Why You Need Your Own Network:
Any SEO these days, whether they are an agency, a freelancer, they build niche sites, run linking campaigns or does content marketing needs to have control of their own network, the fact is that it is the single most effective way to rank a site.
The reason for this is that Google uses 1 real form of currency, links, all of the on-page factors, site structure, authorship and social signals etc etc are all well and good, but your backlink profile accounts for something like 78% of your ranking. (this might be slightly inaccurate but it’s a high number regardless)
Now we would all love to have a backlink to our sites from that PR9/DA90+ domain that is exactly relevant to our niche, but the fact is that no matter how good your content is, no matter how much you pay them, and how good you are at outreach, you will not be able to get that link, except in very rare circumstances where you have a LOT to offer.
Trust me on this, I currently have a PA98 page linking to a client of mine, it took nearly 8 months of relationship building and we gave away a lot of free service, which will add up into the 10’s of thousands by the time it’s done, all for a single link, however, this link sends a ton of traffic that converts directly to business and increased our search positions across the board almost overnight.
That’s a whole different story if you own the site, and can put whatever you want on it. You’re not gonna buy a PA90, but 40-70 can be bought for a few hundred quid.
Now imagine that you have a client who needs some help, you buy a PA70 site and fill it with good, relevant content about their industry. And right there on the homepage is a link to your clients site. In the eyes of the almighty Google, this is the ideal link, it’s very authoritative, it is surrounded by relevancy and it then transfers all of its juice to your client.
This is a perfect link, and in reality, they don’t exist, you can’t get these in the “natural” world. Their benefit to your clients site is extremely powerful, and if you throw 10 of these types of links at any site, you will see an instant boost in SERPS.
The best thing about these sites is that you have complete control of them, you control the quality, the subject matter, the level of relevancy and the outbound links. This, my friends is an extremely powerful tool.
I use networks all the time (not out of the box, but if my clients need it, and I always let them know what I am doing so that they are completely involved in the process, it’s always best to let them make the final decision), most of my clients need a boost, some clients need entire networks built for them, specific to their industry, needs are always different and how you use these networks is completely up to you.
There are some clients who simply don’t need it, either their product/service/site/idea is ridiculously good/interesting/fun that anybody you approach via outreach will throw links at you, share it on social media and your linking will become viral and take on a life of it’s own, it’s amazing when this happens, but it’s also quite rare!
Clients like this don’t need your network, outreach is golden for these people and any link in their industry is within their reach. Just go ahead and ask for it.
Blog Network + My Other Guides = Rank Anything!
There is one thing that I am constantly aware of in this industry, everyone is doing crap work, EVERYONE!
I have met maybe 2 people in my entire career so far who actually do what they say they can do and only 1 who for a fact I know is better than me at this, most of them talk a good game and could rank a site for you, if it happened in their heads, however actually going out and putting their knowledge into practice seems to be a very rare thing.
I’m not just talking about freelancers or small self taught agencies here, I have worked with and created strategies for some of the largest search agencies in the UK. And guess what, they’re shit too!
If you do the type of outreach that I have showed you guys, the outsourcing of the bulk work and some of the super secret tactics I’ll be teaching you in the future (primarily through my newsletter), you can rank any site in the world, given the right budget and time. Because the things I am teaching you work, and 99.9% of other SEO’s are not going to do them, even if they read this blog.
If you read my outreach guide, hire a freelancer and use a self owned private network you will outrank the majority of other sites out there in the SEO 90 day tundra (this is the point at which clients get pissed off and stop paying you if you haven’t provided them results yet).
Find Sites – There are plenty of ways to buy sites, some of my favourites:
Expired domains – there are literally millions of sites that sell expired domains, personally I like to use www.expireddomains.net, they have a pretty simple interface and have a lot of filter options that allow you to search for basically any site that takes your fancy.
Domain auctions – there are also plenty of domain auctions out there, obviousy the daddy (pun totally intended) of them all is obvs Godaddy auctions.
The only problem is that everybody in the world is trying to buy domains these days so any good ones are gonna have massive competition.
Resellers/ vendors/ brokers – if you are in the SEO industry, have a site about SEO etc etc, you have been approached by these cretins, they approach me on average 1 bajillion times per day.
The key is to find a good one and stick with them, use them regularly and they will sort you out some nice deals. I’m not going to give you mine simply because I don’t feel like competing with you all haha.
Browsing – this is my favourite method, the simplest and cheapest way to get these amazing sites.
During my daily life, I probably run about 100 searches per day and see thousands of websites each week, it goes without saying that some of these will have exceptional metrics, and be completely abandoned by their owners, who don’t know what they have on their hands.
Most of the time, it is filled with excellent content that you can use in several ways (outreach, linking etc).
I try to track down the owner, via who is, social accounts, email addresses etc etc, however I can find to get hold of them and simply tell them something like:
I really like your site, but it has gone unloved for a little while, are you planning on adding some new content to it soon?
If not I’d really like the chance to carry on what you were doing, would you be willing to sell me the site, or allow me access to post new content?
Some of them will allow you to make an offer on their site, I usually snap these bad boys up for around $100 or so, which is very good business.
Ripping lists – there are loads of lists online, people love to curate shit, and when they do it gives a huge opportunity to find sites that are left to die, give 404 errors and other general error codes.
I find a page with a list of sites in the industry I am looking for and run it through Screaming Frog SEO Spider, click the external tab and this will give you all of the links on a given page, along with the error codes of the sites linked to.
When you find anything that isn’t a fully working site, I usually make contact either for a broken link or to offer to buy the site.
Use footprints – Error pages or sites for sale usually have specific text on the page, this allows you to find them really easily by running a google search for that phrase.
I won’t list these as there are simply hundreds of them, but you should start to build up a library when you come across pages like this.
When buying you need to look into certain aspects to determine if the site will be good for your network…
Check Them – This is where you find the real value in a site, it’s very tempting to go and buy a site that has a PR6 or a DA50 but what does that even mean really? Here’s what to check for:
Index – type the site address into Google and see if it shows up, the homepage and other pages should show up top of the list.
Trust + Citation Flow – Using MajesticSEO, I like to check the citation and trust flow of the links to the site, I aim for both to be above 10 but the higher the better.
Backlinks – This is where the money is, I don’t want a PR6 site that only has 5 backlinks, no matter how good those links are or where they are from. I look for sites that have a lot of strong backlinks pointing to them, even if the PR or DA is a little lower, the backlinks pointing to the site are generally the most important thing to me. You will develop a sense for what looks good once you’ve been through this process a few times. I use both MajesticSEO and OpenSitexplorer to check backlinks but there are plenty of other services out there.
Fake PR – Although not the most important factor, this is a real bitch when you forget to do it and pay out money for a site with fake PR, so throw it through a fake PR checker and just make sure. It takes a few seconds and will stop you feeling silly/frustrated/angry. (NOTE: this tends to happen at 4am after domain buying binges when you think “psh I’d totally know if that domain was fake”, trust me, YOU DON’T!)
Other Pages – A lot of these sites have some really nice inner pages with authority, you can either google “site:YOURNEWDOMAIN.SHAWING” or use OSE and click the Top Pages tab, this both of these will show you the authority of all pages on the domain.
Buy Them – Yeah I don’t think you need advice here, if it checks out and you like it, buy it! Don’t get attached to any particular domains, they are a means to an end so if the bidding goes above your budget or the seller asks for more than you want to pay, walk away, find another.
What To Pay – This is really your call, the better and bigger you want your network to be the more you are going to spend, I’d say to begin with you can start a network (10 sites, PA30+) for around £200 + hosting. This is buying expired domains that have some residual authority hanging around.
Again with this kind of thing the price rises quite quickly as these domains are in demand by every SEO in the world (the smart ones). You will also gain a sense of what to bid/offer on domains just from looking at them once you’ve been doing it for a while.
I often find the cheapest deals are from generally browsing the internet, if you see a site that has great stats, and the owner doesn’t really look like they know what they’re doing, it never hurts to offer them a cheeky few quid, I once bought a PA50 site that ranked on the first page for a very, very, nice keyword for $50 off some Indian kid who didn’t know what he had. Although it took me some Internet ninja detective skills to hunt him out on Facebook. I made a fortune off monetizing that first page traffic, selling a hosting affiliate offer. Then turned it into a network site once the traffic died from it. So keep an eye out.
Buy Hosting – don’t use SEO hosting, any company that advertises as SEO hosting is (in my opinion) asking to be Google hunted. I mean how long would it take me if I were trying to shut down loads of private networks to search for “SEO hosting” and then buy a load of accounts, track their IP’s and then de-index them. POOF, as if by some form of slut magic, your network is dead.
Now I use loads of different kinds of hosting, I have networks all over the place and some accounts and sites and networks that I’m not even sure about all of the details, so I’m not bad mouthing any particular company, to me it just makes logical sense to not use something that advertises itself as something that is against the TOS of our money maker.
I should actually get somebody to go through all of my emails and consolidate these into some form of spreadsheet, but I know where all of my money sites are and that’s the important thing when building a network.
You can use it if you don’t have the funds to get your network set up on individual shared hosting accounts (SEO hosting is about £15 per month for 10 C Class IP’s and each shared hosting account will cost you about £5-10 per month) but you should be looking to move them over to “normal” hosting accounts as soon as possible, this will ensure that your network doesn’t get sniped by Google.
Set Them Up- I could give you step by step instructions but seeing as I don’t use any one particular method then that would be pointless, basically stick to these tips and you just freestyle it on each site, if it’s random there is no footprint, you seeeee????
Content – There are 3 sub sections to the content section:
1) Content for your site – I use very cheap writers to supply 4 articles per month and publish them at random times, this way the content is unique and in these articles I allow links to be in 2 of the 4, at a rate of 3 links to 1 site per article. Once I have selected an industry for my network, I slowly start to add content that revolves around that to “nativise” (pretty sure I just made that up) my site.
2) Recreating old content – this is essential, no matter what your original site is about, you need to recreate any authority pages, run it through OSE and click top pages or google site:YOURNEWDOMAIN and you will see the authority pages, I tend to recreate anything of PA20 and above, anything under 30 throws internal links to anything over 30 and voila you have your network site.
Check out the site in way back machine (www.archive.org) to grab the content for any pages that are there, if you can, use the same content, if not get a cheap writer to write something and place it on newly recreated pages.
3) This bit is another list to follow because I know ya’ll love lists:
Maintain Their Rank – Most articles like this tell you to build numerous backlinks to your new network to keep it rocking some authority. Do this if you want but if you have followed the advice above then any current backlinks will stay in place and you have no reason to build more. I never do and have never had a site lose authority to a significant degree. Do it if you want but it’s a waste of both time and monehs in my opinion! And we all know how much I value both time and monehs!
Thus concludes the super bad ass guide to creating a network of sites that will rank the shit out of your clients!
Once you have a network, you will need to know how to use it to it’s maximum value, learn this and loads of other cool SEO shit that is worth literally thousands of pounds each month in client revenue, in my world famous paid newsletter by clicking the button below:
My link building training system will do all of this for you, simply hire some low cost staff ($3 an hour) and hand them my training documents, and never worry about links again.