it was showing its age. There were also some nice UI updates. It’s great to see that some people still work on their business (looking at you CloakHosting). BBH also did some changes to the homepage but it still looks half-done.

I’ve added a new theme for the blog to make it more crisp and updated to WP 5.0+ with Gutenberg. I love it for my affiliate sites, not sure why people are so annoyed by it. It makes writing blog posts with media a lot faster.

Here’s to another two years of commissions! ūüôā

What I look for in PBN hosts

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.

Nameserver 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 them 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 90s 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. Back when I started this blog in 2017, I still reviewed 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. Since then some have improved a bit better though most of the providers have not changed one bit.

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 2021 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 experiences 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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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.

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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There is no such thing as “losing link juice”

There is a myth going around SEO forums, namely to make sure “you save” your¬†link juice and not have¬†too many outbound links on your website.

Ever saw an authority site without outbound links?¬†Open any big blog and you’ll have problems finding posts without links to other sites. Wikipedia has a bunch of links for every article.

It’s natural. It’s how the Internet is build.

However, that said, once you write a post and post links from it, the power of those links on that post depend on how many there are on that page. So, when you do have a link on your blog post, have one or two. But looking at your whole website, you want to have a large and diverse range of outbound links.

Here’s what our beloved Matt Cutts has to say:

Most Common Footprints That Will Get Your PBN Blogs Deindexed

People complain about deindexations and when you look at their sites, they do everything that’s been known to cause deindexations¬†for years now.

That’s why I’m writing a quick refresh of the most common footprints you should avoid on your PBN blogs.

Outbound link patterns. Never link all your PBN blogs to all your money sites. Also, always include links to other small niche blogs.

Unique plugins and themes. Don’t use the same plugins on all your blogs or use unique custom plugins that are discoverable.

404 redirect to homepage. From August 2015 Panda 4.2 penalized websites with a large majority of redirects.

Analytics and ad codes. Really easily discoverable by a unique code. Never use it.

Sand FootprintsAnd here are some more tips on keeping your PBN blog alive and well.

Add internal links. Always cross-link your posts.

Add social bookmarks, shares and likes. Your blogs should have at least a few social shares.

Too few and too short and plain blog posts. Blog posts should be anywhere from 400 to 800 words, they should also include images and videos. And 3 are not enough. Add and schedule at least 20 blog posts over a year.

Link to other small websites. Not just authority sites but regular small niche websites.

These are the most obvious footprints and issues you’ll want to avoid with your PBN blogs.