Even if you’re building a small PBN with expired domains, the initial investment can be quite high. You’re going to have to wait for at least a couple of months until you see some profit from your ranking sites. If you’re going to go this route and build a PBN yourself, you want to keep your sites as safe as possible. Even if it may not seem like it, the Google spam team is constantly scanning for closely related sites so they can penalize or deindex if they find any suspicious linking patterns. So it is your duty to do whatever is in your power to keep it looking natural. There are many things to look out for and we will try to describe the most obvious ones.
According to ICANN, around 20% of the domains are registered with privacy WHOIS or proxy service. Which means the rest are valid person details. You should strive to follow that percentage. It is tempting to register all those domains under privacy whois so you can avoid creating emails and personas, but that will definitely sound the alarm bell. Try registering to some free email services such as yandex, gmx, mail.com, protonmail, yahoo, msn etc. Only register domains with privacy that you need to register fast when you want to snatch it fast without filling up all those fields.
This may seem like a less important pattern, but if you check the latest statistics on TLD distribution you can’t help but notice the that at least half of the websites lie on a .com domain. As this is a pattern which is harder to be maintained, and usually doesn’t quite reflect the natural backlink profile of real websites, it is still good to know how things are. Backlink profiles of large authority sites with international coverage are somewhere between those percentages, but as you’re getting in the medium range sites, TLD distribution can vary quite a bit. Since obviously, you can’t expect to add millions of PBN links, you should stress too much about TLD distribution. In fact, there are some real quality ccTLD sites that you can use to get a decent backlink from.
You may have heard that each website lies on a certain IP address. Shared hostings usually use the same IP address for several websites, but this is not enough to cover our tracks. Chances of two independent websites hosted on the same IP place a link to the same website are slim. You should make sure to host each PBN site on a separate IP address. But even that is not enough. You should make sure that the IP address differs in the C class. If we imagine IP addresses as A.B.C.D then make sure that at least C is different from each PBN site. Also, try to avoid SEO hosting companies. These tend to be cheaper and offer some good management tools, but they can have whole IP ranges banned because of deindexed sites of other SEOs. This is why you should try to avoid using their services and host to as many hosts or at least a few large ones that will allow you to mix your IP addresses.
The same rules as with any site that strives to rank higher in the SERPs apply here: content should be unique and readable. Obviously, the best way to accomplish this is to hire writers and treat your site as a money site. The only downside to this is it can get quite expensive. The second best solution is to use a software + spinner and to reach a certain readability level and then manually edit it enough so you can make it unique. Your articles won’t be perfect this way, but at least you will be saving tons of time and money on your content part. With stronger sites, we strongly advise to use writers and bring real user value as they usually tend to rank themselves well and have traffic.
When you’re paying top dollar you really want to get the most of it, but being greedy can get you in lots of trouble. Do not link more than once if you want to stay on the safe side. Also, try to find a good related authoritative website in your nice to link in the same article. Do not just link out to the first Wikipedia page. Dig deeper and find a related and useful article in your niche and link to that with a natural sounding anchor.
You should also follow the “Don’t Be Greedy” advice here as well. You anchor can help you squeeze more targeted link juice, but try to diversify it as much as possible. Long tails, branding, naked domains.. all of these should be present. The correct percentage isn’t set in stone, but to get an idea, you can check some of your competitors on ahrefs/majestic etc. If you already have a diversified anchor link profile, you can skip this part, but I would still try to mix a few strong PBN sites with branded anchors just in case.
There are so many other similar patterns that you can keep an eye out for. Whatever you do on one site, you should try to make differently on the next one. Copy what real sites do and you should be good for the most part.