69: How to Build a Private Blog Network to Quickly Get to the Top of Google

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In the SEO community, private blog networks (PBNs) have been all the rage lately.

The basic premise is this:

You buy up a small portfolio of expired domains that still retain a strong Domain Authority (a Moz metric for estimating a site’s search engine clout), and put links on those sites to your “money” site.

The net effect is 5-10 perceived high value sites linking to your site, which boosts your rankings in Google.

But since I’m no SEO expert and haven’t executed this strategy myself (yet?), I brought on someone more qualified to speak on the subject. Doug Cunnington from NicheSiteProject.com is a project management expert and niche site SEO master.

He’s been featured on NichePursuits.com, MatthewWoodward.co.uk, and AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com, and recently sold one of his niche sites for a $10k payday.

In this episode, we’re talking about what it takes to build a private blog network of your own so you can rank your niche / authority sites faster and earn more money.

Free PDF Download:

Click here to download Doug’s step-by-step PBN process.

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  • What a private blog network is and why you should care.
  • What kind of sites work best with this strategy.
  • How to plan out your network before spending any money.
  • The Page Authority and Domain Authority metrics to look for.
  • The domain brokers to check out to begin your acquisition process.
  • The minimum requirements to build out each PBN site.
  • How much you can expect to budget each domain.
  • Common pitfalls in hosting that can send a red flag to Google.
  • The risks and opportunities of some of the “public” PBNs.
  • How building a PBN can actually turn into a valuable asset and a side hustle opportunity on its own.


What do you think? There’s a little bit of investment involved here — probably a minimum of $500, but is it worth it if it shoots your niche site to the top of Google?

Is it only a matter of time before Google cracks down on PBNs? Could you build out a network of your own and charge for links on it?

Let me know if you’ve built a private blog network of your own and what the results were like, or if you’re considering building one after this episode.

Free PDF Download:

Click here to download Doug’s step-by-step PBN process.


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20 thoughts on “69: How to Build a Private Blog Network to Quickly Get to the Top of Google”

  1. Nick or Doug.
    This podcast was great. My question is around buying expired domains. If my goal is to point links to my money site by using PBN domains do the PBN domains have to be in the same niche? Example if my money site is on gourmet coffee, do I need to buy expired domains with the word coffee in it? Or could I buy an expired domain in a different niche like just cars? I Hope this makes sense.
    Thank you both.


    • Hey Rich,

      Thanks for stopping by. I think the consensus was perceived relevancy in the domain might help you, but an unrelated domain won’t necessary hurt you — as long as the link in-context is somewhat relevant. To continue along with the car and coffee site example, you could create a post on the best drive-through coffee stands, or on which cars have the most cup-holders for coffee or something like that.

    • Hey Rich, Thanks for checking out the podcast.

      Nick has it exactly right. If you have a choice, get the relevant expired domain. However, it’s not a necessity if you can’t find a relevant domain.


  2. Nick, Thanks again for having me on the show! It’s really cool to be on a podcast that I’ve listened to for months. Keep up the great work!

  3. Great podcast. I tried this a while back and I was guilty of finding a few and hosting them but not fleshing out the sites properly and after a while my interest (and their DA, PA and PR) dropped.

    It’s nice to know that there are people out there that do some or all of the leg work for you. Thanks Doug and Nick.

    • Thanks Rob, yeah I haven’t pulled the trigger on any of this stuff but it really is a fascinating way to rank a site you might not want your “personal brand” attached to.

  4. Interesting podcast!
    I just have question about PBN. How many expired domains can possibly rank a keyword with 50,000 monthly searches with low competitors?

    • Hi Ervin – Thanks for checking out the podcast. It’s really hard to say how many expired domains would be needed. You would need to look at the backlinks of the competitors to get an estimate of the number of backlinks.

      Then you could look at the authority of the backlinks to get a better idea about the kinds of backlinks that you would need.

  5. PBN’s were a very good way to get high rankings pretty fast, but I’m not so sure about them today.
    I have a friend who used this technique before and suddenly, his website went from about 100K visitors a day to 10K a day and all this happened after a Google update in October 2014.

  6. Thank you for you sharing, this is a useful one in SEO. I hate building private blog because it consumes me a lot of time and money.

    I don’t build PNBs so my income is very very small. After reading thi post, I change my mind and decide to build PNBs.

  7. Wow! I am impressed with data and awesome Podcast…Your article is very nice. & Private network blog are really good for seo and nt only blogger or wordpress but people are also using tumbler and hubpages also frequently for this, Where tubmler are most powerful platform for PBN. & This is the fastest way to rank well in Google.

  8. Well, The PBN (Private Blog Network) has always been one of the best way to rank well in Search Engine, but after the recent assault by Google to many of big PBN’s, Some cautions needed to be taken, while building Private Blog Networks, And I always consider using Different Analytic and Search Console Accounts + High PR domains with Good Domain Authority + Quality Content + Unique Hosting IP address + Linking to other High Quality sites from PBN Blogs. In my thinking this is the best way to build a Private Blog network which works.

    I may be wrong, What You say?

  9. I really enjoyed the content i have thinking about this PBN thinking for a while now. This article really clarified things up for me. However i have question Using PBNs compared to using comments to build backlinks which is more secure, and which more effective? Because i doubt if Google can ever rank down a website that used commentluv to build its backlinks

  10. Hi Nick!

    I have devoloved an awesome SEO Toolkit to which I keep adding new tools every month. Bigrollers.com please let me know if you would like any seo tool not provided in there. Actually 9 seo tools and counting.

    My favorite two, expired domain finder and expired content Rebuild. Handy high quality and automated PBN with the click of a buttom.


  11. Hi Nick,

    Think I’ve already told Doug about this but I thought you might be interested too. Firstly sweet guide guys :-)

    PBN’s are a great way to rank fast. I know SEO is shifting towards content marketing but meh, you can reach out to hundreds of people and get nothing even with amazing content. During that time you could of put a small PBN up!

    I think you/readers will be interested in something I’ve created. I’ve written a tool (like 100% totally free) to find hidden PBN links. You know how people block them with htaccess and robots.txt well this gets around that.

    It works on the basis that if your competitors have a PBN ranking their money website for “cheap ipads in france” then it stands to reason their PBN page linking to their money website will contain the term “cheap ipads in france” somewhere on it. It might be anchor text, meta tags or content body. So it will rank for the search term “cheap ipads in france”. It might be the 100th page, it might be the 1000th page, but it should be there somewhere. Especially with the search engines set to show all results. PBN Hunter takes all the terms they’re ranking for and crawls every page Bing, Google and Yahoo bring back for that search term, checking for any links to the money website.

    Check it out there’s a link on my homepage, its called PBN Hunter. http://www.SupaGrowth.com. Enjoy! :-)

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