1. Domain Authority (DA) / Domain Rating (DR)

As a higher DA/DR means a more valuable backlink, this is usually a deciding factor in whether to approach a blog in the first place. We’d suggest aiming for a minimum of DA 25, so first of all avoid any sites lower than that. Having said that, PBNs can have high scores so more inspection is required.

2. WhoIs information

Nowadays, most PBNs are smart enough to avoid this detection method. However, if you are unsure then check the website’s WhoIs information. PBNs will always have this private or secured, though if you see a named individual and contact information, that is a good sign the website is not a PBN. Look this person up to be sure.

*Having private domain data does not necessarily mean it is a PBN – many choose to do this for their own reasons.

3. Estimated Traffic Data

The best blogs to get traffic from are those with traffic. Use the Chrome extension from SimilarWeb to check estimated traffic data. PBNs will usually have low, or no traffic at all.

4. Check their backlinks

An Ahrefs scan will reveal the condition of the website’s backlinks. PBNs regularly launch off recently expired domains to take advantage of previous links to the old website. Recently purchased domains will feature a large number of broken and/or irrelevant links.

5. Visual and Content Clues

Quite often this is the deciding factor, as none of the above can be conclusive. PBNs use poor quality images and/or poor quality content so be on the lookout for this. Put some time into assessing the website and use your judgement as to whether their content has genuinely been created for readers. If you question that, this is a strong indication that you are dealing with a PBN.

Ultimately, PBNs can be hard to identify and it’s naturally in the PBN owner’s best interest to avoid being detected. However, follow the above steps and you’ll be well on your way to a more successful, long-term backlink building plan free of PBNs.

Interested in a helping hand with link building?
Get in contact with the team at SEO BAZOOKA

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