Building a private blog network is very simple to do but you need to pick the right domains for your network or else your results will suck. Most people head over to Godaddy Expired domains and select domains based on pagerank and Moz domain authority.
While these are great metrics to use, I believe digging deeper will help you avoid penalized domains and uncover some valuable gems that were overlooked. I’m going to walk you through the steps I use to find amazing domains for very cheap prices.
Research using ExpiredDomains.net
I use ExpiredDomains.net to research Godaddy expiring domains as well as deleted domains, too. Another ExpiredDomains.net alternative is Register Compass. Here’s a good tutorial showing you how to find these expired domains:
Always Verify Pagerank
The first step is to double check the pagerank to make sure it’s valid. Scammers will often use redirects to artifically increase a domain’s pagerank so you need to be careful when buying domain from a broker. Head over to RankChecker and enter the domain to see if the pagerank is fake or real.
Check Majestic SEO Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio
Next, head over to MajesticSEO and check the Trust Flow and Citation Flow. We’re looking for TF & CF of at least 10. The TF/CF ratio is an important factor in determining whether it’s a good domain or spammy one. Lots of spammy domains have a much higher citation flow than trust flow.
Look for Natural Anchor Text
If you scroll down in MajesticSEO, you will see a pie graph that shows the anchor text. We are looking for natural looking anchor text. If the domain is http://bostonlawyers.com, then here’s an example of natural looking anchor text:
- good boston lawyers
- click here
- boston attorneys
Natural anchor texts means the domain was once a real website with real visitors. This type of domain is great for building your PBN.
Now, here’s an example of a spammer who previously owned the domain and used similar anchor text:
- boston lawyers
- boston lawyers guide
- boston lawyers firm
- best boston lawyers
You’ll notice a strange, unnatural trend because the spammer used SEO anchor text for a large portion of the links. Many of these domains got deindexed by Google so avoid them at all costs.
Check the Moz Domain and Page Authority
Domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) are key SEO metrics coined by MOZ. A good DA & PA is over 20. But again, be careful because spammers create so many backlinks that they inflate DA/PA even if the domain got blacklisted. Use Opensiteexplorer to check these metrics.
View the Old Website in Archive.Org
If the domain’s backlinks are solid, then people liked the domain’s content in the past. Go to Archive.org and check the wayback machine to see what the old website looked like. If you see a parked webpage or empty Godaddy page, then the domain was owned by a spammer.
Check the DomainTools WhoIs Record
Domaintools track all the whois changes over time. You want to own domains that few people registered. If you see lots of drops and whois record changes, then proceed with caution.
My Complete Domain Checklist
Once I cover these simple steps, I use this mental checklist to make sure the domain is worth owning:
Here’s a my quick checklist for finding good domains for my PBN:
- Google PR2+
- DA 20+
- PA 20+
- TF 10+
- CF 10+
- TF/CF 1 or greater
Some domains will fail to meet one or two metrics but if it’s good enough, I will acquire the domain anyway. This is just a guideline. If you follow these simple rules, then you’ll easily pass over the spammy domains and start owning some awesome high Pagerank domains with super strong backlinks
Manage Your PBN Domains
When your PBN starts getting big, you will struggle to manage everything. I recommend ManageWP to manage multiple wordpress domains under one account. Use this ManageWP coupon to get a discount when you sign up.
That’s all you need to get your PBN going and start ranking for all kinds of cool stuff.
Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.