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Maintaining A PBN
It started off simple enough every week I’d search through expiring domains and pick up a couple cheap .org domains and spent about $7 bucks on two.
I’d build my sites out individually and define a purpose to them and make them fully functional sites and move on. But no one does that who is running just one site. You return to the site and you improve it, add content, run updates and make sure it hasn’t been hacked.
This continued for 2 or 3 months in 2018 and before I knew it I had a hundred domains. But I didn’t really…because the oldest sites were usually hacked or outdated plugins would shut off removing functionality. SSL certs may have expired in any regard there are a lot of things out there ready to shut your site down. Basically the older the site the longer it had been left to its own devices, the more likely it was down.
Just monitoring whats up and down is a chore. Sure you can check 1 or 2 sites, but I figured out if I spent 15 per site I’d need 25 hours per hundred sites. Thats where its important to consider managing and maintaining your PBN early on, and I’ll share some tips here.
Autoblogging A PBN
You simply cant just make a site with 4 pages and link to yourself. Your sites built from expired domains only have value because of their backlinks and you need a functioning site that people can find some value to visiting to retain those links. Site traffic is also an important aspect of a site’s value to you as a backlink source.
Maintaining original content on a PBN of over 100 sites is also not practical. Autoblogging or Syndicated content is the next best thing, You should still have a uniqueness to your site. That may be that the syndicated content while from other sites is a mix that only your site has available.
For instance say your site is about parks. RSS feeds from all of the major park systems can create a unique blend of content thats greater than the individual sites but still auto generated.
RSS content should be clearly labeled as such, with a link back to the original source to avoid plagiarism.
When creating an RSS Aggregator site I use the following:
- CyberSEO Lite
- WPA Auto Links
Breaking down the plugins and there settings …
The CyberSEO (formerly CyberSyn) plugin settings ensure the content is full text, if possible, link to their source, create thumbnails that are not hot linking, use a date older than the original and have large excerpts for category pages.
Then WPA Auto Link creates backlinks based on the keywords and target urls provided. I recommend also linking in the settings to a .txt file on one domain that allows you to add additional links to all the sites at once.
I uncheck single posts in WPA to ensure backlinks are possible on the homepage as well as in tags and category pages.
Finally I use Cerber and not Wordfence for security and make the login url a custom one to slow down spammers.
I generally like to create a site that has several granular RSS feeds that are then picked up by the PBN sites. That allows you to post to one site and not have to post individually. Essentially creating one site as a syndicated content distribution center.
To ensure diversity among the sites I create “channels” for instance if we want to create a medical network I would create a “featured” category on the main site. Then create a medical category, and then 5 or more medical categories under the medical category. If there are specific specialities I’d create cateogries for them as well, say “Internal Medicine” and “Pediatrics”. Create a spreadsheet and list all sites that will be in this network and assign all of them to the featured categories RSS feed. Then chose 2 of the medical subcategories at random and finally decide which practice category the site should belong too. This then allows the diversity of posting content to every site or just sites on the one subcategory or just to sites of the same practice.
If your PBN is a medical site you can setup feeda such as:
- By Practice
- Four Random Medical fields assigned to sites
The WPA SEO Auto Linker plugin is discussed later but I recommend its implemented here if nothing else.
Uptime Monitoring A PBN
I used to pay an asst. to go through a couple hundred domains one by one and tell me in a spreadsheet what was down. This was somewhat expensive and not as effective as needed, it took days to check all the sites.
Uptimerobot.com allows users to setup 50 free monitors! Now this service wont monitor if the site is function content wise the way you want but it can tell you when a site has crashed or is down.
You still can utilize the help of someone in updating the site’s plugins and themes helping to prevent someone from hacking onto your site.
You can review Ultimate SEO’s Uptime Robot status page at https://status.ultimateseo.net to see how easy it is to monitor sites.
WP Main iControl and more
I tend to avoid these central command sites. One reason is security, second amount of time to setup and finally maintaining the connections. They all seem to break after sometime.
WPA SEO Auto Linker
Another essential piece of the PBN system is its ability to adapt to links and update targets. WPA SEO Auto Linker is fantastic. You can define at the site level what phrases should be linked to where. This ensures if your keywords come up in a post or a post from an RSS feed that phrase links to its desired location.
These can be set at the individual site levels but also by creating one .txt file and having all sites pull from that list. The plugin also has the ability to link to cateogries, tags and post titles. You can limit the number of links, the number of times a keyword is linked too and the number of links to the same page.
Internal linking becomes a breeze and sites deliver consistent results. The plugin brings more content closer to relevant content and decreases click depth.
Finding RSS Sources
RSS feeds are everywhere, but you dont want to braodcast your competitor’s nor would you want to publish content not available or properly sourced. Avoiding RSS Aggregators such as Feedspot, Feedly and Feeder is smart. Likewise avoid Google Alerts. These sites will show themselves as the source of the content which will prevent your site from properly giving credit.
Some example RSS Feeds I chose recently for a client’s legal site were … the county prosecutor’s RSS feed, the Court Clerk’s RSS Feed, the state Supreme Court and Appeals Courts RSS feeds as well as the US Supreme Courts feed. These can provide unbiased relevant content to a legal site.