Once your network is set up, your blogs are hosted and your content is primed, you need to look at management options.
Posting content to your domains
If you are using Wordpress this should be pretty straightforward. Login, add a post, copy, paste and publish. Things get far more complicated once you have 10, 50 or even 100 blogs. You can task a VA with uploading all your content, but we’d recommend looking at using automated tools. These allow you to plan and schedule the delivery of your content with ease.
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We’ve also used FCS Networker and Rankwyz to post directly to networks of our own blogs. This works as well as the Web 2 networks they are designed to post to, and we have been happy with the results.
Once nice advantage of using a link building tool such as FCS is they make it quite easy to do everything in one place. You can generate your content, diversify your anchor links, link to authorities, schedule and post.
Better yet, their tiering system mean you can boost your own PBN posts with contextual Web 2 posts and social signals automatically.
Building links to your PBN posts as soon as they go live can help increase the relevancy of your linking pages. Over time it will raise the authority of your blog. If you really want to go to town, you can then pump your web 2.0 posts with a tool like GSA.
Wordpress management: Updates, Hackers And Backups
Wordpress makes life easy for PBN owners, and is by far the most popular choice of SEOs. But its vast popularity also makes it a massive target for hackers – and it is not the most secure web app out there.
Imagine the pain of putting all that work into building your network up only to have some script kiddie destroy it. All that will be left is a bunch of Viagra links…
It’s vital you keep your CMS systems up to date. Its even more important that you take regular backups of your PBN sites. This way a server failure, site hack or simple mistake doesn’t take down some of your most important links.
There are a number of WP management tools out there that can handle bulk wordpress, plugin and theme updates. MainWP is the one we are most familiar with.
While we haven’t used the content management portions of MainWP we were very happy with the backup system. (it saved our skin on a number of occasions!) However, it does require installing an extra plugin on every one of your blogs.
Alternatively, the easiest way to avoid a CMS hack is to not use a cms at all! Our hosting provides un-hackable static HTML sites. We then secured them a CDN offering maximum protection for your domains and content. We also have daily backups to off-site file servers to ensure the security of your data.
Link Rot - Keeping the power of your domains up
A much neglected aspect of PBN building is the issue of maintaining the strength of your network. Just as the sites you buy fell into disuse and expired, many of their compatriots, launched at the same time in a different era of the internet, are likely to die off during the life of your blog network.
Many of the sites that once linked to your domain that are still actively managed do check their links on occasion. When they see the once great resource your domain hosted replaced with a casino splog they will likely remove your link.
The third, more subtle, factor is where your links fall into the archives. Perhaps you bought the domain of a failed startup? After a flurry of positive PR in the likes of TechCrunch, Boing Boing and CNET they foundered and never quite gained traction. You have some beautiful links – but they are on such active sites that every day your links are pushed deeper into the archives. Bit by bit those once great links end up having little more value than a Web 2.0 profile link
This drip, drip, drip of link equity loss can lead to stagnation and a major loss of power to your link network. You’ve bought a domain with trust and age – but you will watch that trust ebb away over time, unless you proactively take steps to increase it.
How can you put a stop to the rot?
Understandably, you are likely building a link network to reduce the pain of building more links. But to keep your network alive, each site needs an injection of links of their own, or they will wither and die like plants without water.
Fortunately, the types of links that you may not wish to point direct to your own site can be effective in extending the life of your PBN domains. Here are a number of approaches you may wish to try:
- Using social auto posting tools such as IFTTT networks or SNAP to generate links and shares across authority sites. These include sites like Wordpress.org, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook
- Using Web 2.0 posting tools such as FCS Networker and Rankwyz to boost the homepage of your PBN domains. For bonus points, hook them up to your RSS feed and build new links to each post you create on autopilot
- Take a look at the backlinks of your PBN domains. Are there any links you could direct to your domain’s best backlinks in order to further increase their value – or at least, to ensure they remain indexed by Google?
- Buy cheap link services. Normally we’d advise staying well away from budget paid blog networks due to the risk. But those $0.50 a link prices could be perfect for pointing some tier 3 power into the domains and pages that link to your PBN domains.
- Bulk generated comments, forum profiles and the like can have some value too. But do consider whether an abuse report from spamming your precious Techcrunch link could lead to it being removed entirely.
Our final chapter in this ultimate guide is perhaps the saddest. Deindexing. Bye bye blog network, bye bye rankings.
The fact is, by choosing to build a blog network you have chosen to expose your site to a certain level of risk.
We can reduce that risk by avoiding obvious footprints, linking out sensibly and using content that doesn’t scream ‘spam blog’. Yet at the end of the day in this cat and mouse game the cat often wins.
There are two types of deindexing. The occasional hit you take where one domain or another dies a slow death, and the occasional wave when Google deletes thousands of sites it considers questionable.
So you’ve been deindexed. It can’t get any worse. So, what can you possibly do to make it better?
- Delete your content from the blogs.
You may not have seen an impact in your rankings yet, but we can say for certain that Google still crawls deindexed sites. They would be mad not to consider ‘links from deindexed domains’ as a negative signal in their ranking factors.
- Look to replace those lost links.
Any site that sees a sudden loss in link volume may be hit by a penalty aimed at spammers who generate tens of thousands of links overnight only to see them moderated away the next day.
This penalty appears to be a simple numbers game. If you are losing links you need to make sure they are replaced, pronto. Any number of services can help with this – perhaps a quick press release while you get your act together?
- Recover your assets
Presumably you spent time and money getting your blog network right. If you have anything invested into your domains, and you didn’t leave any major footprints, then the only thing you have lost is the links to that site.
Grab your backup. Get a new domain. Restore. Tweak. Publish. Those missing links? They’re back!
Google have become relentless in their quest to increase PPC clicks. They are so desperate to please shareholders they have labelled any online marketing that doesn't pay them $ spam.
Rather than devaluing links and removing the incentive to ‘spam’ they have opted to punish individuals. They don’t care about your websites, they want your soul.
if you really want to stop spam, it is a little bit mean, but what you want to do, is sort of break their spirits. – Matt Cutts
Whether you are a big brand SEO or a small time independent publisher you face a common enemy. It is Google vs the web.