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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.

More...

Review of: PBN Lab

Use: Find Expired Domains Quickly & Easily

Usefulness

Best expired domain finder I've ever used.

Usability

Learning curve practically non-existent; very user-friendly.

Price

$59/week to $199/month.

Speed

Generally fast though slower with larger jobs.

In my last post we talked about the power of private blog network links and how you can use them to rank your niche sites at the top of Google.

Yes, they are risky and can definitely get your site penalized, but part of playing the gray-hat niche site building game with Google is accepting that risk.​

In that post, I detailed my past experiences and uses with PBN links, from purchasing links from a public network, to using a domain broker to source my domains for me, to my current stage where I now find and build my own private network myself (and a semi-exclusive network for my readers).

I think those different stages are important because they apply to niche site builders who are at different points in the process.

I do believe that simply buying links from a reputable service is the best option for most site-builders.

This is because building your own network is a big undertaking (both in terms of money and time), and you will definitely need some start-up cash to get going, which makes it more ideal for niche site builders who are already generating a decent income from their sites (or who simply have the money to spend).​

But if you do fall into that second group where you have some start-up funds available and/or you are operating one or more cash-generating niche sites, then it can definitely be a good idea to build your own PBN.

The Old Way of Doing Things

Just to be clear from the outset: this will not be a full-fledged tutorial on how to build your own PBN from A-Z.

That's because there are already guides out there that can do a far better job explaining the process than I ever could. Here's one such guide, and here's another.

No, what this post is going to cover is arguably the most important part of the entire process: actually finding the expired domains to use in your network.

But first I just want to quickly show you the old way of doing things, or how I used to find my expired domains before I was introduced to PBN Lab.

ExpiredDomains.net

Some of you may already be familiar with the website ExpiredDomains.net.

It does exactly what you'd expect it to do; it lists millions of expired domains on its site, with some decent filtering options, for free.

I used this site for a few months probably sourcing my own domains, and to be honest it wasn't half bad; I did find a few good domains searching this way, but there were two main problems.

One, while their filtering options are decent, you still have to wade through a whole lot of crap to find a decent domain to use in your network. And it is incredibly difficult finding domains that are niche-specific.

Two, and this is the biggie: the entire process is manual, and extremely time-intensive. It could take you hours to find a handful of good domains if you don't know what you're doing.

And if you've been reading this site since I started, you know that one of my basic strategies is to use tools and software that helps to automate my processes, whether it be for keyword research, market research, or link building.​

Yes, there are free and manual ways to do all of these things, but for me, time is much more valuable than saving a little money. I want to leverage my time to work on revenue-generating tasks, and use tools and software to expedite a more efficient process for things like finding keywords, building Web 2.0 properties, and other related tasks.

Which is where PBN Lab comes into play.

What is PBN Lab?

PBN Lab is a cloud-based (no software to download), full-featured domain crawling service developed by Scott Moran, specifically for niche site builders, that makes finding expired domains almost too easy.

Instead of simply listing out each feature and benefit, let me just show you a few screenshots from the Plans & Pricing page.

So you can see there's a lot going on here.

Crawl for domains using keywords or single-site jobs; use smart filters to pare down your results based on things like Page/Domain Authority and Trust/Citation Flow; and run multiple jobs while getting your results back quickly.

Getting Started with PBN Lab

When you log into PBN Lab you're greeted with your Dashboard view.

On the left hand side you can see a couple of things going on: where to add a new job, your existing jobs that are either running or in the queue, and the domains you've already found and favorited.

As you can see from my Dashboard view I've already run 103 different jobs and favorited 24 domains (and have actually registered more on top of that​). This all in less than one month of use.

Bonus: Scott Moran, the creator of PBN Lab, has put together a little cheat sheet for my readers showing you how to get the most out of the software, featuring some tips & tricks and best practices.

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

Running a Job

The first thing you're going to want to do is run a new job.

Click the "Add Job Wizard" button from the top left and you're taken new a new screen.​

This is where you give your job a name. Let's saying I have a site in the gardening niche, and want to look for some expired domains in that area. I'll name my job "Gardening" while keeping "Crawl Depth" at "1" and then hit "next".

This will take you to the next page, where you can enter your keyword(s).

Now, there are a few different angles you could take here for entering your keywords, but for the purposes of this review let's keep it simple and just enter "gardening" while keeping the "Results Since" field at "1998".

This last page of the set up guide shows you all the Seed URLs (50 in total; you can scroll down to see them all on your page) that the software is going to crawl, in the gardening niche, and look for expired domains.

Hit the "Finish" button and PBN Lab will start crawling. You'll be taken to a progress screen showing you how your job is performing in real time: number of domains crawled, total time duration, estimated time remaining, etc.

Just a heads up: once you hit Finish, you can set your computer down and go grab a beer, and then come back. Depending on the size of your job, it's going to take a bit of time to finish, in my experience anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, but that's because of all the domains and links the software has to crawl!​

Viewing Your Results

Once your job is finished, you're going to be taken to your results page, which will look something like this:

You can see that in total (top left), the software returned a ridiculous 600 expired domains related to the gardening niche.

Applying Filters

But don't get too excited yet. We still need to pare this list down. First, we do it with filters, which is far and away one of my favorite features of PBN Lab.

Hit that big "Expand Filter Settings" button (top right) and you'll be presented with this screen.

As you can see, there are a ton of filtering options that you can apply to your jobs. 

I've also included my own personal filters (DA, PA, TF & CF) so you can have a look at what I like to target.​ Apply the filter, and then you'll get your pared down list according to your filters.

By applying my filters, I've whittled my list of domains down from 600 to 28.

So we have one big part of the process done: our metrics. We know that these 28 domains meet the metrics filter that we applied, and which we would be happy to register. This is a great start and really shows the power and efficiency of the software.

But as anyone who has ever scraped for expired domains knows, we still have a lot of work to do.

Spam Checking

That's because while the metrics for all these domains are good, we still need to spam check each and every one to make sure they're clean.

I'm not going to give a full tutorial on how to spam check an expired domain, but I highly (highly) recommend you check out this comprehensive guide, and if you end up purchasing PBN Lab, you should really bookmark it for future reference.

But let's take a look at one of the domains listed here to see if we've found anything worth registering. 

This domain has caught me eye: purlec.ca with its fantastic metrics: PA30, DA16, TF23, CF17. A domain, if clean, that I would love to have in my PBN. (Note: I ran this job originally a few weeks ago, before Moz updated their DA/PA metrics, so the numbers you see above may not match up exactly with its current Moz metrics).

This brings us to another one of my favorite features of PBN Lab: the "Action" drop-down button that appears next to each domain, and when clicked features quick-links to Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic to check backlinks, Archive.org and ScreenShots.com to check domain history, and Namecheap and Hostnine for quick registration ... all in one view.

Before I found PBN Lab, the way that I would spam check an expired domain would be to open up each one of these websites (Ahrefs, Moz, etc) in separate tabs, and then copy/paste the domain name each time. Now, I can do all of this in a simple, one-click view that saves me loads of time.

The first place I usually go when spam-checking a domain is over to Archive.org, because I've found this will quickly tell you if the domain has been used for spam and/or link network purposes in the past.

I plug purlec.ca into Archive.org and the first result I see is this page, which looks ... pretty legitimate. What I mean by that is that the page looks like what the domain was originally used as, a site about hydroculture. This is a great sign.

What I do after checking out Archive.org is click the quick-links over to Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic, looking at the backlink profile and the anchor text. What we're looking for is a clean (non-spammed) backlink profile, and natural anchor text.

Again, I'm not going to do a full spam-checking tutorial, so I do encourage you to check out this guide ... but I will say that purlec.ca is looking like a promising domain, and I'll leave it up to any enterprising readers to decide if they want to register it.

My Results Using PBN Lab

As I mentioned, I've been using PBN Lab for less than a month now, and have literally found more domains than I've been able to register! It's how I've been able to grow my PBN Service so quickly and I'd be lost without it.

If you bought a one-month package ($99-$199 depending on which one) to test out the service, I'm almost certain you would be able to find at least 10 clean, premium expired domains to get your network underway, which is just a screaming bargain. And if you really dedicated your time, you could probably find 20 domains without much trouble.

Other Ways to Crawl

So I showed you how to do a search using simple keyword terms, but there are other ways to crawl. I just want to touch on two other crawling options quickly.

Single Site Crawl

This search feature allows you to crawl for expired domains that have been linked out to by one, specific website.

For example ... want to find all the expired domains that Pat Flynn has linked out to via Smart Passive Income? You can do that. Watch this video from Scott.​

Wikipedia Crawl

Another smart way to crawl for domains is to search for keywords that have been linked out to from Wikipedia. The thinking here is that if an expired domain was linked to from Wikipedia, it's probably one we want to check out further.

Here's another video from Scott showing how to do that.

Wrapping Up

The truth is, I've just barely begun to scratch the surface on using the powerful PBN Lab software. I'm still getting used to doing new kinds of searches every day, so I'm still learning new applications for the software.

For example, this software is obviously not just for niche site builders. Do you run a Local SEO company? Imagine being able up to pick up hyper-targeted local domains with just a few keystrokes. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Bonus: Scott Moran, the creator of PBN Lab, has put together a little cheat sheet for my readers showing you how to get the most out of the software, featuring some tips & tricks and best practices.

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

Another great thing about PBN Lab is that it's easy to use for those who are not exactly technologically inclined. As members of my e-mail list know all too well, I can barely operate a simple application like MailChimp half the time. Needless to say, I'm not the most technical person around.

With PBN Lab, you don't need a technical background. As Scott explained to me: "​You don't have to labour over numerous tools or software packages like Xenu Link Sleuth, picking away hour after hour, then dropping lists back and forth in Excel and the domain registrar bulk availability tools, then go and look up the metrics manually."

Conclusion 

PBN Lab

Summary: PBN Lab is the one essential tool that I recommend if you're looking to start your own private blog network.​ It's incredibly intuitive, user-friendly, and will get you an almost endless supply of expired domains to add to your network.

$59/week - $199/month

Mike Bradford
 

Hi there, I'm Mike, the guy behind Niche Site Azon. I made $32,000 in 12 months with Amazon niche sites. This blog is where I share my tips, tricks, and tactics to building and profiting from Amazon affiliate sites.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 30 comments
john - July 13, 2015

yeahh this is good for local seo … ill be buying this service few days from now… thanks for the review mike…

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 13, 2015

    Glad you liked in John, let me know how it works out for you!

    Reply
Hooman - July 13, 2015

Hi Mike, It was great Post , I think PBNLab is a great service and everybody should try this excellent service, I used it for 10 days, After registering on the site there are many educational videos that explains in more detail how to use it.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 13, 2015

    Thanks, Hooman! I agree, the tutorial videos on PBNLab.com are also incredibly useful.

    Reply
Yesh - July 13, 2015

Used PBN lab for almost a week now. Really easy to use. Scott is friendly too!

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Yesh - July 13, 2015

By the way Mike, do you register those .nl and other European domain extensions? Most of those domains are unspammed and have really high metrics, so I was wondering if it’s alright to use them in a PBN for a money site that’s targeting US audience.

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    Mike Bradford - July 13, 2015

    I have registered .uk domains before. I think .ca and .au can only be registered by residences of those countries, but I’m not entirely sure.

    Reply
    Scott at PBN Lab - July 15, 2015

    Hey Yesh.

    I think the hot tip there is to have an friend or associate in that country handle the rego for you. Then it’s “legit”, as opposed to faking registration data, which I think is a bit shady.

    Like you, I’ve found that a lot of geo-specific domains (.com.au for instance) have great metrics, and aren’t spammed.

    And that’s probably because of how “difficult” it is to register the domains.

    It’s worth the effort to get the domains when the metrics are so good!

    – Scott

    Reply
Larry - July 13, 2015

Great tutorial Mike!

I was wondering which plan do you currently subscribe to?

Also, they don’t explain the setup of the plans. What does 1 active job mean? Does that mean you can only run 1 job for the entire month and that’s it?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 13, 2015

    Hi Larry,

    I was given reviewer’s access to the software.

    I believe that means 1 active job at a time. Meaning, you run one job, wait for it to finish, then you can run your next job. It definitely isn’t referring to # of jobs per month.

    Reply
    Scott at PBN Lab - July 15, 2015

    Hey Larry.

    Hmm, you have a good point there…it’s not exactly self-explanatory! I’ll fix that up. Thanks for the heads up. =)

    Mike is correct: 1 Active Job means 1 crawl running at a time. Whereas 2 Active Jobs means you could have 2 crawls running simultaneously.

    It’s important to note that you can, and should, queue up as many crawls as you like (on any plan) so as one job completes, the next job in the queue will automatically begin.

    Since setting up a crawl job takes a mere 10-30 seconds – many users are queuing *hundreds of jobs* and crawling 24/7, and turning out tens of thousands of domains as a result!

    For clarity – Mike has been using the TERA plan in his testing, which includes the Single Site Crawl feature and Majestic metric data. The same plan can be used for 7 days, which I refer to as the BYTE plan.

    Hope this helps explain things a little more.

    Thanks!
    Scott

    Reply
john - July 13, 2015

mike,
im wondering if you will consider offering a service like consulting.. like we show you our website and give us some report on why its not generating good conversion..

or that our majestic backlinj profile is causing our site not to rank?

if you will, ill be glad to hear the pricing…

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 15, 2015

    Hi John,

    You’re not the first one to ask me that … I’m just not positive if it’s something I want to get into right now. Not a bad idea, though.

    Reply
Kayode - July 14, 2015

Mike thanks for this in-depth review on PBNlab, kudos. I want to ask that aside the month subscription, is there any other fee a person needs to pay before registering the chosen domain at namecheap.com at regular price. Thanks in advance.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 15, 2015

    Hi Kayode,

    Not sure what extra fee you are referring to.

    You pay to use the software.

    Then you go to Namecheap and pay a registration fee as you normally would.

    Reply
Jonathan - July 15, 2015

Hi Mike!

Great guide! In fact, I’ve been tinking about giving a try to Pbnlab but I am not sure if I should actually.

Just a question you might answer me:

1) I use registercompass for finding expired domains. The problem is that when finding an expired domain the metrich which the service shows in its page are not accurate and have to re-check all the metrics manually…I suppose with Pbnlab I would do the same, wouldn’t I? The metrics are not updated regarding the expired domains, right?

Thanks!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 15, 2015

    Hi Jonathan,

    That’s a good question. I think once you’ve run a job, and have those domains “saved” in your history, then the metrics will not update.

    If you run a new job, however, I believe you would get updated metrics.

    You’d have to ask Scott, though.

    Reply
Paul - July 17, 2015

Hi Mike,

I have been following your blog for awhile now, some very informational stuff here! I also like the nice and clean layout of your blog!

I am new to this whole PBN thing and was starting to consider building a PBN of my own. I had a few questions I was hoping you could help me answer:

1) How much would it cost to buy a domain from PBNLab?

2) How many sites should a beginner start with in building his/her PBN?

3) How much does it cost to build each PBN site (excluding content)?

PS: I’m starting off with 3 niche sites if that’s important at all.

Thanks!
Paul

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 17, 2015

    Hey Paul, let me try to answer your questions.

    1- You’re not buying the domain *from* PBN Lab; it’s just a tool that finds them for you. All you do is head over to Namecheap or GoDaddy and pay the $10 registration fee. That’s all.

    2- Well, this could differ for anyone. If all you’re paying is the registration fee + a plan for PBN Lab, you can get 10 domains rather cheap. So I think 10 is a good place to start.

    3- Besides content, your only costs should be the domain registration + hosting. But you’ll want to do some research on how to set up unique hosting with each domain. Definitely don’t host them all on the same account.

    Reply
      Paul - July 30, 2015

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your answers.

      Would each of the 10 PBN sites link out to each of the 3 niche sites (i.e. 30 links total)? Or would each PBN site be exclusively linking only to 1 niche site (i.e. 10 links total, spread over 3 sites)?

      On point #3, what really bothers me (someone who’s running this in a bootstrap fashion) is the amount of hosting I’ll be needing. It seems that I’ll need different hosting plans for each niche site and PBN site (i.e. 13 hosting plans). I only have 1 hosting plan with Bluehost right now for 2 sites and am paying about $4 per month. I know its better to be spend the money and be safe rather than sorry….but I thought I’d just throw my concern out and see if you had any advice.

      Cheers,
      Paul

      Reply
        Mike Bradford - August 2, 2015

        Hi Paul,

        On your first question — that is really up to you and your risk/reward tolerance. You can link to each niche site from each PBN site, but if your PBN were to be penalized, all of your niche sites would likely get hit too.

        Yes, hosting is a huge expense. But it’s absolutely necessary. You can’t have all your PBN sites on the same hosting account — you will definitely get penalized.

        Reply
David - July 29, 2015

Hi Mike,

I’m building my first Amazon site and had a couple of questions.
1) Where are you getting the images for your websites from? Are we fine to just scrape the Amazon product images and use them?
2) Where are you placing your affiliate links? I’ve read a lot of info to say that contextual links are best, but can see that on your shower specialist site you’ve done things a little differently with the “check price on Amazon” links. I was considering doing a combination of both, but was not sure where to start with contextual links. Assuming you’ve used them before, do you just highlight a part of the text that sounds interesting and link over to Amazon?

Finding a lot of the advice on this site very helpful and I bought Thrive through your link.

Cheers

Reply
    Mike Bradford - August 2, 2015

    Hi David,

    1- All images come from Amazon.

    2- Most of my click-throughs come from my comparison chart, so I’d focus on that first. Contextual links can be good too, but to be honest I haven’t really experimented with them too much. But yes, I would just highlight interesting text and link from there, and make it natural.

    Thanks for using my Thrive link!

    Reply
Theodore Nwangene - July 31, 2015

A very great review Mike,
I’ve heard about PBN Lab before and they seem to be offering a very nice service in finding good expired domains.

I’ve been using Expired domains (dot) net and Xenu link slout for all my domain hunting and have actually found lots of awesome domains with them.

However, its good to automate things sometimes and I’m going to check out PBN Lad as soon as possible to see if i can get anything from them.

Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Randy - August 17, 2015

Just thought I’d comment, I took a 1 week plan just to give it a shot. After my first set of jobs I unearthed a DA39 PA30 TF18 with clean background. So far I found a couple other high metric domains. Pretty exciting for me because I’ve been trying for so long using gscraper, proxies, etc.

I think the game changer for me was in the keyword doc you get after sign up. It creates a sheet of good footprints to search in your niche. I really suck at scraping so I didn’t have as good of footprints as I do now.

PBN lab is pretty good, but with the price for me it’s restrictive. Might have to try and cram a bunch of jobs into 1 week every other month. Used your link so hope you got credit.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - August 17, 2015

    Thanks, Randy. It really is a great tool. I agree, you should use the 1 week plans, then find as many domains as you can.

    Then just sign up again when you need more domains.

    Reply
Danny Brooks - December 7, 2015

I recently purchased a 7 year old expired domain. However I am not planning on using a PBM to build up backlinks. I’ve read far too many horror stories. So I think I’ll stay away from PBN’s for a while. I’m glad it is working out for you though!

Danny

Reply
Slymeasy - April 14, 2016

How does this compare to Domain Hunter Gatherer?

Reply

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