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PBNs + What’s Working In Google NOW In 2016

In todays article I will be explaining, exactly what a PBN is, what they do, the correlation between Social Signals and PBNs, how you can dilute your anchor text, some killer proof that PBN links work so well and how to get these links on a tight budget.

Since we have a range of SEOs here on, from beginners to experts, I will start from the basics. Even if you think you know everything about SEO, it is always good to hear out new ideas and strategies as search engine optimisation is forever changing.

Personally, I never stop still and get comfortable with SEO as there is always another Google update or loophole just around the corner.

To stay on top in SEO, you need to be constantly learning and evolving

What is a PBN?

A PBN, short for Private Blog Network, is a collection of powerful websites that an SEO can build up to link out to clients sites for guaranteed and fast rankings.

These sites are usually built on powerful domains that have previously been used as a website. For example, a popular accountancy blog is shutting down and they sell off their 10 year old site. You check out the metrics using Ahrefs and Majestic to see if it is worth buying.

If it is, you can buy it, upload it to your own server and build a site on it. Get a quality unique article written on your niche topic and place the article on the site including a link to your clients site.  And BAM, you have a quality backlink from a 10 year old site with great metrics.

When you have a network of these powerful sites, you can pretty much dominate most niches with these kind of links. Over, and over again.

These sites can be picked up from expired domain lists, like RegisterCompass, or can be purchased outright from sites like Flippa for example.

I have spent the past 3 years building up my private blog network of over 300 sites and am opening the doors to you guys to get some juicy links from them for a limited time only. But more on this later.

What do PBNs do exactly?

As PBNs can be very powerful in their metrics, when you link out to another website, that site will soar through the ranks.

Instead of spending your time going out and trying to find existing live sites that have good metrics, then asking or paying to place a link on their site, you can have your own collection of sites that you can place a link on whenever you please.

Building up PBNs can get very expensive though, please bare that in mind. Some of my sites have cost up to $400 for the entire process.

Below is an example of some great looking metrics when entered into Majestic SEO.

I look for sites with a Trust Flow of 20+, CF of 20+ and 30+ Referring Domains. These will make for a strong site that would be worth buying. Be sure to check out the anchor text to see if the site has previously been spammed. If you would like me to go into more detail about what to look for when buying sites to add to your PBN, please comment below.

Majestic SEO Metrics

Correlation between PBN links and Social Signals

Lets say you created a fresh site and built up 10 PBN links over a 3 week period. The site would definitely start to rank, but may not reach it’s full potential.

If the site just had links being built and did not have any real traffic, or Social Signals pointing at it, don’t you think it would look a bit suspicious to Google?

Check out any well ranking site in a larger niche. It will most likely have PBN links as well as Social Signals from Twitter, Facebook and Google+ along with real traffic.

In 2016, these are all ranking factors that Google looks at heavily and is no longer focuses solely on the quantity or quality of links.

PBN links have been and always will be a very good option to rank sites, but as Google makes things more complex, combining a few different options is the best way to go.

Social Signals From Social Llama

Diluting/Pillowing Brand Name & URL Anchor Text

Another great use for PBN links is to dilute or pillow your anchor text.

Since Google now penalises your site if you are heavily focusing on your main keyword in your anchor text, building up brand name & URL anchor text is a great way of diluting them. This will also give your site much more authority as Google really likes these types of anchor text to be used in 2016.

I have found that you can just build up a combination of brand name, URL and LSI (Latent semantic indexing keywords) as your anchor text and the site will rank for the keywords I choose, without using my anchor text as my main keyword. As long as your Onsite SEO is on point.

Lets say your main keyword is Coffee Cups and your website was

I recommend the following anchor text to be used.

Your brand name = CoffeeBrain, Coffee Brain

URL =,,,

LSI = Coffee Cups that brainy people buy, buy heated Coffee Cups online, one of the best Coffee Cup providers

As long as you’re onsite SEO is mentioning your main keyword and LSI, the site will rank well for its for the keywords you choose, without setting alarm bells off to Google by using your main keyword in your anchor text. This is a tried and tested method that I now use on the large majority of my new sites and clients sites.

Note: I do not recommend using EMDs (Exact Match Domains) anymore, unless it is a churn and burn site, as they will not rank as well for more competitive keywords. If your domain name is the same as your main keyword, you cannot get brand name anchor text without it looking like you are solely targeting your main keyword. Think about that for a second before you go purchasing another EMD!

Crunchbase Anchor text

An example of the anchor text of when viewed in Majestic SEO

Do They Really Work?

SEOs have been using PBNs for years now and I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Google loves nothing better than a link from a powerful site and still rewards this highly. 

When you link from your PBN to your site, you must make sure the article you post is relevant to your site.

You can have a site about cooking, linking to an your accountancy site for example and it will still pass some decent juice. As long as the article is relating to accountancy.

I have been using PBNs to rocket the rankings on some of my most successful money sites, including a computer cable business (Bitcoin mining) that was pulling in over $20k a month using the methods mentioned above.

It ranked No.1 for each of the product keywords and dominated Google for its search terms. As I didn’t fancy paying for ads, PBNs were the next viable option. This is how I begun to build up my network. And YOU can have access to this same network! See below.

More recently, I have been testing these out further for competitive niches like weight loss, accountancy, finance, affiliate sites and also a few local clients.

The results speak for themselves, see below.

PBN Ranking Proof 1

53rd to 1st page in just over a week – Finance niche

PBN Ranking Proof 2

37th to 1st page in under a week – Weight loss niche

PBN Ranking Proof 3

40+ to 2nd position – Local Accountancy Client

PBN Ranking Proof 4

5th page to 1st page – Amazon Affiliate Site

I have seen some very strong results from using a combination of Social Signals and PBN links together. I believe that Google sees sites with both of these as being highly authoritative. The site is having quality links built, as well as being shared a lot of Social Media sites. Why wouldn’t Google make room for my sites in the SERPs?

For the results in the case studies above, I am using the equivalent to the ‘King Package’ on Link Majesty.

Local clients take even less links to rank. I can get 1st page rankings almost every time with with just 6-8 PBN links and 400 Social Signals.

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Link Majesty Logo

10% Off Introductory Offer
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Heres How To Make Thousands of Dollars A Month

Lets say you charged a client $1000/per month and spent $188 in total on SEO for those 2 packages. Thats a whopping $812 profit a month just for spending 20 minutes filling out your sites information for these services.

Times that by 10 clients and thats $8,120 a month! Profit!

The results speak for themselves.

If you are looking to get clients, or maybe you have just picked one up, heres a tip that I use to not only win a client over, but to keep them paying after the first month.

What I do, in the first month when I get a new client on, is spend the entire first months budget on SEO. This almost guarantees their site will rank well in the first month. Not only does this prove to them that SEO works, it also builds up strong trust between you both. Once their site is ranking well on Google, just build a few extra links a month and the hard work is basically done! They will continue to pay to you to keep their site maintained on the 1st page. Leaving you with more time to focus on getting more clients!

I hope this post has helped a few people out. If you have any questions, or suggestions for new posts/videos, please comment below.


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  • Proloa

    Nice one Tom. Good luck with your service

    • Tom

      Thank you for the kind words Proloa. I wish you all the best in your SEO career :)

  • Amber Patel

    I am planning to create amazon affiliate website & would like to use your PBN service. Can you suggest how many links might it require to rank a new site?

    • Tom

      Hi Amber,
      It really depends on what keywords you are going after. For sure, 10 PBN links is a great start but it would be short sighted of me to pluck a figure out of the air.
      Shoot me an email and I can access your site further for free. That way, I can tell you exactly what you will need to rank.

      • Amber Patel

        Hi Tom,

        Thanks for the reply.

        I have one domain which based on generic & related to information about dogs & it is about one year old. The home page DA is 13 & PA is 24. The site do not use EMD. I have not made any money through it since I have purchased the one.

        The site do not have any review articles for any products. I have created a site like eCommerce website for amazon affiliate. Just like the site

        I am confused if the PBN service can help this domain to rank or not.

        Also, it would be really helpful for me if you can suggest, if I should create one micro niche website with EMD for the site I mentioned above & use your PBN service for it to make money.

        I am not expert in SEO, you can consider me as a beginner. I have been searching the web since six months & found your site really helpful for the people just like me who wants to make some money online.

        Wish you good luck for your services.



        • Tom

          Hi Amber,

          My recommendation all day long is to create a single site and make it an authority within the niche. Micro sites do not really work anymore. You are better off focusing on a single site over 5 mini ones that will struggle to rank.

          PBNs are basically powerful sites that when linked to your site via a hyperlink, will be pushed up the ranks. As Google sees my PBNs as an authority and sees the connection between the two, it rewards your site.

          My suggestion is to really niche down your niche, lol. Instead of targeting general dog info that someone could find out on wiki for example, niche it down to something specific that is low competition and easy to rank for. Like “fleas on poodles in the summer”. Just plucking random things out of thin air here. But as mentioned to Carl above, Low competition you’ll rank quick, high competition and you’ll need more links.

          Hope this helps and thank you for the kind words :)


          • Amber Patel

            Hi Tom,

            Thanks for your help. I will now create one website & will focus on it. Also, surely contact you for your valuable PBN service.


          • Tom

            Thank you Amber, I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Carl Ashfield

    Hey Tom, I’ve been learning SEO for about two months now as a hobby. I purchased my own domain and site.. EMD:(

    Anyway last week. A business owner approached me in the gym and asked if I would like to help in and try and rank his site.. I’m new to it all and he understands that I’m learning..

    So I’m definitely thinking about this route :)

    • Tom

      Hey Carl, thats the perfect way to get your foot in the door. Start experimenting with your own site first to see what works. Try ranking locally for low competition search terms and gain experience from there.

      Using PBNs combined with Social Signals is one of the best ways to rank at the moment. It has never been so easy, I must say!

      Let me know if you need a hand with anything else. Also, if you have any suggestions for my next post, please let me know.

      • Carl Ashfield

        Hey Tom,

        I appreciate the reply. Good idea. My site is health and fitness related. What if I did an experiment by creating a page/post of content about having “location personal trainer” as keyword and rank that through signals and PBN links? Would that work?

        • Tom

          Hi Carl, Yes that would work. Make sure that your home page has more authority than your inner page though. I usually split things 60/40. 60% being the homepage. Make sure you link out to your inner page from your home page also, as this will pass link juice from the powerful homepage and boost things up further.
          Hope this helps.

          • Carl Ashfield

            Thanks bro, I will be working on this over the next day or two and test the waters.

            Also, I inboxed you on facebook but I’ll ask here incase you see this first..

            If I had an item in eBay or an Amazon page for sale. Could I fire social signals at it and PBN links.. Because I’m guessing with it being Amazon/eBay it will have a massive DA.. So links with mixed anchor text. I could rank that sales page in Google?

          • Tom

            Yes, this is possible to do, as long as the onsite SEO is correct. Since you do not have full control over what shows in the SERP (search engine results page) in the title and description, it may not rank as well as it should. If you can figure this out to get your own title and description to show, then yes, blast away with lots of power and it will rank nicely.
            We do this with Facebook and Twitter pages too :)

          • Carl Ashfield

            Sorry to keep pestering you.. What would be the best angle to go at when it comes to my first cleint above?

            Should I buy an aged domain with DA and create pages/social and links to the new site and point to his?

            Also I’m not to sure how to rank in the UK other than having a domain.

            I’m all new to this so what would be the best option?

            I’m a little weary about using social signals and PBN’s pointing to my clients site incase it goes tits up…

            Or shall I just think fuck it? And go for it!? Lol

          • Tom

            Hey Carl,

            No problem! If they already have a site, use that. If not, it would be good to find a domain in their niche and URL relevant but that is sometimes impossible. I’d buy a domain with their brand name and start to rank that.

            Throw PBN links at it, 10 should rank it well. This is what I do for new clients. Throw 10 PBNs at it and watch where it places in 3 weeks or so. Drip feed social signals also to get the authority up and you’re plain sailing.

            Google will see its a and automatically rank it in the UK, no need to worry about that. Also, you don’t need PBNs to rank in the UK.
            Bare in mind, with SEO it is usually a waiting game, you make one change and wait it out. You won’t rank overnight unless you are ranking for “really cool gym that cool guys work out in tutus in”… ha. Low competition you’ll rank quick, high competition and you’ll need more links.

          • Carl Ashfield

            Thanks Tom

            I really appreciate your input. Looking forward to your next post..

            Keep up the good work and thanks again.


          • Tom

            Thank you Carl, I have a lot of things in the pipework at the moment!

            Keep in touch.

  • Matt Cutts

    Hello Tom.Good article but still facing some problems.Every time i build links in one week or 2 i’m on page 2-3-4 on different niches.The big problem is that i’m stuck here.How i can complete the rank and go up to first page?I didn’t used social signals yet.Could you give me a tip?

    • Tom

      Haha, nice name, sounds familiar!

      How many links are you building out each week? What kind of sites are they from? What is the anchor text you are using? It sounds like you are building a lot of sites. I recommend focusing on 1 to start with, rank it, learn a lot from it then start to target more competitive searches.

      • Matt Cutts

        Ty for answer Tom.well,i build every day one link.I have 14 domains on my pbn.But after first 6 link the rank isn’t changing anymore.I tried more than 10 niches all with the same problems(they are stuck in first pages).All pbns use WordPress,articles are 400-500 words hand writed and optimized for niche.The anchor text i use only in 3 links(match anchor) and the rest i build http,www,http://www and niches that i tested until now was emd like: my(match kwrd).com,free(match kwrd).com,download(match kwrd).com
        Also all domains from pbn have backlinks from trusted website : Huff,Cnn,etc.

        • Tom

          Hi, sounds like you are on the right track but currently the way Google is looking at things, using your keyword in your anchor text is a no no. Not until the site has build up some decent power anyway.

          You are basically telling Google “look, heres my really unnatural looking anchor text that is my main keyword, penalise me”. Since last December’ ish time, Google started to penalise for using exact keyword anchor text.

          Try sending a few social signals to the sites, build more PBN links and change things up a bit. Don’t build 1 a day, that isn’t very natural. Keep Google guessing. Also, EMDs in competitive niches, are not ranking as well as branded URLs, just something to consider.
          Good luck and I hope this helps.

          • Matt Cutts

            Ty for tips.As a last question,it’s ok one link at 3-4-5 days for a natural link building?And also in this time to build social signals in parrarel?Ty,and have a beautiful night $ :)

          • Tom

            Hi, the velocity that the links are built at is very important. Building 100 links on 1 day, then none the rest is not natural. A few a day is natural. Hope this helps. Tom

  • helloointernets

    Tom how long do you notice it takes for PBN links to be indexed?

    • Tom

      Hi, around a week currently. Sometimes a day or two. If you send Social Signals to your new posts, they will index quicker 😉

  • janet

    Thanks for the great article Tom! I am just starting and I need to build my PBN.

    • Tom

      Hi Janet,

      Thank you! Great news, congrats. If you do not have the money to start with and want to get a few sites ranked up for a low price, I recommend renting a few links from my PBN at Thats what I did when I started out as building a PBN is a skill that is hard to conquer. Not impossible but takes time. Any questions, just let me know.

  • relkeel

    Hi, is there any way roughly YOU can tell how many PBN links it might take to get a site/page to page 1 on Google when assessing a niche? I realise it has a lot to do with the competition and a whole lot of other factors but how do you personally rate the niche competitiveness? I have a client paying me £700 a month for SEO and things seem to be stuck on pages 2-3. He’s only interested in going after the more competitive/prestigious keywords (of which I am targeting 5 – despite my advise and me telling him that long tails are easier and may convert more successfully! He can’t grasp that it’s better to be ranked #1 for a 200 searches a month keyword than be on Page 3 for a 9K a month keyword) and is up against some longer established and bigger brands (who I know spend a whole lot more on SEO/digital marketing a month) but he is unlikely to want to spend more. There’s no point me taking his £700 if I then have to outlay the full amount on PBN/Social links to get the results, other than to use that as a means to get other clients by ‘proving’ my results. I’m sure there are loads of other SEO’s out there who will take his £700/month so he will just go elsewhere if I ask for more money – though I’m not working for nothing – so would be fine if he jumped ship. Sorry, went off on a bit of a ranting tangent at the end there!

    • Tom

      Hi Relkeel,

      Yes, there are ways of figuring out roughly how many links/authority you need to outrank competitors. You can use Majestic to check out the trust flow and number of backlinks. Compare it to the competitors and see what needs to be done. If you have 10 links and TF 15 and the competitor has 50 links and TF 30, then you have a bit of work to do.

      Rule of thumb, match the competitor then add more. The only way you will beat them is if you have a more relevant page, more content, more pages, more inbound links, better onsite, higher authority, more backlinks etc. For my clients, I do exactly this. Cloak plus more.

      Hope this helps!

      • relkeel

        Wow that was a quick reply! And VERY helpful! Thanks.
        Got a feeling my client won’t like what I’m going to have to tell him. Almost all his competitors have more of everything than him.

        • Tom

          No problem. I’d say to him, I can try to rank you for X keyword, but please be aware it may not happen. This is a risk he needs to be willing to take. Don’t promise anything under these circumstances.

          If you want my full advice on this, shoot me an email via the contact page and I will look at his site and competition quick. Don’t worry, I have no interest in taking on new clients at the moment! I just like helping people out :) Cheers

          • relkeel

            Cool – thanks. Will drop you an email.

          • relkeel

            Email sent – looking forward to what you think – give me some ammunition in my ‘discussions’ with client :-)

          • relkeel

            Did you get a chance to look at the email I sent over Tom?
            There could be a LinkMajesty and Social Llama subscription heading your way based on your advice/opinion 😉

          • relkeel

            You’re obviously a busy guy – no worries :-)

          • Tom

            Sorry Nick, I have been at a SEO conference that past few days. Just trawling through my thousands of emails now.

  • Tauqir Anjum

    I need one on one training how much are your fees

  • khaos88

    I would just like to say you have inspired me. Being new to the PBN game I have got a new site with 7 pbn links to rank 14 for a global niche. I will add social signals and boost this. The information you have provided here has opened up my eyes somewhat but has also shown me I am on the correct path.
    By the way, should I be adding social signals towards my PBN’s?

  • Simeon


    I have another question. Does the anchor text profile of the PBN affect our money site. So lets say if the domain called

    And the anchor text profile was like this for example:

    80%: pills

    Would this kind of PBN hurt the rankings for my money site. I know google says not to use exact keywords or to keyword stuff when back-linking.

    I’m asking this because with the PBN’s i have found have these types of anchor profiles.

    So i was wondering should i register them or not, based on this factor.

    • Tom

      Hey Simeon,

      Generally, if the expired domain I am looking to add to my PBN is not related to my money site, I won’t go for it. E.g if you had the domain above, linking to a money site on Elephants, it doesn’t go. With that being said, I don’t think it will hurt the rankings at all, it just won’t be as relevant as a site that has previously been based upon the same topic/niche.

      PBN in same topic/niche as money site = More relevancy + More authority. This means better rankings. If it is a powerful domain, I’d still go with it, but check to see if it has been de-indexed for a reason too.

      Hope this helps!

  • rachel

    where do you point the social signs to? The money site URL or the PBN blog post?

  • John Shamamyan

    will the links coming from Link Majesty be niche related PBN’s?

  • Khuram Shahzad

    thanks you i am used this mathod for my website seo services