Advanced PBN Planning – Planning for SERP Success

This is the first part of our three-part series on Advanced Private Blog Network Building. If you are new to building PBN, I suggest you start with the Private Blog Network Guide for Beginners.

Before you start building your PBN, it makes sense to first take a step back and look at your goals in building it. A PBN is time-consuming and costly to create, so we want to make sure that you plan correctly before you start.

Remember – failing to plan is planning to fail! Don’t you agree?

Kirk and Bones agree that Failing to Plan a PBN is Planning to fail the PBN


Here are some things to plan for before you start on this wonderful journey.

  1. Plan for how many PBN links you need to rank
  2. Plan for how much doing this will cost you
  3. Plan for the way you will structure your network
  4. Plan for drip feeding links to your money sites
  5. Plan for managing things efficiently

Plan for how many PBN links you need to rank

There is no fixed answer for this question. The number of links you need to rank depends on how competitive a niche you are in, whether your On Page SEO is sound and how much domain authority your money site already has. As a rule of thumb, 10 PBN links should help you rank easily for a medium competition keyword.  So plan for at least building these many sites.

Plan for the cost of a PBN

Building a PBN is not easy and definitely not cheap. There are three costs to a PBN – (a) the cost of the domain, (b) the cost of hosting & (c) the cost of content.

The true value of a PBN link is based on the backlinks that the domain has and therefore you want to spend as much as possible to buy a domain that has healthy backlinks. A good domain from a broker can cost you anywhere from $80 to $500. (The really good domains can go for a lot more).

If this is your first PBN, we suggest you stay around the $100/domain range. As you gain more experience, you can decide to spend more and purchase costlier domains.

Hosting is an ongoing cost, and we don’t think you should be paying more than $15 to $20 per year for each website. Content tends to be costly as you want to make sure it is good quality content. An article of around 500 words will cost you around  $5. You can create your PBN with around 5 articles and then add a new article once every two months.

Cost of a single website = $100 (for domain) + $50 (for 5 articles) = $150 one time

Yearly cost of a single website = $30 (for 6 articles) + $20 (for hosting) = $50/yr

Total cost for 10 website PBN = $1500 one time & $500/yr ongoing.

Remember, as you add more websites to your network and you start making money, you should start adding costlier domains to your network to make it even stronger.

Plan for the way you will structure your network

The structure of your network will depend upon whether you are promoting (i) a single money site (ii) multiple money sites in the same niche (iii) multiple money sites in multiple niches.

If you are an entrepreneur, you will fall into category (i) or (ii) i.e. you have one money site that you want to rank or have a bunch of different money sites in the same niche and you want all of them to rank. In this case, your network will be simple – all your PBN domains will be on the same network and will be completely independent of each other.

Private Blog Network Architecture

If you are a marketing agency, you will most likely fall into category (iii) i.e. you have multiple clients that have money sites in different niches and you want to create PBNs to rank all your client sites.

You would be best suited to creating Master Networks for top level niches that your clients target. For example as shown in the image below, you could put all your websites that target Health and Fitness into a single “Health and Fitness Master Network” and similarly all sites in the Technology niche can be put in the “Technology Master Network”. You can then link from each of these master networks to your individual clients.

Advanced PBN Architecture with Master Networks

A generic client can get links from websites from both of these master networks, while niche specific clients get links from the specific Master networks.

There are two main benefits of creating Master networks –

(1) It protects your master networks from one another. If a single master network is found in a manual review, then the other network is not affected.

(2) You can share links between some networks wherever applicable for client websites that are not in a specific niche or are in multiple niches.

Plan for drip feeding links to your money sites

A question we often get from customers is “When should I start linking to my money site from my newly created PBN”.

The answer is – only when it is natural to do so. What this means is that if you have a new money site that has gotten no links from other means, such as outreach or guest posts, then you do not want to start sending PBN links to this site just yet.

Your PBN links are the best links that your money site will even get – the reason for this is that you are in complete control over the anchor text and link equity that the PBN link passes. We, therefore, suggest that you use PBN links very strategically.

If your money site already has backlinks from a few sources and the anchor text from the links are varied, then this is the best time to drip feed PBN links with specific anchor texts to your money site. The reason you want to make sure that the money site already has back links is so that when you drip feed your PBN links with specific anchor texts, the anchor text density for those phrases do not become unnaturally high.

Anchor text percentage is important to look at

If you owned the site above and wanted to rank for “buy bitcoin”, adding more links with this anchor text will not work out very well for you, as 16.67% is quite high. It would be better for you to wait and add other links, which lower this percentage and then add your PBN Links.

You also want to blend in your PBN links with all the other links in your network so that you pass every single manual review your site goes through.

Too many PBN owners don’t plan for this. They add the PBN links and then pray that their money sites don’t go through a manual link review. When they do get caught, they swear off PBNs and give up for good!

Pray, pray, pray - Boom - you are penalized

Plan for managing things efficiently

As you already know by now, creating and managing a PBN is a time-consuming process – time that should be spent elsewhere. You will, therefore, want to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) who will do the steps for you.

That said – do not hire a VA until you have created the first two websites yourself. Why two sites? Well, when you are creating the first site, you will be doing it for the first time and will most likely mess things up. When you do it the second time, you will be able to write down the entire process into a word document and create relevant excel sheets which you can then pass off to a VA to create the remaining sites.

You want to make sure that the word document is as thorough as possible in order to make sure that the VA leaves no footprints behind. You can check out templates that other PBN creators have put up online. However, I strongly urge you to only use them for inspiration and to create your own process documentation. It will be a lot easier to verify that the VA has done things correctly if you created the checklist document yourself.

Yes. I know that creating and managing a PBN is a lot of hard work. I never said it would be easy. If you want to dominate the SERPs, you just have to suck it up and deal with it.

Picard knows how to suck it up and deal with it

Carry onto the next chapter in this guide on how to buy the right domains for your PBN