The Ultimate Guide to PBN Hosting Services
Love them or hate them, private blog networks, or PBNs, are here to stay. Whether you're brand new to the world of PBNs or have several networks you're looking to host, this guide will help you find what you need to know.
To set the stage for the PBN newbies out there, we'll start by reviewing what PBN hosting and PBNs are, then dive a little deeper into what to look for in a PBN host.
Finally, we'll recommend some of our favorite PBN hosting solutions.
Let's get started with PBNs 101: What are they?
What Is a Private Blog Network? What's a "Money Site"?
PBNs are a somewhat controversial, not to mention risky, subject in the world of SEO tactics.
PBNs contain a network of domains (all owned by the same person or company) that all link back to another domain (also owned by that person or company).
The linked-to sites in a PBN are named "money sites" because their sole reason for existing is to make money for the website owner.
The "blog" in the term "private blog networks" refers to the fact that most of these websites utilize WordPress blogs. Because WordPress blogs are free, they're easy to set up and use for PBNs.
So what is the point of all this? Well, the number of backlinks a website has affects its SEO rankings because it makes search engines view the site as a trustworthy, valuable information source.
If Google sees that many other sites link to a domain, it will make it easier for others to find it by placing it higher on search engine results.
So the links that site owners manufacture on PBNs trick search engines like Google into thinking that the money site to which the other sites are linking is an authority in its niche.
The contrived authority helps the reputation of the money site, and Google ranks it higher in the search engine rankings.
PBNs go against Google guidelines, and if the company catches you manufacturing links using sites you own, Google will de-index your website.
A de-indexed website will no longer turn up in search results, rendering it useless.
Therefore, it's important to minimize the clues, or footprints, that PBNs can leave behind so you don't tip search engines off.
To minimize the footprints of their PBNs, many people turn to PBN web-hosting solutions.
What is PBN Hosting?
Every website domain needs a host. To put it simply, a hosting service gives your site a place to live (in the host's server) and a way to make your site accessible to the world.
PBN hosting providers specialize in hosting PBNs so that it looks like a different person owns each of the PBN sites so that they look as if they are in no way related to one another.
One of the main ways that hosts hide footprints is camouflaging PBN site IP addresses.
Using different IPs helps hide the fact that the same person or company owns all of the websites in your network, so search engines won't catch on to what you're doing.
We'll get deeper into how IPs are stored and the importance of unique IP addresses in a bit.
Every PBN hosting company is a little different, and they range from cheap hosting sites that require you to share an IP address with other PBNs to premium hosting plans that help you manage your sites.
The best PBN hosting providers will also provide built in PBN management software.
What Can Go Wrong With PBNs?
We mentioned PBN footprints earlier. If you want to keep your interlinked sites and money site data from tipping off the search engines, you don't want your PBN sites to leave a single footprint.
Of course, it's not always possible to avoid footprints altogether, but you can minimize some of the most obvious ones.
Multiple Domains on One IP Address: As we mentioned earlier, one major footprint is when it comes to IP addresses.
If all of your sites share an IP address or even have similar IPs, search engines will catch on to your PBN right away.
Providing different IP addresses is one of the primary ways hosts help you fly under the radar.
Blocked Crawlers and Spiders: If all of the domains in your network block crawlers and spiders, it's a red flag.
Most legitimate sites don't block them, so if all of yours do, Google will wonder what you're hiding.
Unrelated or Low-Quality Content: Search engines organize sites based on their niche.
Including a lot of non-relevant content on every site you own or content that doesn't help your SEO and is rarely updated can point to PBN domains.
Multiple Websites With the Same Domain Registrant: If every site in your network shows the same registrant, it's pretty clear that the sites are linked together.
Domains Registered on the Same Day: Like the point made above, if all your sites show the same registration day, it's a pretty clear link.
Hidden Domain Registrants: You've probably figured out by now that you're trying to avoid signs that link your domains to one another.
In the same vein as blocking crawlers, multiple sites with hidden domain registrants all linking to one another is a clear footprint.
Identical Nameservers: Nameservers can leave as big of a footprint as IPs can.
These servers should be different for most, if not all, the domains you own. Otherwise, a reverse search of the server will show that they're all connected.
We could write a whole post about PNB footprint management, but these important tips should be enough to get you started.
Hosting your PBN sites on one of the premium hosts mentioned in this post will also go a long way towards keeping your interlinked sites from being de-indexed.
Types of PBN Hosting Companies
When narrowing down a PBN hosting solution, you should understand the different types of hosts.
Each of these solutions carries different benefits and drawbacks, so choosing one is entirely a matter of preference.
Reputable Shared Hosting
Shared hosting providers are reputable hosting domains for everyone from the market down the street to your doctor's office.
This makes it an excellent hosting option for those who don't want to leave a trace.
Shared hosting doesn't do anything to hide your IP address or anything else linked to your domains.
You'll set up different accounts—a separate account for each website you want to create. The accounts will have different IP addresses and servers.
The primary downside to using a shared hosting solution is the difficult setup and management involved because you'll have to track and manage each website separately.
If you want a nearly foolproof solution and have decent organizational skills, you might want to check out these types of providers.
SEO hosting is geared specifically towards web marketing professionals, so they can be excellent for hosting a network.
PBN owners like them for the individual servers they use as well as helping to hide interlinked websites.
However, because SEO hosting providers exist solely to support marketing-type accounts, using one can in itself be a pretty obvious footprint these days.
Back when this kind of hosting was brand new, it worked. However, now that everyone (including Google) knows about these providers, they're easier for search engines to spot.
In short, if you want a host with easy setup and management, this solution is worth looking into.
However, don't be surprised if Google catches you and de-indexes your site after a while.
Reseller hosting involves purchasing a reseller account.
Once you have your account, you'll request separate IPs—you'll need to request them one at a time, though, or they'll all share the same address.
Getting a reseller account is a cheap and convenient hosting option, but it can leave a fair number of footprints if you're not careful.
Managed PBN hosts can provide an invaluable service. These hosts know how to support PBN owners, making setup and management a piece of cake.
The better managed-hosting platforms do an excellent job of hiding footprints, too, which is the important thing.
What to Look for in a PBN Hosting Company
You can find more PBN hosts than you could ever want by doing a quick web search. But finding a high-quality hosting provider is a different story.
Every network's needs will be slightly different, so it's crucial to take your time when researching hosts to not end up with a bad fit.
The following are a few specifics to keep in mind:
C-Class IP Addresses: Your websites need to have different IP addresses to prevent detection, as we've mentioned a couple of times.
Make sure your host provides IPs from different C-class blocks and different A- and B-blocks, too, if possible.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): Hosts that use CDNs have an easier time hiding IP addresses, making it even more difficult for search engines to detect your network.
Nameservers: Does every website have a unique nameserver, or are they shares among other PBNs?
Remember, sharing a nameserver with unreputable websites is a recipe for disaster.
Setup and Management: how to setup a private blog network (PBN)? Can you do everything on one platform, or will it require extra time and effort?
Price: Price is an important consideration when choosing a host, especially if you have multiple networks.
But don't go for the first cheap option you find, or you'll regret it later when your websites get de-indexed.
Make sure to go with hosts that not only meet your needs but also come with solid reputations and decent online reviews.
The Best PBN Hosting Providers
PBN hosting providers come in all shapes and sizes, and it would be easy to spend all day searching for the perfect host, but we've done the hard work for you and selected the very best hosts available.
If you don't want to use a traditional shared platform like HostGator or GoDaddy, these three are the best alternatives.
Better yet—each option listed comes with a $5 trial hosting plan so you can test out the hosts before committing.
Easy Blog Networks
Easy Blog Networks is by far the easiest among the hosts on our list. Its user-friendly interface and impressive customer support make it ideal for those new to PBNs.
The main drawback to this platform is that most of its users are other PBNs, which ups the risk factor a bit.
This host is excellent at covering footprints and promptly removing de-indexed sites, though, so the risk is minimal.
If you liked the sound of using content delivery networks when we mentioned it earlier, LaunchCDN is the host for you.
Visitors to your websites will access them through CDNs rather than servers, making them more difficult to track.
Bulk Buy Hosting
Bulk Buy Hosting is an excellent choice for experienced PBN owners and those who are more tech-savvy.
It keeps your network safe while giving you access to the cPanel so you can tweak your network as much as you'd like.
Looking for Expired Domains to Add to Your PBN?
Building a network of PBN domains takes a fair amount of work, so if you can find a tool or service that makes the process a little easier, you should take advantage of it.
One of the best SEO tools available is SpamZilla Expired Domain Finder, which helps buying domains for your PBN.
SpamZilla combs through thousands of expired domains and qualifies them based on SEO value, helping people build blog networks full of valuable domains.
Find out more about SpamZilla here.