Linkbuilding efforts are one of the cornerstones of a successful SEO campaign, with private blog networks (PBNs) being one of the most effective link-building tactics. 

To build a strong PBN, you need to find and buy quality expired domains. Below, we have broken down everything you need to know to do so so that you can build the best possible PBN.

What Are PBN Domains?

The quality and quantity of a website’s backlinks are one of the main factors search engines, like Google, use to rank websites in search results. This has led to the practice of using PBNs (networks of websites that provide links to a primary website called the ‘money site’) in search engine optimization efforts. 

PBN domains are old or expired websites that already have good domain authority (because of existing backlinks going to them) that you can buy and use in your private blog network to link to your main website. These high-authority sites will then give your money site strong link juice and boost its authority as a result. 

How To Find Quality PBN Domains

Good PBN domains will cost you $100-250, and you’ll usually find them on auctions, mostly on GoDaddy auctions. If you’re lucky, you might find a closeout domain a bit below $100.

When you’re using GoDaddy, make sure you remove the WhoIs organization and address so you don’t leave a footprint.

Although GoDaddy is the largest platform that auctions private blog domains, other platforms also auction off domains.

One of these is DropCatch. The appeal of DropCatch is that your bought domains will instantly transfer to your account the moment you pay for them. However, anyone can bid in the domain auction, which can be frustrating for those who first identified the domains. 

SnapNames and NameJet, on the other hand, only allow those who back ordered a domain to take part in an auction. However, these auction sites are arguably less user-friendly than their competitors and have been known to experience frequent technical issues. 

Note that SnapNames and NameJet are both owned by Web.com and have the same inventory, so there is no need to use both platforms. 

The Best Websites To Find PBN Domains

Because there are so many domains being auctioned on these sites, you will need some help sorting through the listed domains to identify which ones you should buy. 

There are two options: you either buy domains from brokers, or you find them with tools. If you have a big budget, then brokers are a good option, but in most cases finding your own domains and researching them with tools will be better.

The tools will show you important SEO metrics about the listed domains so that you can filter out the spammy domains and find the desirable ones. 

SpamZilla 

This is our favorite tool for finding domains. It gives you a preview of all important metrics, plus it easily links to Ahrefs, Web Archive, and other services necessary for research.

SpamZilla is also great at automating spam-checking and does a lot of the leg work for you. Note that SpamZilla has both a paid and free option, with the free option providing a limited number of domains for you to review. 

DomCop 

DomCop is another popular tool you can use to find PBN domains, and for good reason. It is sophisticated and user-friendly. DomCop’s biggest attraction is the sheer number of metrics it will show you, which can be navigated easily with in-built filters. 

However, DomCop does come to have some shortcomings. Even though it offers three different price options, it is still one of the more expensive tools on the market. Moreover, it only shows Moz metrics, not Ahrefs metrics. This is a major limitation, as Ahrefs is one of the best tools to use when evaluating expired domains. 

ExpiredDomains

ExpiredDomains is a great free tool you can use to find PBN Domains. They have great analytics and can provide a similar experience to their expensive competitors. 

However, you might struggle to filter the domains as easily as you would on other tools. Regardless, it’s a great place to start if you are reluctant to pay for a tool.

Domain Hunter Gatherer

Lastly, you could try out Domain Hunter Gatherer. This tool has a free plan as well as two paid plans that come with additional features. 

But, with the free plan, you can search major auction sites for domains and compare the domains you find to identify the right ones to purchase. It allows you to view over 35 metrics for the expired domains. 

How To Research And Review PBN Domains Before Purchase

If you’re in the market to buy expired domains, you need to do your research first to make sure you’re buying quality sites to add to your Public Blog Network. To do this, you need a good SEO tool.

Ahrefs is pretty much mandatory for any real SEO. There are alternatives, like Semrush or Majestic, but Ahrefs has arguably the best tool for researching websites. It will show you various metrics about the site so that you can decide whether it would be suitable for your PBN or not. 

Here is what to look at before your purchase:

Website Title

When you load the website in Ahrefs, it’ll show you its title in the Overview. Very often, a spammy title will show up as one of the last things Ahrefs scraped before expiry. Make sure to scrap those domains immediately.

SEO Metrics 

After you paste the link to the expired domain in Ahrefs’ search bar, you will be shown a Domain Rating (DR) and Ahrefs Rating (AR) for a website at the top of the page. This helps you understand the domain authority of the website and whether it would be a beneficial addition to your private blog network.

The SEO metrics should be at least 15-30 Ahrefs Domain Rating and 20+ referring domains. Anything lower than that and results are questionable. And too much above that, and you’ll often be going into $1000+ for a domain. 

Backlinks

Have a look at the website’s backlinks. Are they coming from legit websites? Or are they generic “top websites list”? You’re mostly buying the links, so make sure you know where they’re coming from.

Some backlinks will likely be dead as the domain is expired, but you want to check that the live ones are coming from real websites.  

Outgoing Links

It’s also a good idea to take a look at the website’s outgoing links. Did it link to weird websites? You’re looking for signs that the previous owner was using it as a PBN. If a website is riddled with dead and weird outgoing links, give it a miss. 

Web Archive

Check the web archive to get an idea of when last the website was live. We try to find domains that have been live in the last 12-18 months. If you find something and the last time it was a live website was 2016, we recommend scrapping it. 

PBN Hosting With Easy Blog Networks

It’s safe to say that search engines are not the biggest fans of PBNs, as they often give you an unfair boost in search results.

Luckily, good PBN hosting will allow you to build your blog network without your activity looking unnatural. 

We offer a PBN hosting service that does just that. Your blogs will be hosted at different addresses, in different data centers, and by different companies. This makes your PBN appear completely natural to Google. 

Conclusion

The world of SEO can get incredibly complicated. However, it is well worth the time and energy. An online presence can make or break a modern business, and it has never been more important for your company’s website to rank high in the search engine results pages. 

Building a PBN is one of the most popular and effective tactics you can use to improve your website’s rank in search results through link-building. 

To run a successful PBN, it is essential that you find and buy the best possible expired domains, and the above tips will help you do that. 

Dejan Murko

Dejan is the co-founder of Easy Blog Networks.

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