Increase Traffic by Piggybacking 2nd Page Rankings – Advanced Niche Site Strategy

I have another really cool advanced niche site strategy for you today! I will be talking about how one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase traffic to your niche site in a short period of time.

First, I want thank you all for the awesome feedback and support that you gave me on the last article I posted. You guys are awesome and I am glad that you enjoyed the strategy. I hope that you like today’s one just as much!

How Can you Piggyback 2nd Page Rankings?

The whole idea behind this strategy is to find keywords that are already ranking on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google and try to get them to the first page. Keywords sitting on the 2nd or 3rd page won’t take much to push them onto the first page and that is what we are going to try and take advantage of.

We will push these rankings from the 2nd page to the first page by adding fresh and optimized content to the page that is already ranking that will target the keywords that you want to boost the ranking for. No need for any new backlinks or anything else, just fresh content.

The best part? You won’t have to wait weeks or months to see improvement! Usually within a couple of days you will see improvements in your rankings.

Now that you get the basic concept behind this strategy, let’s actually look at the actual process for putting this strategy to work.

Tools Needed

Before we get into the how-to of this strategy, I first want to quickly explain what you will need.

  • A website that already has rankings in Google (can’t be a brand new site)
  • Semrush (ideally) or Google Search Console (formally Webmaster Tools)

You might have guessed by now but, yes, I love Semrush. It has so many different uses and is the swiss army for anyone building and growing websites. For this exact strategy, Semrush is going to a lot better than Google Search Console because it allows you to export way more data.

Step by Step Guide

I have put together a complete tutorial on this strategy in a video below:

That video will show you each step of the process as I use my own site as an example. If you want the complete process with all of the details make sure to watch the video. With that being said, I will also outline the basic process below for those people that would rather read.

Step 1 – Find Keywords Rankings on the 2nd or 3rd Page of Google

This is where Semrush comes in clutch.

You will need to put your niche website into Semrush and export all of your organic positions into an excel file. This will allow you to manipulate the data so that we can find all of the keywords that fit our requirements.

Once the data is in Excel, you should filter the data so that only the keywords rankings between 11 and 30 in Google are left. This will present to you all of the keywords that we could target. Below you will see an example of my site that is filtered in Excel:


I like to find as many keywords as I can for each page and target all of them. The keywords ranking 11th-15th are best ones to go after because they will take the least amount to get to the first page. Pick a handful of similar keywords for each page that you want to target and move into the next step.

Step 2 – Write Content Optimized for the Keywords

Here you will write 500+ words that targets your keyword(s) and add this new chunk of content somewhere within the page that is already ranking for the keyword somewhere on page 2 or 3. Remember, you are NOT writing a new post but, instead adding fresh content to an old post that is already ranking.

How do you optimize the new content?

Follow the checklist below:

  1. Write at least 500 words of new content. The more the better.
  2. Include the keyword that you want to improve the rankings for somewhere within the 500 words. Feel free to use variations as well. You could also put the keyword in a heading if it makes sense.
  3. Add at least one relevant image to the keyword and include the keyword or related keywords in the image title and alt tag.
  4. Add one video that is related to the target keyword from Youtube. Ideally, the target keyword will be in the title of the video.

Once you do all of the above, you can now go onto step 3.

Step 3 – Tell Google About the Changes

After you add the fresh content you will want to tell Google about it. There are two ways that you can accomplish this very quickly. The first option is to login to your Google Search Console and fetch the URL of the updated page. This will inform Google that the page needs to be crawled again and it will take notice of your added content.

The other way you can have Google quickly crawl your new content is to download the plugin called “Google xml sitemap for videos”. Once downloaded, go to the setting and submit the video sitemap and then ping Google. This option works very quickly as well.

Doing one or both of these options are better than nothing because it will allow you to see the results within a day or two usually. If you let Google crawl your new content by itself it could take a week or two for it to happen.

By submitting a video sitemap via the plugin or fetching as Google within the Search Console will speed up the results.

Step 4 – Monitor the Results

I would suggest keeping track of the keyword rankings and see if you get any improvements. You will usually see results after a couple of days but it can sometimes take a little bit longer. If you see that you move up a couple in Google but, you still aren’t on the first page then you can add even more content. This should keep you moving higher. Keep testing and tweaking until you get the desired results.

Summing things Up

That;s gonna do it for this article. I hope that you enjoyed and will put this sweet little strategy to use. This strategy can be extremely powerful for a site that has been around for a while and has a lot of keywords rankings within Google. Doing this could result in a ton of traffic from very little effort.

If you have any questions about the process feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!


My Favorite Way to Find Longtail Keywords – Advanced Niche Site Strategy

I have a really powerful niche site strategy that I am excited to share with you today. Before we hop into that, I first want to quickly discuss the results from the poll I ran in the last post and explain my plans for the future content!

Below are the results from the poll that I ran asking you what you wanted to see for future content here on NSA:


The majority of you wanted to see advanced niche site strategies.  The second most votes went to niche site case studies and then rounding it up was website investing. Thank you to everyone who voted!

Since most of you where interested in advanced strategies I have put together this post here as the first post. However, I have decided that I will be creating content for all of the topics mentioned above! So you can expect a wide variety of content from me revolving around niche websites 🙂

Today’s Advanced Strategy – Finding Longtail Keywords Using Semrush + Forums

The strategy that I am covering today is one that I have been using for all of my own niche sites and I have seen some awesome success. This strategy involves finding forums that are relevant to your niche site and plugging them into Semrush. This will provide you with a goldmine of high quality long tail keywords for you to target.

I outline the entire process in the video below:

Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel as there will be a lot more content being produced there.

Basic Outline for this Strategy

I know some if you will not want to watch the video so I will give a basic outline for how to use this strategy. The whole idea behind this tactic is to find forums that are relevant to your niche that you have a website in and find longtail keywords using Semrush.

Why forums?

I really like using forums for this type of research for three reasons:

  1. Any keywords that a forum is ranking for within Google can easily be beat with a decently optimized article. Forums = weak competition
  2. You will find a lot of “out of the box” keywords that you never knew existed
  3. A TON of questions get asked on forums and these are the perfect longtail keywords we want to rank for

Using Semrush, you can quickly see every keyword that a specific forum is ranking for within Google. This is a goldmine for longtail keywords.

The Outline:

  1. Find a forum that is relevant to your niche. Use the search term of  “your niche + forum” in Google to find these forums
  2. Plug the forums into Semrush
  3. View all of their Google rankings and find the keywords that would be relevant to your own site
  4. Export all of the keywords you find into an Excel file so you can go back to them later on

That is all there is to it, however, I would suggest watching the video because I give a lot more explanation and show you exactly how I go about using this strategy.

How Effective is This Strategy?

Good question!

I have put this exact strategy to the test on my own sites and I have seen awesome success. See below for an example:

Month by Month Look at the Traffic Stats



Daily Traffic Stats


The reason that I am showing you these screenshots of my Google Analytics account for this one niche site is so that you can understand how powerful longtail keywords are. This one site get’s around 600 visitors a day and you would think that it would be ranking for some keywords that have a high amount of monthly searches.

That’s not the case though!

Below you can see the keywords that drive the most traffic to my site and their monthly searches:


Not ONE keyword has over 1,000 monthly searches! A handful of the top keywords have only 70 and 90 monthly searches as well. This goes to show how powerful longtail keywords are if you are able to rank for them.

So guys, don’t overlook longtail keywords. There is a huge earning potential when it comes to ranking these keywords. Use the strategy that I outline in this article and start targeting the keywords with high quality content. If you do that then you are on your way to having a successful niche site.

This is also a great strategy for the custom sites we build. We’ll take care of the main keywords, and you can use this strategy to get a ton of additional traffic to the site. It’s a winning combination.

That’s it!

That’s gonna do it for my first full article here at NSA. I hope that you all enjoyed and I hope you can implement this strategy for your own niche sites. It can be very powerful if you do it.

I would love to hear what you think about this article and if you want more stuff like this in the future. Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!


Website Investing, Case Studies, and a New Contributor: The Path Forward for NSA

I still remember when I started my first niche site.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was only vaguely familiar with concepts like keyword research, on-page SEO, PBNs, and conversion rates. I felt like a beginner and it showed: the first two months into my first niche site, I had only earned $18.59 in income!

But that was ok.

The most important thing was that I got started.

A lot of people send me emails asking for advice, and usually my response is: just get started. You will learn as you go. You’re going to make mistakes, but you will improve your process along the way, and you’ll become better through experience.

Fast forward over two years now, and I’ve sold one niche site for more money than I used to make in salary at one of my old office jobs, and my very first niche site has made more than that in Amazon commissions alone.

And I also started this blog.

Boy, going in I had no idea how hard blogging would be. It’s a constant grind: coming up with new content ideas, writing long, detailed posts, while also being able to provide PBN and custom site services to your readers.

The thing about blogging is that you have to consistently produce great content. And that has been my failing with this site.

As you guys obviously know, I have not updated this blog nearly as much as I would have liked to over the past couple of months. The reason? Life kind of just got in the way.

I know I’ve explained a few times here that I have a full-time job that requires a lot of my time, and that’s been a big part of me not updating the site. I get home from work, late, and I just don’t have the time or motivation to write. My wife and I are also in the middle of a move … and we’re also expecting our first baby! So, exciting times. But very busy times as well.

With that said, however, over just a few months, I was able to build an awesome community of readers for this site. I still get emails all the time from people asking me questions.

People are still hungry for information and tips around building niche websites. And so I didn’t want to just let this site die.

So what I’ve decided to do is bring someone on to handle most of the blogging duties here at Niche Site Azon.

Everyone, I want to introduce you to Josh Shogren. Josh has had a lot of success with niche sites and he is the perfect person hand the reins off to.

I first learned about Josh from this interview he did with Doug from Niche Site Project where he revealed that he sold one of his niche sites for nearly $17,000. So, yeah: he clearly knows what he’s doing. I then headed over to Josh’s blog and read all the great content he was producing about both Amazon niche sites, and the Amazon FBA program.

So when I decided that I would be taking a step back from my blog here, Josh was the very first (and only) person I reached out to about taking over the blogging duties here.

Luckily, he agreed.

Without further ado, here’s Josh!

Hey everyone, Josh here!

I want to start by giving a huge thanks to Mike for creating such an awesome resource for niche site builders here at Niche Site Azon. In my opinion, this is the best all around resource when it comes to teaching people how to build successful niche websites and I am honored to be able to take over the blogging duties here.

A Little bit About Myself

Some of you may have heard of me before as I run the site Passion into Paychecks where I have documented my online journey of niche sites, website investing and Amazon FBA.

For those of you who are not familiar with me or my site, which is probably most of you, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am currently 20 years old and a sophomore in college where I attend Western Washington University and I’m pursuing a degree in Finance.


The image above represents two of my favorite things, my girlfriend who I have been dating for over 3 years and the Seahawks. I am a HUGE Seattle Seahawks (still upset about our loss to the Panthers in the playoffs) as well as an just an overall avid sports fan!

I got started with niche websites when I was around 15/16 years old and the first couple of years was a learning experience with a lot of failures. Even though I wasn’t seeing a ton of success I was able to learn what worked vs. what did not and that learning period is what prepared me for my future successes.

I really started to see success the last ~2 years when I was able to create a handful of successful niche sites. One of those niche sites earned me $17,000 in one year after I sold it, this is the site that Mike mentioned earlier in the post.

About 18 months ago I started a niche site case study on my website where I built a niche site from scratch to a point where it is now earning over $1,500 per month. I have also started website investing where I had outside investors (my parents haha) purchase a website for $6,000 and it is now earning over $700/month in profits and valued at $14,000.

I also currently have a couple other niche websites that make me anywhere from $500-$1000 a month.

I am not telling you this stuff to brag, I am telling you about my prior success so that you can trust the info that I will be sharing with you on Niche Site Azon.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about what you can expect from myself and Niche Site Azon moving forward.

What to Expect Moving Forward

Mike has already done an excellent job laying the foundation on how to build successful niche websites so I could take the site in a couple of different directions in terms of the sites content. I have a couple of ideas for the site and I want you to tell me if any of them sound of interest.

Advanced Niche Site Strategies

Over the past 2 years of successfully building out niche websites I have accumulated some advanced strategies and tips that I would love to share. This could range from things such as “how to boost your click through rate to Amazon” to “How to find long tail keywords using an underutilized source”. Whatever the topic or strategy may be, the majority of them are things that I have learned myself and they will not be found anywhere else on the internet.

These tips and strategies will be geared towards the people that already have a niche site up and running however, first time niche site builders can put these to use on their first sites as well.

Website Investing

This is a topic I am PUMPED about and I think there is a lot of potential to make a killing in website investing at the moment. You may have heard of buying and selling websites or “website flipping” and website investing is practically the same thing. However, I prefer to use website investing because it makes you look at website differently.

For example, instead of thinking “wow, I made $500 this month from my website!” you would think in terms of return on investment such as “wow, I made 15% ROI this month!”. This allows you to use websites as an investment vehicle just like stocks and real estate.

There is a ton of content that I could produce around this topic. Some ideas that come off of the top of my head are:

  • How to find websites that are NOT scams on Flippa
  • What to look for when buying a website
  • The best place to buy a website
  • The quickest way to increase a sites earnings once you purchase it
  • The best place to sell websites
  • Possibly a weekly article/video of the best sites currently for sale and WHY I like them
  • Live case studies on websites that I buy and how I go about improving them
  • And a whole lot more!

There are endless amounts of content to produce within this niche because it is so new. So the ideas I listed above is just a small sample.

If you want to learn more about website investing you can check out a couple of posts that I have published on my site, Passion into Paychecks, here:

Niche Site Case Study

Doing a case study documents the process of building and growing a niche site is something that has been done a lot within the niche site space, but people love watching the creation of a site and tactics used to grow it.

We could go about doing this case study in multiple ways but at the bottom of whatever we do, it will be me starting a site and sharing each step of the way as it grows. If this is something that you would like to see then we will come up with a unique way to go about this case study so it isn’t like the million other niche site case studies out there.

Do you Have an Idea?

Do you have an idea or topic that you want me to cover? If so, please share it with me as I would love to produce content that I know people will enjoy.

Your idea could be about ANYTHING! So if anything came to your head while reading this post or you have had an idea for a while, please let me know about it

Help me Out 🙂

It would be a huge help if you would please take a second to take take a quick poll and vote on the type of content that you want to see here at Niche Site Azon.

The poll below will have the ability to vote on all of the options I listed above as well as an option suggest your own idea. Taking this poll will only take 15 or so seconds and it will be a tremendous help for me. Thank you!

Wrapping Things Up

That is going to bring us to the end of the post! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you are as excited for the future here at Niche Site Azon as I am. I am excited to take NSA to the next level and continue to help as many people as possible create an income from niche websites.

I hope to see you all around the site and thank you again for reading!


I Sold Niche Site #2 (Plus An Update)

Hi all,

First, I’d like to apologize for my extended absence in not updating the blog for a while. I’ve had a lot going on these past several weeks, which you’ll read about in the update below.

The main reason for the lack of new posts is because I sold my Niche Site #2!

Here’s what happened.

About six weeks ago, a buyer reached out to me via email and was wondering if I had any interest in selling Niche Site #2. (This person is somewhat well known in the internet marketing space, though I will be keeping his identity anonymous per his request). Regular readers of the blog know that Niche Site #2 had been growing steadily over the past several months, and was approaching the $2,000 per month threshold, nearly on auto-pilot.

I initially told the buyer I hadn’t really given much thought to selling the site, but was curious to hear if he had a number in mind. Since I make my income reports public, he knew exactly how much NS2 was earning, so clearly he must have given thought to how much he was willing to pay.

As many of you know, in the niche site field, niche sites are generally bought and sold around that 20x-25x monthly earnings clip, as it’s done on Empire Flippers and FE International, among other brokers. So going into our negotiations, we already had a framework to work around. So we started to throw some numbers around.

After a few weeks of back-and-forth negotiation over email, we reached a deal. I agreed to “consult” on the site for three months, and generally offer any advice that I could to ensure that the site continued to grow. I also included all of the PBN sites that were pointing to NS2, which was a huge selling point.

Now, as part of the deal, there are several things which I cannot disclose, and that includes the final buying price. But what I can tell you is that the purchase price was in that 20x-25x valuation, so you can give yourself a reasonable idea on how much I was able to sell the site for.

Why did I decide to sell?

To be honest, I gave a lot of thought about not selling the site and just keeping it in my portfolio. As I mentioned, the site was approaching the $2,000 per month clip, was growing at a steady pace, was not requiring much time on my end to upkeep, and most importantly, I was in the middle of a white-hat link-building campaign that was starting to see serious results, including an editorial link from BuzzFeed. So I was pretty sure the site would continue to grow, and that was part of the negotiation.

At the same time, you have to remember, this entire niche site game really is a “side gig” for me. I have a full-time job, a wife, and an entire life away from this whole internet marketing thing. So while I loved cashing those monthly checks from Amazon, the thought of being able to cash-in on a much larger lump-sum was even more enticing. While this isn’t life-changing money, the wife and I have been looking at buying a house, and this move will make that dream even closer to a reality.

The other benefit of this sale is that I was able to sidestep using a website broker and paying that 15% fee. As I noted, the buyer who reached out to me is somewhat known in the internet marketing space — someone who I already knew of before he contacted me — so that made doing a private sale a smarter move to make.

What does this mean for Niche Site Azon?

I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to this blog, and how selling NS2 will effect things over here. And the truth is, nearly everything I know about building niche sites is something I’ve already covered on the blog.

Really, if you take all the posts I’ve written, and read them in order, you could consider all the content a full-on e-book.

From finding your market, to identifying profitable products on Amazon, to performing keyword research, to writing content for your niche sites, to using PBN links to help your sites rank, all the way to growing out your site in the first six months, I’ve written about every part of the niche site building process.

Does that mean that’s the end of the blog? Not necessarily. I think I’ll be doing new posts here and there, just not as often. In terms of my portfolio, I’m really only left with NS1, and there’s only so many new topics that I can write about.

What about the PBN and Custom Niche Site services?

The thing is, over the past two months, even though the blog hasn’t been updated, I’ve still been providing services for my PBN and Custom Niche Site customers.

And these are services that I will continue to offer.

So if you are interested in any PBN links, or would like me to build you a brand new niche site from scratch, do get in touch.

Going forward

So yeah, that’s what’s been going on with me and my niche sites these past several weeks. I just wanted to provide an update of all the recent developments, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.


August 2015 Income Report

At this point last month, I was worried that I'd be able to keep up with my income numbers in August, mainly for two reasons: 1) I thought my niche sites may have been affected by the Panda update, and 2) I wasn't sure that I'd be able to keep up with my Custom Niche Site orders.

Well, it turns out, those fears were pretty much unfounded.

First, I had another record-breaking month with my niche sites, totaling $4,431.58 in Amazon income, which barely edged out last month's $4,414.07 figure. This was aided slightly by me finally geo-localizing my Amazon links using a service called Geniuslink, which I'll get to in a moment. 

Additionally, the income generated from this blog's products and services also stayed relatively steady, bringing in $3,673.37 of revenue, due mostly to my Custom Niche Site offerings and PBN. 

So, combining the Amazon affiliate income with the revenue generated by the blog, and my total income for the month of August comes in at $8,104.95.​

Continue reading

How to Grow Your Niche Site: A 6-Month Strategy Guide

Have you just launched a new niche site, but are unsure what steps you should be taking next to grow out the site?

Oftentimes with a niche site, after it's been launched, ​there's no clear strategy guide to follow to ensure proper growth, both in terms of adding new content, and acquiring new links.

Well, in today's post, I'm going to show you my six-month strategy guide that you can follow to make sure that once your niche site is on the right path after it's been​ published.

Continue reading

July 2015 Income Report

Welcome to another Income Report here at Niche Site Azon. The purpose of publishing these reports is to document my successes and failures with my niche sites, and to hold myself accountable. 

July was a crazy month.

First, I had another record-breaking month with my niche sites, totaling $4,414.07 in Amazon income.

Second, the revenue I was able to generate from this site has been increasing as well. In July, the blog was responsible for an additional $3,805.21 of income. This was attributable mostly to my PBN Service and Custom Niche Sites, plug some nice affiliate sales.

So, combining the Amazon affiliate income with the revenue generated by the blog, and my total income for the month of July comes in at $8,219.28.​

It's not all good news, however. Google rolled out its much-anticipated Panda update in the middle of the month, and it appears that my sites may have taken a bit of a hit.​

Continue reading

PBN Lab Review & Tutorial: Quickly & Easily Find Expired Domains

Have you thought about building your own Private Blog Network but didn't know where to start?

​Having your own PBN can have tremendous benefits in creating a profitable niche site, but it can be an extremely time-consuming, confusing, and expensive process.

And the most frustrating and difficult aspect of building out your own network has got to be the actual process of finding powerful and spam-free expired domains ​to use in your network.

In today's post, I want to introduce you to an amazing piece of software that I've been using lately that makes finding expired domains as quick and easy a process as I've ever seen.

Continue reading

June 2015 Income Report

Welcome to another Income Report here at Niche Site Azon. The purpose of publishing these reports is to document my successes and failures with my niche sites, and to hold myself accountable. 

In June, I had one of my best months ever. In fact, outside of December 2014 (i.e. Christmas season), it was my best month ever as an Amazon associate with $4,005.07 in income.

On top of that, my PBN Service has started to take off a bit, and combined with a few affiliate sales plus building a custom niche site for one of my readers (read more on this below), Niche Site Azon itself was able to generate an additional $1,960.52 in revenue for the month.

So, combining the Amazon affiliate income with the revenue generated by the blog, and my total income for the month comes in at $5,965.59.​

Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide to Using PBN Links for Niche Sites

Have you been in the niche site space for a while and always wondered what all the hype was about PBNs?

I've been playing around with niche sites for a year and a half now. I've paid to be in a public PBN service, I've built out my own private PBN network of 45+ sites, I've built a PBN service for my e-mail subscribers, and I've studied how successful niches sites in almost every market have been able to achieve their rankings at the top of the SERPs.

And the bottom-line realization is this: using a PBN to rank at the top of Google still works, it never stopped working, and it's still the single best approach that I've found to building out a profitable niche site.

And in today's post, I'm going to show you why that's the case, and how you can use PBN links to help rank your niche sites.

"Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful" — Warren Buffett 

Wait, PBNs Still Work?

Nine months ago, Google dropped an atomic bomb on the gray-hat SEO community.

The damage was bad. Untold amounts of PBN domains were deindexed, and money sites that had been earning four- and five-figures per month were wiped out, overnight, without warning.

Many gray hat folks vowed to never use PBNs again, including Spencer.​

But amongst all this carnage, there were two key bits of details that stood out to me:

Google Showed Their Hand

  • By having to take a massive action like this and deindexing all of these sites​, publicly, Google confirmed to us all what we already suspected: that private blog networks were still an incredibly effective way to rank sites at the top of the search results.
  • By making these penalties "manual actions", Google also informed us that their algorithm still cannot detect the footprints caused by ​a well-made PBN; instead, it requires a human-review of the network to deindex it.

So while it totally sucked for those people who were negatively effected by the great Google PBN deindexing (my sites, luckily were NOT affected), the good news that came out of all of this is that using PBN links to rank a site is still a wonderfully effective strategy, and Google's algorithm cannot (yet) detect these networks on its own well enough to penalize these sites automatically.

Let's Take a Look at Some Examples

Bonus: Want to see a quick trick on how to find your competitors' PBN links, even if they are blocking the backlink checkers to their sites?

You will be asked to confirm your email address. Current e-mail subscribers, no need to subscribe again.

But you don't have to just take my word for it.

As many of you know, the real goal of this site isn't to simply tell you about a specific strategy, but instead to show you the how and the why.

So why don't we take a look at the SERPs and see what we find?​

Work Boots Niche

Here's a Google search for a random buyer's keyword, "best work boots", which has a very attractive local monthly search volume of 8,100.

As you can see, the top two results are niche sites, and there's another niche site ranking #6.

So how on earth are those first two sites outranking two HUGE authority sites in Amazon.com and Popular Mechanics?​

Easy, they have some great PBN links pointed to them.​

Let's take that second domain and plug it into Moz's Open Site Explorer to have a look at some of the backlinks.

As you can see, this site has 7 very high-quality PBN links pointing to it according to Moz.

Ahrefs shows a similar story. 

And remember, these are just the links that the domain owner did NOT block from the search crawlers, which means there are probably dozens more PBN links just like these.

Air Compressors Niche

Let's take a look at another random niche, "air compressors", which between "best air compressor" and "air compressor reviews" has a very healthy LMS volume of 7,800.

Same story here. The sites ranking #3, #5, #6, and #7 in the SERPs for "air compressor reviews" are all niche sites!

Let's have a quick look at that 5th site ranking there.

Here are the top six links for this niche site according to Moz, unsurprisingly, all PBN links.

And here's what Majestic has to show.​

Again, same story. And remember, Moz and Ahrefs and Majestic are only showing the links that haven't been blocked from the crawlers!

The truth is, I could do this all day long. Just do a Google search for any high-value buyer's keyword, and take note of any niche sites ranking on Page 1.

Run their domains through a backlink checker, and you will find the same thing. Over and over again.

Why? Because despite all the hysteria, Google has not figured out an efficient way to prevent PBN links from ranking sites (yet).

Empire Flippers' Sites with PBNs

Many of you already know that one of my favorite ways of identifying a profitable niche to enter is by browsing the listings over at Empire Flippers.

The reason why this is such an effective strategy is that the listings have already give us validation for our market.

In other words, if a review site in the electric shavers review niche is generating over $2,500 per month, then we know that is a great niche to enter.​

The thing about the Empire Flippers listings is that in the name of transparency, they have to disclose which sites listed for sale have been built using a PBN.

Like this.​

So what kind of sites in the Empire Flippers marketplace are using PBNs? Are they really profitable sites?

Well, the screenshot from above comes via this completed listing ...​

An Amazon affiliate site in the home & garden niche ...

That happened to sell for over $205,000. ​

So, yeah: using a PBN to rank your affiliate site can certainly pay off handsomely. ​

My Experience with PBNs

Update: As of August 2016, I now offer my own link building service, Rank Guardian. The results have been fantastic, and I'd love to help you rank your site too.

As I mentioned, I've been using PBNs for a little over a year now.

I think I first heard of them when Spencer announced the launch of the now defunct and deindexed Rank Hero, but luckily for me, I never bought links from there.

Lightning Rank

No, I started my PBN experience using Jon Haver's Lightning Rank service, way back in May 2014.

At the time, he was offering links on 5 domains (2 links per post) for $300. 

You have to remember at that time, I wasn't earning $3,000+ each month with my niche sites.

In fact, when I placed my first links order back at the beginning of May, my entire April earnings had been only $397. 

So I was effectively spending 75% of my niche site income on one links package.

Looking back on that now, I can see how that may sound crazy. Why would I spend so much of my income on only five links?​

And the answer is, because I wanted more.

Sure, I was extremely happy to have earned nearly $400 in a single month with my first niche site, but I knew that I could grow it even bigger. I knew that at the beginning of my journey, ​if I decided to re-invest a lot of my revenue back into the business — and that's how you really have to think about your successful sites, as small businesses — that it had the potential to grow into something really great.

And that's exactly what happened.

But I can see now how easily I could have been complacent with $400 per month, never invested any money back into the site, and just never tried to improve the site.​ I could have been happy with $400 per month and that would have been that.

And I realize typing this now that I've gone off on a bit of a tangent, but it's how I encourage people to think about their sites, provided they've started to earn a little money from them — don't be afraid to re-invest those earnings back into the site. That's what you need to do in order for it to grow.​

Anyway ... I ended up using Lightning Rank on and off over the course of about five months, and was a very happy customer. NS1 climbed in the SERPs, it was earning over $2,000 per month consistently, so I was glad to spend the $225 (Jon lowered the price eventually) on a links package that helped secure my ranks.

The Google Update and Changing Course

And then this happened.

The great Google PBN de-indexing.​

I have to be honest, I was pretty terrified. There were so many PBN domains getting deindexed, and so many money sites disappearing from the SERPs overnight.​ I assumed that my NS1 was going to get hit.

But for whatever reason, it didn't. I do think that a few of Jon's PBN domains got deindexed, but NS1 never received the manual thin content penalty for using PBNs.​

Of course, I was relived, but I knew that I had to be more careful. While Lightning Rank served me well, it was still a very public service that anyone could join and it didn't limit the number of outbound links, so I wanted to be a little more cautious about my links.​

Full disclosure: yes, I do offer a PBN Service of my own. It's not a "public" service (I handle all orders by e-mail) and I only allow six people per domain.​

Building My Own Network

The thing is, buying links from trusted sellers is still the best course of action for the majority of niche site builders.


Because attempting to build your own network can become quite expensive and time consuming.​

Using a Doman Broker

But I decided to take the leap anyway. I wanted to try building my own network.​

I can't remember how I found them, but I ended up connecting with Dan Thompson, who at the time was running a domain brokerage with his buddy Curt. (Dan does local SEO now instead).

I ended up spending quite a bit of money getting my network up and running, as you can see above.

I was paying on average probably $40 per domain, and hosting and setting them all up with content myself. It was a lot of work but a great learning experience.

Scraping My Own Domains

After several months of purchasing domains, I decided it was time to learn how to scrape them myself. This would allow me to lower my costs and scale a lot faster.

At first, I was using ExpiredDomains.net, which is a real manual process. I was following this guide by Jon on how to find them.​

That was working okay for a bit, until I connected up with Scott Moran, who runs the extremely impressive PBN Lab.

It's the best domain crawler I've ever used, and I've been able to find dozens of premium expired domains pretty easily. He has various weekly and monthly plans, so if you're serious about building out your own network, I highly recommend you check it out.

I've been so impressed with the service that I'll be writing up a dedicated review of PBN Lab in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.​

Another service worth checking out is Hammerhead Domains.​

How I Use PBNs to Rank My Niche Sites

Now that I have so many domains in my personal network, how exactly am I using them to rank my niche sites?

I should stipulate that there are a couple of different approaches you could take here; I'm not saying mine is necessarily the best strategy, but it's one that has worked for me.

Also, this is not going to be a step-by-step guide on how to set up your own PBN; if you're ready to take the leap on that end, check out this post by Steve. Or you can get in touch with me, and I can set one up for you.

"How Do I Set Up My Domains?"

Once I've registered a domain and set up unique hosting, installed WordPress and some basic plugins, it's time to set up the site.

I like to post at least 5 unique (not-spun) articles to the site, spread out over a couple of days/weeks each, and I aim for around 500 words per article or more, including links to authority sites in your niche.

Then, it's time to add the posts with the links back to your money site. Try to add the links as naturally as possible, and don't include more than two links back to your money site per domain; anymore than that is overkill.

In terms of the design of your PBN sites, I may be in the minority here but I don't go to any great lengths to make a stunning design. The way I look at it is this: if a member of Google's spam team were to stumble across your PBN site, chances are, your "unique logo and theme" are not going to save you. So I don't waste my time.

You can keep adding a new article every month or two to the PBN site if you like, thought I don't find it totally necessary. 

When you are done, you will have a PBN site with 5-7 articles on it, with two links back to your money site (or more than one money site, see below).​

By far the most common question I receive about PBNs is how many PBN links do you need to rank a site on Page 1 of Google.

As you can imagine, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How could there be? Each niche is different, each keyword is different, and competition plays a huge role in being able to rank, so there's no blanket answer I can give.

However ... to give a very general idea of what I like to target, ​I've typically found that a money page will require at least 15 moderately powerful PBN links (PA ~30) to rank, maybe up to 25.

What you're looking at above is a spreadsheet that I keep to track all the PBN links to my money sites.

This one is for NS2, to give you an idea, but just to be clear: this includes links to the homepage, and each of the three money pages (not just links to one money page)., over the past three months (not all time).

So that's generally how I plan out building out links to my sites, in terms of quantity, but again, every site and niche will be different.

"Should Each Money Site Have Its Own Dedicated Network?"

If you have 20 PBNs in your network, and two money sites, can you link to both money sites from each PBN domain?

The answer is, it depends on your risk/rewards goals.​

By linking out to multiple money sites from each PBN domain, you are able to scale faster and build a more cost-effective network.

The downside is, if one of your PBN domains gets discovered by Google and deindexed, then every money site on that domain is at risk of being penalized.​

Personally, I have done a bit of both, so there's no hard and fast rule for me. It all comes down to your goals, your budget, and your risk tolerance.​

"Do the PBN Domains Need to be Relevant to My Money Sites?"

In my experience, the overwhelming answer is no, definitely not.

Now, is it better to have a PBN link from a niche that's relevant to your domain than one that's not? Yes, it's nice to have, but it's certainly not necessary.

How do I know this?

Because outside of maybe a handful of domains, none of my PBN domains are niche-specific to my money sites. And my money sites are all ranking just fine.​ The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Interested in Getting Your Own PBN Links?

Update: As of August 2016, I now offer my own link building service, Rank Guardian. The results have been fantastic, and I'd love to help you rank your site too.

If you've made it this far and are interested in testing out some PBN links on your own niche site, I can help. 

I launched my semi-exclusive PBN Service to my e-mail subscribers at the beginning of the month with a simple e-mail to my list, and already I've nearly sold out the first batch of domains.​

Since I do have a full-time job and this blog is more of a side-hobby for me, my time is limited and so I'm only able to build out 10 new domains per month.

And since this service is semi-exclusive with only six people allowed per domain, I'm only able to accept 12 customers per month. So if you're interested in a links package, get in touch.

While using a PBN Service like my own is sufficient for 90% of niche site builders, there are people out there who want to own their own network, but don't have the know-how and/or time to put one together. 

So if you're interested in owning your own mini-network of 10-20 domains, let me know and I'll see if I can build one for you. I'm in the process of building out a network for one of my readers, and I think I can manage doing a few of these per month.​

Any questions, let me know in the comments.