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PBNs Getting De-Indexed? Here’s Why

De-indexed PBNs

Probably the biggest topic right now, especially if you own a PBN is Google big de-indexing spree that has been affecting pretty much everyone, whether you’re a major network or a homegrown PBN.

Whats the reason?

To summarise the discussion for you, most people are attributing the de-indexing to be caused by algorithm triggers due to:
On-page content: not enough, bad spinning, not similar to original page
Drop date

There’s a lot of speculations and no real clear answers thus far, but I believe I can clear up a lot of this in this post.

I host multiple networks of over 350 sites.
I break this up into two subsets: 1) the network I rent links on and 2) my personal network. The differences in the quality and precautions taken on each set are quite different and so are the de-indexing causality rates:

0% de-indexed in the high quality link rental network
31% de-indexed in the personal network

PBN Example

Example PBN site from Diggity Marketing. How a PBN should look!


Here’s the differences and my comments on the categories of suspected de-index causes:


On-page content:

Not enough pages of content:

Not an issue. My rental sites have at least 20 pages before I start placing links on them. The personal sites have 5 pages before I start building links, but quickly build up to 20+ as I start building out links. Having a low amount of pages didn’t affect my de-indexing rate on the personal sites. In fact, none of 18 of my sites with 5 pages were de-indexed

Bad spinning / Duplicate Content:

Likely an issue. My rental sites use a dedicated writer while my personal sites use iwriter. Iwriter is supposed to be hiring out individual writers, which they do, but anyone who has been using them for a while has likely seen that many people are just using spinners. I can’t say that this is definitely an algorithmic trigger, but its a major difference between my sets of sites.

Not similar to original page:

Not an issue. A majority of sites in both networks have content on them that isn’t in the same niche as the expired site that was on that domain before I acquired it. Furthermore, absolutely zero sites are using a similar theme.

Authority links:

Not an issue. Didn’t seem to affect any sites that didn’t have authority links more than it did to sites that did have them.

Bells and whistles: Possibly might help, but not likely. My rental sites are built to pass a manual inspection and have enough eye-candy as to keep our SEO clients happy, knowing they’re on legit sites. All of my link network sites have social pages, opt-in boxes, sliders, etc. It’s very unlikely that Google has built in an algorithm check for these things, but I just wanted to point them out as they’re extremely quick to add.


Likely an issue, but read more. My rental sites are all hosted with a combination of cheap $1 hosts, nonameinternet, and legit hosts like hostgator. My personal sites are all using cheap hosts. There is no data to suggest that a cheap host is the cause of a site getting de-indexed, however I’ve noticed that when a site on a particular host got de-indexed, all of the other sites that are using that host get de-indexed too. Google is tending to wipe out the entire IP if it finds a site it doesn’t like. That being said, cheap hosts definitely tend to put multiple customers on the same IP; its the definition of shared hosting. So its entirely possible that some other hooligan on the same IP gets de-indexed, and yours will too by association. My suggestion, go with a hosting provider that can provide you unique A-class IPs. It’s more expensive, but easier to manage in bulk and it will protect you in the long run.

Drop Date:

Not an issue. Lot’s of people are reporting that its the new sites that they’ve acquired that have been de-indexed. I have sites that I’ve acquired 2 years ago, and I have sites that have been acquired 2 days ago. It doesn’t seem to matter. There’s a big spread on acquisition age for the sites that got de-indexed.


Possibly an issue, but not likely. All of my link rental sites are registered with unique accounts. For example, if I were to buy a domain through GoDaddy, I’d create a new account, with a new email, name, contact, etc. Then I’d buy the domain. All of my personal sites are purchased under the same account and then I either change to private whoIs or I change the details to be something new and unique. WhoIs is historical, so one can easily determine if an email address has at one time been associated with a domain ( So its entirely possible that my main GoDaddy account has been traced back to multiple domains. But this is unlikely. If this were a trigger, I’d expect to have at least 50 more domains de-indexed.

To Summarise

So in summary, use unique content, spend a bit more to get unique A-class hosting and toss up some nice looking widgets for good measure.

Hope this helps,

P.S Matt is a friend of mine who owns the company Diggity Marketing. This whole article was written by him and published with my permission so hats off to Matt! Go check him out.

  • Just Me

    Hi there, good post!
    I have a question, if you were starting a high value, potentially very long term site. Would you use PBNs (knowing the risk involved) or use pure white hat strategies?

    • Tom


      Yes, I 100% use PBNs in every ranking website I rank. If you get well set up PBNs, there is next to no risk. Try out for permanent links or monthly link rental.