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The Poor Mans Web 2.0 Private Blog Network. (Case Study)

It’s 2014 and the SEO world is getting more and more complicated.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately on private blog networks (PBN). Just like everything on the internet, one site will say that they have successfully done it and its working great. And then there are 15 other sites saying that its bullshit, Google is going to penalize you, it won’t work, its a waste of time.

Its really difficult to get any straight answers. Everything is just people’s opinions. We as readers have no idea how they formed those opinions. We don’t know if its just re-hashed rhetoric from their favorite SEO site that they pieced together as content on their own page, if they tried and didn’t put in the work so it failed, or if it really is an outdated strategy.

frustrated-with-seoI was frustrated to say the least.

Let’s for a moment explore why we would even want to spend the time and money on a private blog network. A PBN is a series of websites that you set up and control within a certain niche. The goal of these sites is not to attract visitors or make any money. These sites exist only for the purpose of backlinking.

Once the sites are established and populated with content, well placed links back to a main money page are inserted. Content is drip fed over a period of time to keep the blogs active.

You can then build backlinks to these blogs. The PBN sites will act as a buffer to your money site but will  still pass on ‘link juice’. Having this controlled buffer allows you to reap the benefits of links you wouldn’t normally want directed towards your money site. It gives you the freedom to use automated link building services and software and build links from many different sources.

At least it used to…maybe. But not now, except if you do…I don’t know, that’s what we are going to find out.

I found some quality guides and tutorials to read through. Pretty much all of them said the exact same thing. I will sum them up quickly.

  • Purchase relevant, high PR, expired domains with good backlinks pointing at them.
  • Use multiple domain registrars.
  • Use multiple hosting accounts.
  • Use only original, un-spun content (Somewhere between 300-800 words per article).
  • Include images, videos, galleries and polls.

That is the condensed version of course but those are the highlights. So based on this scenario lets price this plan out. For the sake of this example lets figure we want to set up a small PBN consisting of 15 blogs.

  • (15) High PR, relevant, expired domains with good backlinks $50*15 = $750.00
  • (8) Various hosting services. The cheapest I found was $10 a year allowing you to host 2 sites. 8*$10.00 = $80.00
  • (75) Pieces of content. 5 per site at $10.00 a pop. Now I know you can get content cheaper but if I was going to pay for it I want to be able to upload it and not have to tweak it or spend any time trying to make it readable. Seems to me that if your going to use cheap content you might as well use spun content and save your money. 75*$10.00 = $750.00

So not including any unforeseen costs and our time we are already into our private blog network $1580.00. That’s not taking into account our re-occurring domain renewals, ongoing hosting, and keeping the content flowing.

So here’s the problem…I don’t have $1600.00 laying around to invest in something that may or may not work. Not to mention what if tomorrow Google releases some crazy update that wipes it all off the grid anyways?

i-have-a-plan

So I came up with my own plan.

Now keep in mind, I do not know if it will work. I just know what I want to do and what tools and budgets I have to work with. If you have any suggestions that you think might help, please speak up. So lets begin. Introducing…

 

The Poor Mans Web 2.0 Private Blog Network.

So for this case study I am going to build my network in the health niche. I picked it because there will always be tons of products to promote and if successful I will be able to plug in any money site that I wish to promote.

I will be building all of the sites on customized free web 2.0 platforms.

All of my content will be spun PLR with the exception of the content containing the link to my money site. Anytime I add a link to a site that I give a shit about I will commission a 800 – 1200 word high quality, keyword optimized article.

Each site will have between 5 and 10 articles on it not including the quality articles linking to the money site.

I am going to spread the content out over 2 weeks. And then 2 articles a month as long as the network is useful.

I am going to use Pandabot to send traffic to these sites giving the appearance of activity and engagement.

I haven’t decided how I will build back links to the network yet. Its a toss up. Either I will use GSA or Rankwyz. Right now I’m leaning towards Rankwyz. All of the content for that will be created using Seo Content Machine.

So thats the plan. I am going to build a 7 site web 2.0 network for the purpose of this case study. Lets look at my total cost to set this up.

  • (10) PLR articles – FREE
  • (5) Web 2.0 domains – FREE
  • (7) High quality 800 word articles @.02 per word $112.00
  • Copyscape Credits – $5.00
  • Hosting – FREE
  • Pandabot Membership – FREE
  • Time – 15hrs on content, and about 15 hours on setup.

So that’s it. I’m looking at $117.00 and a bit of time to set up the whole network. In the next post I will cover getting all of my content set up. If you’re still with me I hope you will check it out.

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jch

"The guy that doesn't sleep" at SEOProtools.com
Hey, my name is Jed and have been astruggling internet marketer for about 2 years. I studied all the courses, read the blogs and even started a few projects. I have finally decided to take action. My goal with this blog is to provide %100 honest and factual proof, one way or the other, as I try achieve the 'laptop lifestyle'. Thanks for coming along!
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12 comments

  1. Hey Jed,

    i actually just had the same idea a few days ago and im happy you are running that case study!
    So do you have already some news about it?

    It`s just really time consuming to build up a PBN and it would be really helpful to see how you are managing all that.

    Hope you keep us updated!

    Cheers, Tom

    • Tom thanks for the comment.

      I really need to update that post. I got really excited about the Private blog networks for a while. But as I got deeper into setting one up for that case study I started to get disappointed. Here’s why.
      ITS A LOT OF WORK! Since I was trying to do it on the cheap, I was just using high quality spun content. I was rewriting each sentence 3 times, and then going in and spinning in words where they made sense. I was getting around %90 uniqueness and the article was still very readable. It wasn’t going to win any literary awards but it was still readable. That took me about +4 hours each and it was painful work.
      Setting up the Web 2.0 isn’t hard but I really wanted to do it right. Setting up the About me’s, Contact pages, spreadsheets to keep track of everything took some time but was relatively easy.
      I used GSA and Wicked Article Creator to build the backlinks to the web 2.0’s. This involved A getting a VPS so I could run GSA 24/7, proxies, captcha service and link indexing service. So even though I was able to get the network set up for free it cost me around $60 a month to build the links. Not including the software.
      So after all that I expected to see some awesome results. The bad news is that it didn’t happen. I saw no results for all of my work. And so I came to this conclusion.
      Private blog networks can and do work, unfortunately attempting to create and maintain one on a shoestring budget doesn’t seem very effective. I think to make it worthwhile you need to have a solid internet marketing tool chest, a good source for cheap content, and its still going to cost you some coin.
      I learned a lot from setting this up and trying to keep it as low cost as possible. But this is the point of case studies, sometime they work, sometime not.

      • You saw no results because you didn’t do it properly. I am talking about buying expired domains with good histories.

        • Theone, Thanks for the comment. I am aware of the technique of buying high quality, high PR domains. Its a great strategy however that wasn’t the point of the post. I was trying to see if there would be any results from doing it as little out of pocket as possible. Something for someone with very little cash flow.

  2. Hi Jed,
    Nice post. Have ya head about the Hoth? They have a plantium package where they create 8 2.0’s for you with 3 unique articles on each. All for $250! I’ve bought one package and it was worth considering how long it would have take me to do the same.

    • Nathan, I haven’t heard about Hoth. I’ll have to check them out, but you’re absoluty correct. $250 bux seems like a pretty hefty out of pocket expense for something you don’t see results for right away but when you think about how much time it takes, depending on your experience and learning curve it could work out to be a great deal. I am slowly learning the value of my time and the importance of letting people do what they are good at, and I stick with what I’m good at. Thank you for the comment and I’m glad you liked the post.

  3. This method does work. I was just in the process of doing the same thing and was thinking the same thing as you about all the work you’ll end up doing. The reason this would be very powerful is because DA is a big factor in today’s seo world. Since you’re building on the web 2.0 domains that already have a high DA. All you have to do is build links and keep updated with content. In time you will raise your PA and have a powerful network of blogs if done right. But like you said the most time consuming is the article writing cause you wan’t to treat these blogs as if they were your money site as far as content goes. As far as back linking goes I would of just got a couple fiverr gigs to do the teir 2’s for me.

    • How many web 2.0 are there that allows you to create a mini site like wordpress.org let’s you? are there 10? 25? 100? and where can I find the list? can anyone please help?

      Thank you,

  4. I have used this method for many private clients who don’t want to spend heaps or are just starting out. Many of the public Web 2.0 sites already have great site metrics so it’s a no brainer. I usually place branded or generic anchors on these sites, but have have great success with main keywords. Also using public web 2 is more “natural” as non seo’a would do this.

  5. Well, actually I am doing it for my site (in link), now I am at 16 2.0 blogs, comitted to build one per day. On money site I am adding content on a weekly basis. I am ranking now 4th of first page, my domain is now one year old, but the problem is I canot for sure tell wheter the result is beacuse of web 2.0 or because of my other backlinking activities (bookmarking sites, directries, blog comments).
    Kw is 1900 search volume, with difficulty around 40 (by kefinder).
    Done a lot of backlinks last three months. Thinking to add aditional PBN with aged domains.
    Regards, M

  6. I’m scared of doing a PBN, mainly because I really don’t know where to start and it is expensive. But I got to thinking about creating web 2.0’s and then creating a PBN anyway, and just create the PBN for the web 2.0’s. I don’t know if that’s dumb or not. I previously bought a bunch of expired domains, so might as well. I guess its worth the experiment!

    • Matthew Woodward has a great new course on the specifics of really doing a PBN correctly. His registration is now closed but I have reviewed it and it is a quality course. But you’re correct you really need a game plan and specific direction to justify the time and money. Matthews new project is called Marketer Seal. A quick Google search should land you in the right place. Thank you for commenting!

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