There are quite a few different ways of finding expired domains for your PBN's, and this isn't surprising, because it's probably the hardest part about building your own network.
There's a lot to learn, a lot of footprints to avoid, and a lot of questions about link velocity, volume, and content that go hand in hand with PBN building, but the real thing that the success of your network relies on, is the domain itself. This is something I've learned the hard way at times.
The perfect PBN site built on a crappy domain is going to be much less effective than a mediocre site built on a stellar domain. I have a lot of PBN sites floating around that might look decent, but when I link them to my sites, not a whole lot happens. Why? Most likely because the domain itself isn't as good as I'd hoped.
Start With A Good Domain
If you can perfect just one part of building your own PBN, it should be finding the right domain. After that, learning how to use that domain is relatively straightforward.
An even better thing for you to perfect, is using tools to help you find those good domains.
In the last couple of years, a number of different tools and services have surfaced that help you do this. Some of them will go out and find a domain for you, based on what your niche is.
Others will be tools that help you crawl the internet so you can do your own searching, such as PBNLab or Domain Ronin. Then there are some like Hammerhead Domains, which does the crawling for you, filters out the spammed domains, and gives you a list of them all.
PBN HQ's marketplace is similar to how Hammerhead Domains works, except on a slightly different model. First of all, you're not paying a monthly fee in order to access the lists. They're actually free to access (though naturally the domain names are hidden).
How Are The Domains Found?
Since the PBN HQ team is also the team behind Domain Ronin, it makes sense that this is what they use. Domain Ronin is a domain crawler much like PBNLab or Source Revive, thought it naturally has its own differences.
Essentially what happens is, they use Ronin to find domains, then they pick a selection of them, check they are decent, and add them to the marketplace.
Maybe they should add on a “find me a domain” service as well, since they already have all the tools.
What's Good About Domain HQ?
You only need to pay when you find a domain that you want to register. You then pay the fee, get access to the domain name, and off you go to register it.
I'll admit when I first checked PBN HQ, I didn't quite get it, because I was used to PBN Lab and HHD, where I got full access to the domain name, and could manually check all the metrics in majestic, archive.org, and Moz.
What I've realized since, is that PBN HQ's marketplace is very much a “pay only for what you use” system, and it will work well for those of you who are either beginners, and don't know how to do your own domain due diligence, or light users, who don't really want monthly fees in exchange for occasionally building out a PBN.
I like the fact that you can login, do some searches, and be given a list of domains that are related to your queries.
Ok, so you can't see the domain name or the domain names of the linking domains, but you CAN see all the metrics. Unless you're someone who wants to manually look at every single backlink of a domain before buying it, then this is a great timesaver for domain buying.
Of course, there's no guarantee that there will be anything related to your niche, but you could try to pick up something generic instead.
Not having access to the anchor text does mean you are going on Majestic topical trust flow rather than anchor text, but it also means you don't have to worry about it. The guys manually make sure the domains themselves are not spammed or overly optimized.
Here's an example of how you might perform a search:
What you're looking at here is the results when performing a search for “health”. The tool shows all the domains with either health as one of the site's previous categories, or with health in the majestic topical trust flow (meaning other “health” sites have linked to it).
You get to see all the standard metrics, and can look in more details at the linking domains by clicking on the domain name itself.
If you like what you see, you pay the price (in this case $15-20), and when you get an email with the domain's name, you go register it at namecheap or wherever you like, for the normal $10 registration price.
If by some chance someone else has registered it in the meantime, you'll be refunded. However, if you get the email and do nothing, and two weeks later the domain is registered by someone else, that's your own fault, so be warned.
I'm also a fan of the guys behind PBN HQ. I don't know all of them that well, but Steve Rendell's blog (texfly) was one of the first ever articles I read about PBN's, back in 2013.
Not only was it helpful and very much a “no-fuss” article, but it shows that these guys have been in the PBN trenches for a long time, and are not just fly-by-night bandwagon sellers like you might find on Source Market or Fiverr.
Pros and Cons At A Glance
- Time saver – you don't need to do your due diliegence with the domains, they are all good quality
- Beginner friendly – see above
- Pay for what you use – if you don't find anything, there's no cost to you at all.
- Useful for light PBN builders – again, see above
- Easyblognetworks integration – if you're using EBN for your domain hosting (like I do), then this makes everything pretty seamless.
- Useful support and knowledgeable guys behind the tools.
- I like seeing anchor text so I can find “general” or “neutral” domains, but that's just me
- You have to have a little bit of faith that the domain will be good.
To be honest though, although you can't really see the domain before buying, and that will put some people off, I have bought plenty of bad domains in my lifetime even when I could see the domain. Perhaps I skipped a step in my due diligence, didn't know what I was doing properly, or I just bought a domain that didn't work out.
What I like about PBN HQ is that it takes a lot of the guesswork out of domain selection. You can see if they have anything related to your niche, and if they do, you can pick it up knowing that the probability of it being decent is quite high. Not bad for $20.
Are The Domains Quality?
I can't speak for all of them, but based on the metrics on display (which are found using Majestic and Moz, so are accurate), they are pretty good, and only having to pay $20 or so to find the domains, then register them at normal price is fantastic. I've seen others charge $75 for similar domains.
It's also going to be quite hard to find domains this good by yourself, without putting the time and effort into manually combing through them all.
You should be able to build a pretty decent network with the domains you find here, and that's all that matters in the end.
Would I Use It?
Yes and I have used it before, though I don't pick domains up as heavily now as I used to. That said, this makes PBN HQs marketplace a good candidate for me.
If I was a heavier user, I would invest in a crawler like Ronin or PBN Lab, and if I operated in a lot of niches, I'd also recommend subscribing to Hammerhead Domains (the more niches you are in, the more bang for buck you get from HHD). For those of you with just one site, I would recommend checking out the marketplace and seeing if there are any domains that fit your niche.
If there aren't, then you might want to consider hiring someone to do the searching for you, or using a crawler for 1-2 months until you find what you need.
Additionally, the more times I use it in the future (and I am planning on starting a new niche site from scratch soon, so I will be using PBN tools are lot more), the more I will update this page with info on the domains I've found.
As an introduction into PBN's, this marketplace is a good bet for getting started. You're not going to be doing the heavy crawls that other tools are giving you, so don't expect to find 10 kickass domains in your first five minutes using it, it might take a few weeks to find a good number.
What you WILL get is a head start and a few decent domains, that you can then get hosted and set up fairly quickly, allowing you to then spend more time on other things or more learning. I know a lot of people never bother with a PBN because it seems like a whole lot of work, and it is, but this marketplace is a low-cost way of making that work a little bit smaller, and most importantly, it's going to stop you buying useless domains.