Since most daily deindexations on our platform would be easily avoided by following basic rules for PBNs, we think it’s a good time to refresh that knowledge.
I categorized everything into two sections – footprints and issues. Footprints are something that can get your blogs deindexed immediately. Issues raise flags and might cause deindexation if there are more of them.
Still using SEO hosting instead of PBN hosting. SEO hosting does not want to die, but it should. C-Class IPs are not enough. You need different providers, data centers, and IPs.
Outbound link patterns. The easiest way to get your blogs deindexed – link from all your PBN blogs to all your money sites and never have any other links.
Unique plugins and themes. Don’t use the same combination of plugins on all your blogs. Don’t use the same custom theme on all your blogs.
Make sure your blog loads. You wouldn’t believe how many deindexations there are because of a broken theme and/or misconfigured plugin.
404 redirects to the homepage. A high number of 301 redirects to the homepage from 404 pages will definitely cause deindexation. It does depend on the (crawler) traffic to those 404 pages, but we highly recommend rebuilding subpages instead of redirecting.
Google Webmaster Tools, Analytics, AdSense, or any other analytics and ad codes. This leaves a unique code on all your blogs, easily connecting them to one owner.
Themes and plugins with a different view for the GoogleBot user agent. Google knows the standard response from WordPress themes and plugins. This is explicitly forbidden by Google, so avoid it.
Registering domains. Use common registrars, and don’t buy all domains on the same days or from the same marketplace (if buying on auctions).
Using cheap hosting. Cheap hosting will cause issues with reliability, security, and performance. If your blog gets hacked or is down when it gets crawled, it will get deindexed very quickly.
No internal links. Like you see at the bottom of this blog post – link to other posts on your blog.
No social bookmarks, shares, or links. Make sure to have at least a few Facebook likes and Retweets on each blog.
Posts only about commercial keywords. Don’t write articles just on the commercial keywords you’re targeting. Make sure to have articles on broad and informational topics.
Too few blog posts. Add at least 5 posts in the first week, then post weekly, and later, after at least 20 published posts, you can post monthly.
Too plain blog posts. Don’t just post blocks of text but add images, videos, and rich text (italic, bold, headings, etc.). Most articles should have from 400 up to 1000 words.
No links to other websites. Not just to authority websites but to relevant, small niche websites.
Obvious PBN blog. You know – nothing custom, just a random theme, 5 blocks of text, a few links and that’s it. Try to make someone look for at least 3 seconds before deciding whether it’s a PBN blog.
These are currently the main footprints and issues we see when analyzing blogs on our platform. If new issues arise, we’ll be the first ones to report them.