Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Money Site With 80 PBN Backlinks Penalized, Advice?

A money site with around 80 PBNs pointed to it ranked #1 for around 6+ months. It was all good till it lasted. A few days ago it received an "Unnatural links to your site" penalty and dropped around 50 positions, but still indexed. Around 30-40% of my PBN sites pointing to it have been deindexed with the "Pure spam" penalty. I started slowly removing the links one by one. Now I'm not sure what to do with the money site, but I have nailed it to two options:

1. Double 301 redirect: Move the site to a new domain and use the double redirect technique. I have used it in the past, but rarely worked. But when it did, it worked for months with great profits. It is a risky procedure, but if it works even for a few weeks it will be a big bonus for me.

2. Reconsideration request: I can pull out all the PBN links in the following week, disavow some of the links to show I've been working on it, improve my webiste a bit to remove my affiliate page and try to submit a reconsideration request. I have done it in the past as well, and many of my sites have got indexed again. But I've only done this with normal sites, not money sites with affiliate links. This would be more of a long term plan anyway, since the reconsideration request would be processed in a few weeks time at best. Even if the penalty gets removed the rankings would not be regained. So I would probably have to work with this site from grounds up again or maybe use it as a PBN :)

If you have some other suggestions, please don't hesitate to share them to help this brother out :)


  • donchinodonchino
    Can you suspect why it happened in the first place and what to avoid next time? It's obvious google would be after the pbn game, but did you have any footprint with hosting, on-page, spun content? maybe reported by competitor?

    Depends on the topic.. if the niche is legit I'd maybe try reconsideration... if it's more bh or affiliate, maybe try 301. You can always try 301 first and if nothing happens, then reconsideration. But I think your bigger problem here is why the pbn got deindexed. Otherwise, it would just be new site up and links to it
  • That's what I've been trying to find out for the past couple of days, but to tell you the truth I still have no clue. All my PBNs are at least c-class IPs different, different hosts, whois info mixed, TLDs mixed, posts are mixed even the platform is mixed with wordpress, html, archive sites. Link placement is also mixed up, wordpress posts on first page, archive sites with paragraph on money site topic, html sites on similar topic with money sites. The links are placed as anchors, naked URL, image links etc.. I cannot link a single thing accross them. The only thing that MAYBE could make a connection is that I didn't have many other backlinks(to authority websites) except the money site on the affected PBN sites. I was trying to mix up between 0-3 authority website backlinking. So the deindexed PBN sites had mostly 0 authority backlinks or only one. There was one or two PBNs out of 20-30 deindexed that had around 3 authority website backlinks. This could've been a reason I guess. Also I've noticed that mostly the strongest PBN sites are the ones that have been deindexed.

    My niche is BH, and at the time of my site being penalized I've noticed many other sites have been affected, so the reason for this penalty could also been a manual review of the top ranking sites in this niche, but I could also be wrong because my site has also survived a few of these cleanups in the past.

    Also I have to note that my PBN sites were not hidden from ahrefs/majestic and the popular bots. So a competitor could have reported them. But I also highly doubt that, because again my PBN sites lasted for so long.

    Even though the niche is BH, the website is full of legit and proper content. The only BH thing is the affiliate page which I had it deindexed. I can easily replace it with a proper page as well or have the inbound link completely remove to that page. The website would be perfectly normal then and I can fill a reconsideration. If I try 301 redirect first though I should move the website to a new domain. Then if I want to reconsider it, I would have to move it back etc.. and make a little mess which could affect the reconsideration decision.. But I guess I will go with 301 as it seems like the more profitable option :)
  • shaunshaun
    I read your posts and say you said your website is fully legit with proper content but I couldent see anything about your PBN content, sorry if you said but I missed it.

    Was your PBN content human made or bot made/bot spun?
  • edited September 2017
    It had mixed content. I'd say about 60% have generated content with spinrewriter, checked with copyscape and altered to achieve 90% uniqueness and proper grammar etc.. Around 40% were restored from the wayback machine and have proper content.

    The deindexed sites are about the same ratio generated content:wayback restored so I'd say content should not be the issue.

    I've just noticed that I tend to place my backlink around the first paragraph, or at least first before the authority backlinks in the text though. Maybe this could've been the trigger as well..

    I must say that I feel knowledgeable on the subject of PBN footprints. I have been reading and experimenting(with lower amount) with them for 5+ years, but never quite ranked anything bigger with them until the past year. So I like to think that I was very careful when it comes to the obvious footprints. I have mixed up the name servers, cloudflare, A records, CNAME you name it.. I was careful over many details, even some that many consider necessary.
  • Tim89Tim89
    I've seen this before, my advice to you would be to move on, create another site with near enough the same content and build or use your pbn network that is left.

    The original site will remain in the 40+ ranking positions for a long time, unless ofcourse you want to go through the reconsideration requests but you'll still have to re-rank it again and Google will have already had the site within their radar.

    It's just bad luck, perhaps you were reported by a competitor or something. 
  • edited September 2017
    I've done close inspection to this case and I'd like to point a few things for future references:

    1. Either I was reported, or there was some kind of manual inspection in my niche. I've noticed a few other sites go down from the first page at the same period as mine. It could be a coincidence, but I've seen this happen in the past, so it might have been some kind of a periodic cleanup(maybe manual).
    2. Most of my deindexed PBN sites were backlinking more aggressively to my website. I had the link placed in the first sentence or at least in the first paragraph. With no other authority links on them, some even had two backlinks(one to the root of the page and another to the page I was trying to rank).
    3. 2-3 of the PBN sites were in my name. I know stupid mistake that I had somehow overlooked. They were different variations of my name, but nevertheless. Some WERE in my name at one point, but were changed to either privacy or a different name. I had them dropcatched or won them at auction at some platforms that won't allow to use any other whois info than your own immediately. Hence why I had to have them in my name for a brief period of time. Nonetheless Google doesn't care, they do have a complete WHOIS history, so they must have taken this into consideration.
    4. All deindexed sites had the backlink placed on them 6+ months ago. Newly placed backlinks were not touched.
    5. The deindexed sites were some of the most powerful ones if not THE most powerful ones I had backlink from.
    6. None of my PBN sites were hidden from popular bots. Ahrefs, majestic, moz.. all showed my PBN sites in plain sight. This may have been the mistake #1 that could've been easily prevented, but I wanted to play as natural as I can and for some reason didn't think this through.

    This run was definitely profitable. But I think it could've been played out better and could've lasted much longer if I paid more attention to the details right from the start. It is time to take my network seriously and mind the details. The most concerning fact for me currently is the WHOIS. I currently own many domain names that had my name associated with at some point. I'm afraid that if I point some of them to my new money site it will trigger the same reaction. The even worse thing is I have no idea which domains had my name in the whois now. I would have to buy a subsctiption to domaintools whois history to find out lol. Everything else can be taken care of except this.

    Thanks for the input you guys, it means a lot. Good thing is, this was definitely a profitable run. It is too bad it had to go like this, as it could have lasted much longer. But whats done is done. Time to regroup and start all over.

    The only thing I'm really missing right now is a proper PBN manager software. I've had enough of tables and stuff. Data needs to be dynamic here. Whois, IPs, Expiration date, Indexed etc.. are just a few things that need to be regularly checked and even kept in a history log. Things can be easily scaled up if such software existed.

  • Tim89Tim89
    @Spiritfly I think I mentioned this near a year ago, I've not had a chance to actually release but it does offer a PBN management system whereby you add your domains, group them if you want into PBN groups and then automatically post to them etc.. this is currently the first revision and more additions will eventually be added but I need to release it first :D

  • edited September 2017
    Yeah, I'm fully aware of it @Tim89 you actually gave me beta access at one point. What you have is so close to what I need, but I believe you've built it for a different purpose. What I need is a way to store all the data of my PBN domain names at one place. WHOIS is one of those as well, and it needs to be constantly updated, like every day or so. Easily sortable with filters and stuff, more like an excel table. And then there is the privacy factor. I'd like to host the software myself. I'm aware that you're a very trustworthy fellow, I use your indexer services for years now, but I'd like to eliminate as many privacy concerns as possible when it comes to PBNs.
  • edited October 2017
    I think you have answered your own question:

    "My niche is BH, and at the time of my site being penalized I've noticed many other sites have been affected, so the reason for this penalty could also been a manual review of the top ranking sites in this niche, but I could also be wrong because my site has also survived a few of these cleanups in the past."

    Someone reported your site or a competitor's site and they did a manual review of the top results. No BH method can be masked from Google AFAIK
  • edited October 2017
    I'm with @spunko2010 you actually mentioned that you use some naked anchors out of your easy to trace those URLs. Check the PBNs for 404 pages - competitors link random/weird pages that don't exist and causes 404, this on a huge scale can wipe out the domain. Seen it happen very recently.

    Being flagged in the BH industry = easy target for G.
  • @JudderMan
    do you mean a competitor links to a 404 page on the moneysite? Or loads of 404 pages on the PBN sites?
  • "asking for a friend" btw. :D
  • @spunko2010 well, either. Some sort of blast to etc, do that 100,000 times when your site only has 50 pages and it's 404 city. The ratio triggers (I assume) a penalty - yes it's fixable but a f**king ballache to redirect them. I'm sure there is a way to do it automatically. Happened to a friend (genuinely haha) and caused him so much bother.
  • edited October 2017
    Interesting, thanks. If they 301 the pages they'll get hit by a penalty too.
  • @spunko2010 hmm yes, so what is the solution? Remove URLs in GWMT? Similar to Disavow but on your own site's pages? They get discounted by G, I think anyway...
  • So just wanted to share how things turned out for me with this site so far.

    I decided to go for the double redirect. I chose an expired domain, that had a solid backlinking profile(not related to my niche) and was some large forum which still had lots of traffic coming. It was an arabic one, lol, but it had decent links(wikipedia, some edu, organisations etc..). I moved over the content from my original site over to that domain name and redirected my original domain name to it. After a few days it got indexed. Then I repeated the same with a third domain name that was in my niche. It was an expired domain name with a few links, but it contained my niche keywords and had some history. So I moved over all my original content to that domain and redirected the second(arabic forum) to it. It got indexed after a few days as well. So it looked like it started climbing rankings for a while and remained between 3-5 page.

    In the meantime, after removing the deindexed PBNs, I decided that some of them it's worth to try submitting a reconsideration. So I submitted a reconsideration request, claiming that the administrator didn't know about those backlinks etc.. and all 3 got approved, however in the meantime my original money site got a "pure spam" penalty and got deindexed. Not sure if this was related to my reconsideration requests, but could've been as it happened right after(day or two after) the first of those 3 PBN sites got approved.

    So I immediately removed the redirect from the original domain name. It was redirecting about a month in total, maybe less. The website started tanking, but remained between the first 10 pages. I started moving the remaining PBN links one by one to the new domain and adding some new ones. So the new domain started climbing again. Unfortunately I was a bit lazy and there were a few days if not week when I'd forget to add a new link. So the site went to page 2, then down to 3-4. A few days ago I updated the content with a few paragraphs, improved my internal linking and today it's #6 on page 1 again, wohoo! I'd be adding a few stronger PBN links steadily and hope to regain my #1 in a few weeks from now and remain even longer there now, lol.

    This is just one of the conveniences of owning a PBN. A deindexed money site doesn't mean all is lost. If you play it right, you can be up and running in no time. :) I didn't want to talk about it until I successfully regain and maintain #1 for at least a month, but I just couldn't resist sharing the experience so far. :)
  • shaunshaun
    Glad it's working out dude! Fingers crossed everything holds or improve for you :) It's interesting that PBN still works even though the money site was redirected a whole bunch.

    Are you linking out to a bunch of random domains on the PBN to try and mask your money site?
  • Yeah, all I did was I simply replaced the link with the new domain on the indexed PBNs.

    Yes I do link out to other sites as well. I keep them between 1-3. I select ones close to my niche and I never nofollow them. Most of the deindexed PBNs didn't have any other outbound link than my money site. So this must have been one of the footprints that triggered the penalty on them. Not doing that mistake again, lol.
  • edited January 2018
    @spiritfly Just to clarify do you mean like this? >

    Then after a while you did this: > >

    Then got "pure spam" penalty after you had set up this redirect and now you have this only: >

  • edited January 2018
    That's exactly how I did it spunko. After I did: >

    I waited around 5-7 days to get indexed. Then did: > >

    After around a week got indexed. However this is when received a pure spam and got completely deindexed. I removed the > redirect as soon as I could(in less than 24 hours after the pure spam).

    After all this I started moving all PBN links from to one by one. Site started ranking first again in around 2-3 months. - is the original site which got penalized and had been ranking first spot for 8-9 months in a tough BH niche with about 70-80 PBN links. - this was an expired domain which was an arabic forum and was receiving tons of traffic(no bots, real visitors). It had solid backlink profile as well. I had a web.archive on it of the forum and was indexed as such for a few months before I created the redirect. - this was an expired domain in the same niche as It was active for 1 year before it got expired. The website was barely developed by the previous user and had very few backlinks. I kept the web.archive(which had a few pages in my niche) on it for a few months before I migrated to it. The web archive page was indexed before I created the redirect and migrated the to it. So this was not a completely fresh domain, but it wasn't anything special in terms of SEO(both onpage and offpage).


    Unfortunately, yesterday got penalized and it is now deindexed :( However I'm sure this is not related to those 301 redirects I did. The niche I'm in got a massive purge by google. Around 70-80% of the top 30 sites got deindexed in this niche. The same happened in a few related niches. So I don't think this has to do with the 301 redirects, but the nature of the niche.

    So lesson learned is: go all in and try to rank as quick as possible in the niche I'm in. :) It seems like penalties here are handed out like candy every 7-8 months no matter what you do with the website or its backlinks. So my next strategy would be to try adding quality GSA T1 to the MS and GSA T1 to all PBNs as well. Some RankerX web 2.0 slowly dripping as well. I hope this will help me rank quicker so I can hang in the 1st spot for as long as possible so I can pay for my next PBN investment. :)

  • You aren't in my niche are you? :D Google has been watching it manually for about 3 weeks now. When will they get bored and move on..

  • spiritflyspunko2010 In what industry are you guys? If it's finance or health, that's pretty much common, to have manual reviewers.
  • @anonymous I am in ecommerce , had another manual penalty last week.
  • Mine is games related and also got penalty last week again.
  • @spiritfly what penalty did get?
Sign In or Register to comment.