Category: General

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO
Typical Parts Of A PBN
Each PBN site will include registering the domain, setting the name servers and hosting the site.

First and foremost the most important aspect of your Private Blog Network is randomness.  Consider what pattern or foot print your PBN might have and avoid that commonality.

patterns that give away a PBN
Patterns and commonality to avoid in building a Private Blog Network

Good PBNs Are Random, Start With Different Name Registrars

First off you need private domain registration, if not private then you’ll need people and addresses from all over.  If you always use Godaddy you’re going to have to try out others to avoid a pattern.  Incidentally if you always use Godaddy you’re getting ripped off as they will charge you for privacy and many others don’t.  Some popular Name Registrars are 1and1.com namesilo.com namecheap.com cosmotown.com each of these can save you a considerable amount over Godaddy considering they offer free private registration and using more than one breaks a pattern.

Each time you add a new site to your PBN you need to approach it from the beginning as if you’re playing a character in a story who has never made a website before, when I say that I mean if you know you have a site on Host A and you like that host you’re making decisions based on previous sites and are more likely to create a pattern.  Forget Host A how would you find a host for the first time?  Google popular web hosts and pick a cheap new partner.

One thing that’s really beneficial about building PBNs that is more helpful to you in the long run is the forced exploration.  After you’ve built ten sites on ten hosts using ten registrars and ten WordPress themes you’ll be able to write three top ten lists and rank the best of the 720 combinations that were available to you.  It’s a lot of practice and as you’re avoiding patterns and repetition you’ll find yourself stepping out of your norm.

Vary Your Web Hosts

Speed of a web host is important normally but not necessarily when your building a PBN.  While you want your primary or money site to load in under 3 seconds its perfectly fine if your PBN site loads in 7 seconds and that opens the door to all manner of generic no name web hosts.   Your primary goal with multiple web hosts is to utilize a different IP address.

Organizating A PBN Gets Complex
Considering the complexity that can quickly arise when seeking randomness of your sites.

The only two big issues with this model …

Organization OF PBN Resources

What site is down?  Oh….well which domain registrar did I use?  Am I using their nameservers, someone else’s?  Where did I point that to be hosted?  Sure these aren’t that annoying to answer with a 10 site network, but try answering it when you’ve built and scaled up to 200 sites using 7 registrars, 20 name servers, 150 different IPs … it becomes unmanageable as you find yourself searching for your site more than you are building new sites, and why are you having to search?  Maintaining a site is essential, as updates roll out to WordPress, plugins get updated and hackers exploit new vulnerabilities.  If you log into every site you own and spend 5 minutes on each site your 200 domain name network will take 16 hours … or two days a week and consider that you only spend 5 minutes on a site, you likely didn’t fix any issues and took no breaks!  It’s time to consider an apprentice or spreadsheets that fully document every aspect of your network, or both.

Uptime Monitoring

Somewhere around 100 domains I figured out I needed to approach this like an enterprise would and have actual uptime monitoring allowing me to see the state of the network easily.  UptimeRobot allows you to set up 50 monitors on a free account.

Uptime Monitoring Your PBN

In the real world 94% Uptime is horrible.  Consider that in the last 30 days I had a recorded 104765 minutes sites were down in this sample of sites.  I had issues with a server getting attacked by someone using 1700 servers causing a DOS attack.  Why?  Anyone’s guess … usually its a game to them and they aren’t paying for those 1700 servers but they’re other people’s hacked resources being used to grow their network.

You may be interested in MainWP or InfiniteWP … Godaddy provides Godaddy Pro.  You need to be mindful that these only work when they work and will they give away a signature pattern?  Likely they can create an easier management solution but easier is dangerous.

Costs Ballon And Randomness Prevents Savings

As you scale up from 10 to 20 to 50 sites your going to wake up one day and realize youre spending hundreds of dollars a month on infrastructure and all of your time will now be consumed with maintaining your network.  Adding someone to help you is going to increase costs and take your time to train them in being effective at maintaining the network.  Be careful who you bring in to help you, friends are obvious choices but when they get upset about something unrelated to the network they could leave you high and dry.  Worse yet, they are the most likely to teach you a lesson by bailing on you for a couple weeks.  Trust the people who are in it for the money … pay them more than they can get at a retail job to build loyalty to your mission. They need not be technical people but they need to understand that if a site is down, Google can’t index it and that backlink is missing now.  They need to be able to follow a logical progression and understand the parts that are in play to help you maintain the site.

The obvious answer to addressing costs is to bundle services and make sure you’re utilizing resources in the most effective manner but that is accomplished by making patterns.  You can’t find cost savings by giving away your sites.

Cloudflare Allows Consolidation And The Pattern Is Indistinguishable

Cloudflare Use For PBNs
Cloudflare allows some consolidation while masking the pattern

12,000,000 sites utilize Cloudflare’s free services which include masking your host servers IP, CDN services and security.

Cloudflare offers the ability to hide among the masses.  Who is Cloudflare?  They stand in front of your server and take the brunt of the internets crap.  Upwork.com, Medium.com, Themeforest.net, Chaturbate.com are among the names using Cloudflare.com services.  Some estimates suggest that Cloudflare is about 8% of the entire internet.  Thats huge!  At one point they found themselves protecting the Israeli government’s network as well as the PLOs.Cyber Warfare: Cloudflare In The Middle

Using Cloudflare is hiding in plain sight and free.  I recommend it but in a mixture capacity still have some sites out side of their network just to avoid any one bottleneck, it would seem odd if 100& of the sites linking to a domain are using Cloudflare….remember they are 8% and while the largest chunk of the internet they aren’t the internet.

This article has focused mainly on external and infrastructure concerns of building a PBN.  This is really a third of topic and in the coming weeks I’ll include two more posts that address on site content issues of building a PBN and site design considerations for a network of sites.

Ultimate SEO”

7 Free Home Value Estimators Tested. Were They Accurate?

 

In a previous article on RealEstateCompsToday.com we noted the costs associated with inaccurate home value estimates for sellers and buyers.  More Accurate Than Chase Home Value Estimator was the only site that offered both the speed and flexibility of the online guesstimator sites with the accuracy associated with a real estate agent’s home value comparison report.  Another article tested 7 of these tools, including Chase, Bank of America and Zillow.  Here are some of their findings and their methodology was simple enough for anyone to retest.

When you plug your home’s address into one of the many free home value estimators available online, a lot of people simply accept the location-based figure it gives us at face value. It might be shockingly low or breathtakingly high. We then start to make life-altering decisions about whether we should sell our home based on this one opinion.

Richard Batts, one of central Florida’s top real estate agents, says, “there is no way you can accurately give an estimate on the price of a home by using a free home value estimator — they are very, very misleading.”

According to US News & World Report, there are at least half a dozen reasons online home value estimators so often fail to hit their mark.

Among these reasons are the uniqueness of a home compared to others in the neighborhood, a rapidly changing market and a general lack of data for your location.

They decided to put on their proverbial lab coats and do the ultimate experiment on the leading free home value estimators:

  1. Zillow
  2. Eppraisal
  3. Bank of America
  4. Chase
  5. Fifth Third Bank
  6. Realtor
  7. RE/MAX

These tools do not require you to register for an account nor provide any personal information.

The guinea pigs include five properties located throughout the US, all of which were last sold about two years ago:

  • A 1-bedroom condo in New York City
  • A 4-bedroom house in southern California currently owned by a celebrity
  • A 3-bedroom townhouse in Cleveland, OH
  • A recently constructed 5-bedroom mountain chalet in Vail, CO
  • A 4-bedroom house in one of the “most American towns in America,” Wichita, KS

Home Value Estimate Experiment #1:

1-bedroom condo in New York City’s Financial District

Background: This unit was purchased in June 2014 for $999,000. It boasts one bedroom, 1.5 baths and just under 1,000 square feet.

Our home value estimators produced the following results:

  • Zillow’s Zestimate: $1,244,350
  • RE/MAX: $1,214,000
  • Epraisal: $1,133,596
  • Fifth Third Bank: $1,082,000
  • Bank of America: $1,008,593 – $1,309,988
  • Realtor: No estimate
  • Chase: No estimate

Total discrepancy: $301,395  Average: $1,165,421

While there is a range in values, all estimates agree that the price has increased from the time it was last sold. Overall, not a terrible outcome.  Although it’s interesting that already, within the first experiment two tools didn’t even try.  Our leading alternative home value estimator site didn’t get polled at all in this and already is as accurate as Chase.

Home Value Estimate Experiment #2:

A 4-bedroom house in Calabasas, CA currently on the market. (Current owner: Kourtney Kardashian)

Background: Bought by the oldest Kardashian sister in 2014 for $2,975,00, this house has 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and is a whopping 5,400 square feet.

  • RE/MAX: $3,291,600
  • Fifth Third Bank: $3,167,000
  • Zillow’s Zestimate: $3,008,782
  • Epraisal: $3,005,929
  • Bank of America: $2,842,283 – $3,473,901
  • Realtor: $2,722,795
  • Chase: $2,432,480 – $2,855,520

Total discrepancy: $1,041,421  Average: $2,993,096

This is a very big difference. In four of the estimates, Kardashian makes money on the sale. In two of the estimates, she loses money.

Home Value Estimate Experiment #3:

A 3-bedroom townhouse in Cleveland, OH

Background: This 3-bedroom, 4-bath townhome has over 2,000 square feet (and an elevator!) It was purchased in 2014 for $325,000.

  • Realtor: $343,094
  • Fifth Third Bank: $317,00
  • Zillow’s Zestimate: $299,512
  • RE/MAX: $295,000
  • Chase: $289,520 – $326,480
  • Epraisal: $287,991
  • Bank of America: $245,000 – $384,125

Total discrepancy: $139,125  Average: $308,840

Once again, these estimates show the potential for the owner to make and lose money if they were to sell now. Bank of America’s range provides the high and the low for this property.

Chase Home Value EstimatorChase’s Home Value Estimator required a disclaimer essentially disavowing any trust in the tools accuracy. The alternative to Chase Home Value Estimator site has no such disclaimer.

Home Value Estimate Experiment #4:

A recently constructed 5-bedroom house in Vail, CO

Background: This 5-bedroom, 6-bath chalet is over 5,300 square feet and has unobstructed views of the mountains. It was built in 2014 and sold to its owner last year for $4,750,000.

Zillow’s Zestimate: $5,098,606

Fifth Third Bank: $4,626,000

Bank of America: $3,492,607 – $5,946,927

Epraisal: $2,583,036

Realtor: $1,780,382

RE/MAX: No estimate

Chase: No estimate

Total discrepancy: $3,318,224  Average: $3,921,260

The online estimators didn’t know what to make of this one. Perhaps because it was built so recently or because there aren’t much sales data on the neighborhood, the estimators failed us greatly here.

Home Value Estimate Experiment #5:

A 4-bedroom house in the heartland

Background: With 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and over 3,100 square feet, this family home was sold last year for $230,000.

  • Zillow’s Zestimate: $274,058
  • Realtor: $273,980
  • Fifth Third Bank: $250,000
  • RE/MAX: $237,400
  • Epraisal: $236,499
  • Chase: $204,680 – $271,320
  • Bank of America: $108,783 – $301,171

Total Discrepancy: $192,388  Average: $239,766

Once again, Bank of America provided the highest high and the lowest low in their range. However, 5 of the 7 tools provided relatively close estimates.

What did we learn from all of these free home value estimators?

The site that conducted these experiments concluded…”We learned free home value estimators shouldn’t be the final say in your decision to sell your home, but they’re a good place to start. If the property in question isn’t new construction, and it’s located in an area with plenty of recent sales data, it is possible to get a fairly accurate idea of its value.

As Batts notes: “[Home value estimators] have no idea what the inside of the house looks like; have no idea what’s been replaced; have no idea if it has a new roof; they don’t have any of that information.”

We also learned that despite their shortcomings, consulting several of these tools can provide a decent average.”

A decent average is great as long as you aren’t selling or buying a home.  Even the Chase estimator site agrees.  Their disclaimer literally says, “it should not be relied upon,” it may as well say “for entertainment purposes only.”  Luckily home buyers, investors and sellers all have an accurate online source. It allows you to use their online system to purchase a comp report provided by an agent in your area.  Typically reports are delivered within a day or two and reports start at about $5.

Considering the total amount of difference in these tests reached $4,992,553 …. that is to say on 5 homes 5 million was off, its important to get accurate estimates.