LAST UPDATE: August 2017
Since the large majority of daily deindexations we see on our platform would be easily avoided by following basic rules for PBNs, we’re thinking it’s a good time to refresh that knowledge.
I categorized everything into two sections – footprints and issues. Footprints are something that can get your blogs deindexed immediately. Issues are something that raises flags and might cause deindexation if there’s more of them.
Outbound link patterns. The easiest way to get your blogs deindexed – link from all your PBN blogs to all your money sites and never have any other links.
Whois information. Make sure to not use the same email or physical address on all your domains.
Unique plugins and themes. Don’t use the same combination of plugins on all your blogs. Don’t use the same custom theme on all your blogs.
Make sure your blog loads. You wouldn’t believe how many deindexations there are because of a broken theme and/or misconfigured plugin.
404 redirects to homepage. High number of 301 redirects to homepage from 404 pages will definitely cause deindexation. It does depend on the (crawler) traffic to those 404 pages but we highly recommend rebuilding subpages instead of redirecting.
Google Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Adsense or any other analytics and ad codes. This leaves a very obvious unique code on all your blogs, easily connecting them to one owner.
Themes and plugins with different view for GoogleBot user agent. Google knows the standard response from WordPress themes and plugins. This is explicitly forbidden by Google so avoid it.
Registering domains. Use common registrars, don’t use privacy on more than 20% of all your blogs, don’t buy all domains on the same days or from the same marketplace (if auctions).
Using cheap hosting. Cheap hosting will cause issues with reliability, security and performance. If your blog gets hacked or is down when it gets crawled, it’s going to get deindexed very quickly.
No internal links. Like you see at the bottom of this blog post – link to other posts on your blog.
No social bookmarks, shares or links. Make sure to have at least a few Facebook likes and Retweets on each blog.
Posts only about commercial keywords. Don’t write articles just on commercial keywords you’re 9 . Make sure to have articles on broad topics.
Too few blog posts. Add at least 5 posts in the first week, then post weekly and later, after at least 20 published posts, you can post on a monthly basis.
Too plain blog posts. Don’t just post blocks of text but add images, videos and rich text (italic, bold, headings etc.). Most articles should have from 400 up to 1000 words.
No links to other websites. Not just authority websites but to relevant, small niche websites.
Obvious PBN blog. You know – nothing custom, just a random theme, 5 blocks of text, a few links and that’s it. Try to make someone look for at least 3 seconds before deciding if it’s a PBN blog or not.
These are currently the main footprints and issues we see when analyzing blogs on our platform. If new issues arise, we’ll be the first one to report them.