I don’t like writing about private blog networks too much because it’s an extremely risky, short-term way to rank. However, as a way to give back to those of you who plan to stick with the Cloud Fortunes brand until the very end, I have a very special gift for you. Please, keep in mind that everything I talk about here is based on hard evidence and my own personal experience. It’s not theory-based — so when I say you can increase the ranking power of your PBN by 400%, it’s the real deal. No fluff, no b.s. — and I’m not even going to turn this into a product to sell — although that is a great idea!
What About The Experts?
If you have anything to do with PBNs, you’ve probably heard all of the ‘experts’. Keep in mind I’m not bashing anyone in particular, but you’ve probably seen them say “put privacy on your PBN domains”. I can’t count how many PBN guides I’ve seen that tell you to do this. What if I told you not to? What if I said taking ‘Privacy’ off of your private link networks would actually give you 4x the ranking power from the same network? In case you didn’t know — ‘Privacy’ is the option that you have when buying a domain. You can usually get it through your registrar for $7.00 a year, but some registrars offer it free.
What it does is shield your domains from people looking them up in the WHOIS domains. It uses the contact information, address, phone number and other applicable information from the company providing the WHOIS privacy. In theory, it sounds good, right? Put privacy on your domains, and Google will never have a clue that you own all of the domains in your network? Well, in practice, the reality is far different.
You see — Google doesn’t need to be able to ‘see through’ the WHOIS protection. It has simply devalued link juice flowing from WHOIS-protected domains in your link network. I actually stumbled onto this fact by accident. When I first started creating link networks out of expired domains, I started with a small group of 10 domains. Like all of the ‘experts’ taught (and still teach), I added privacy protection to the domains.
I built a couple links from each domain in the network to a couple of different money sites. I waited, and waited and waited — and nothing happened. It had probably been a couple of months of waiting and watching, and the rankings for the money sites didn’t do much at all. I believe I saw an initial boost after building the links, but it was SO SMALL that I could have easily chalked it up to normal flux in the SERPs.
If you’ve been doing SEO and are hyper-aware of even the smallest changes, such as how long it takes on average for links to have a noticeable effect, then you would know when something isn’t right. You would know if your link network links were working or weren’t doing squat. I don’t remember exactly why I did it, but I decided to take the privacy protection off of the domains.
Guess what happened next? I saw an almost immediate jump in traffic and rankings, and within 3 months, one of the money sites went from basically $0 a month to over $600 a month, and this was sometime in June or July, so it wasn’t even a prime earning time for Amazon, which was used to monetize the site.
That site went on to sell for $12,000 a month later. It probably made most of that money back for the owner just during November and December of 2014. Fast forward to day. Back when that first happened, I wasn’t entirely confident that taking the privacy off the domains caused them to pass ridiculously more ranking power. However, I started a smaller network of about 40 sites a few months ago.
The money sites link built from this network were pretty stagnant for about 4 months after the links were built. Yes — you could tell the network was having some kind of effect, but it was very negligible. I knew deep down that this network I had was far more powerful, but it just wasn’t working right. I checked all of the familiar footprints. I made sure the themes on the sites were all different, the articles — virtually everything that could be different on each of the PBN sites was different, so I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t having the impact I thought they should.
I knew the sites weren’t passing the link juice they should because of my previous blog network discussed earlier. The previous network provided exceptionally better ‘bang for the buck’. This new network I had built was better in every metric possible when compared with the previous network, so it should have been providing explosive ranking results.
I always have my ‘epiphanies’ late at night — sometime during 12 to 2:30 AM. It dawned on me that it had to be the WHOIS protection on this newer network that was, holding back the beast, so to speak. If you search Google for this, there is really nobody talking about it. There is no evidence of it. Nothing. I searched for hours trying to see if WHOIS protection affects how much link juice is provided from a PBN domain.
I’m sure people know about this, but probably not too many. I was originally going to release this massive, ground-breaking tip only to my email list, but I’ve got plenty of other goodies in store for you guys! This tip is far too powerful to keep to myself or my list — the public needs to know about it. Imagine how many people are building their private blog networks with WHOIS protection on them and thinking that the pathetic ranking boosts they’re getting is the ‘norm’.
No — we need to blow the lid off of this one. At this point, you’re probably wondering just how powerful this breakthrough is. It’s so powerful that I almost wanted to keep it to myself. The general SEO community as a whole has no idea about this. I actually tested the exact effects of this breakthrough, and just as I had assumed, the results were nothing short of incredible.
I took the WHOIS protection off of every single expired domain in this 40-site PBN around April 11th-12th, 2015. Obviously it takes some time for Google to re-crawl and assess the new WHOIS information. Nothing else was being done to the sites when all of this took place, so I was able to isolate the results very well.
There is nothing else that explains the utterly-incredible results that occurred next. For some sites, the results were almost instantaneous while Google took a bit longer to get around to the others. Keep in mind, for the images below, the keywords shown have been stagnant for around 3-4 months after links were built from the link network.
You can see the dramatic jumps the keywords took very soon after the change. It was as if Google was holding back an avalanche of link juice from the network sites, and once the privacy was removed, it was like “Ok here you go!” — and it opened the link juice flood gates. Remember, I removed the privacy around April 11th-12th.
Above, there are screenshots from three different money sites. Only two of them had links from the network pointing at them for 3 to 4 months. The third is a site that I built links to from the network around April 20th. You will notice that in several of the images, the massive ranking jumps are around the 20th of April. A few of the images are of the site that got links built to it right around that time, and a few of the other images are of one of the money sites. that didn’t have links built to it from all 40 of the PBN sites.
Put simply — the ranking jumps you see around April 12th are the direct results of removing WHOIS protection from the PBN sites. The ranking jumps you see around April 20th are also the results of removing the WHOIS privacy, but they occur on April 20th because this is when I built links. All of these ranking jumps did not occur and could not have occurred until after the WHOIS protection was removed.
Before removing the WHOIS privacy from the link network domains, building links to virtually any site produced almost zero rank increases in the SERPs. You can’t see that though because I didn’t start tracking rankings for these test sites until just days before I decided to perform this experiment.
In two images above, you can see the Google webmaster tools data for two sites. The first one didn’t get any links built to it until around April 20th, 2015, and the second one didn’t receive most of its links until around the same time. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with anything because it’s not around April 12th. You see, these sites had already been linked to from the 40-pbn netwok in the past, and the links were removed after about a month and a half because there was literally zero improvement.
After the WHOIS privacy was removed around April 12th, I decided to rebuild these links on all 40 of the PBN sites around April 20th, which is when the magic happened. Before the WHOIS was removed, these sites did nothing with all of the PBN links pointed at them.
It’s Not That Simple
Yes — these results are nothing short of amazing. Imagine if you have a private link network of hundreds of sites, which are even stronger than the sites I have in this group of 40. Most of the sites in this 40 PBN are PageRank 2-3 with an average Domain Authority of 25. They also have very healthy Trust Flow And Citation Flow, along with age and linking root domains. It would be nice if all you had to do to achieve this is remove WHOIS protection from your PBN sites. However, there is one missing detail.
I could be like a typical ‘expert’ and leave out this most-important, make-or-break detail and leave you scratching your head, but I won’t. I won’t leave you hanging! The missing detail is to make sure you change your contact information for each and every domain that you remove WHOIS protection from. You need to edit the contact details for each domain and change the email, address, phone number — everything. Every field of data must be different.
You’re probably thinking to yourself — how the hell am I going to create 50+ different email accounts and all of the other info? I won’t go into the specifics of how you can do this, but I will say you need to make sure the email on each of the domains is linked to a master email. You can have all of the accounts forwarding to your main email. You can put anything you want for all of the other details. I had a VA go and create 40 different email accounts and go through each PBN domain, remove the WHOIS privacy and replace the contact details with something — different.
This tiny little tweak nearly instantly increased the linking power of my 40-site PBN by roughly 400%, as shown in the increase in impressions in the Google Webmaster Tools screenshots. However, keep in mind, Google doesn’t give you all of the link juice right after you build a link to your money site. It gives you a nice initial boost, but then it SLOWLY releases more and more link juice over the span of the coming months.
After 6 months from when you built that very first link with privacy removed, you could probably see traffic/impressions increased by 1,200 to 2,200%. Look at the image from webmaster tools for an older site below — it shows how your PBN SHOULD PERFORM as long as you don’t have WHOIS protection on your domains.
The image above shows results for one of the very first link networks I built using expired domains. It had roughly 55 domains in it. You can see it was quite stagnant, then all of a sudden, after WHOIS privacy was removed, impressions increased dramatically. It did, however, take almost a full three months for the ‘full’ link juice to kick in because Google was ‘slowly’ opening the gates as the links that were built began to age. If you own any size of a PBN, go apply this information you just learned and let me know if it helped you in the comments! I have a lot more to share with you guys soon — including an update on the case study site. Stay tuned!