Hosting will likely end up being your biggest liability when operating your PBN. Unfortunately, looking for value hosts will yield plenty of results that should all have “let the buyer beware” plastered over their listing.
You’ve got to admire the hustle of some of the guys in this profession. They found a niche that needs fulfilling, and created a product to match. Not technical? no problem. On a budget, we’ve got a solution. Need bulk? You’re covered!
As soon as you start building your own network, you’ll realize immediately what a massive pain-in-the-ass (literally and financially) hosting is. One site sitting on one host isn’t a big deal to set up however. Links in quantities of one typically don’t move the needle. If you value IP diversity and desire to replicate the natural demographics of the internet, your initial PBN setup of 10 sites needs 4-6 hosts. Wouldn’t it be nice if one service I could buy from that handles all this for me and is cheap!?
What you’re not told in their sales pitch is that servers are massively oversold and while they do offer some C block diversity, they don’t take into account that IPs can be reverse-DNS’d back to the host. I have seen some hosts pop up recently that take into account some of the major problems I’ve addressed. The bottom line for me is trust. This is one aspect of my operation that I only trust myself to.
There are 3 main types of hosts in the PBN hosting niche
There are a wide variety of shared hosts on the market, and all of them basically do the same thing. The host opens up a few servers and installs something like WHM on it so that many people can host many websites. Each new account gets rotated around the servers until they decide the servers are full, then they build more. You’ll see lots of “unlimited” promises for domains, bandwidth, ftp accounts and more. While all these statements are patently false, they can get away with it because no serious website worth their salt will host there. Shared hosts are quick to pull the plug on domains with unresponsive scripts or out-of-date software.
To get an idea of who is hosted with you on a shared IP you can use bing’s only useful feature:
Hostgator has got about 30 blocks of IP addresses and looking through the results it’s a bunch of mom & pops shops as well as more than a few affiliate sites. While not the worst neighborhood in the world, it could be much better. Besides, the internet isn’t powered by shared hosts alone.
At least with shared hosts like hostgator and bluehost, you get some value from these company’s advertising. Real companies won’t host there, but real people that see ads will. Neither real companies nor real people will host at a dollar host. It’s exclusively webmasters looking to setup a network of small sites, a pbn, or a serious of db driven sites. All are basically built to provide link value, not necessarily content value. The risk of de-indexing is high with dollar hosts but the real loss is what’s unseen—devaluation.
New sites are popping up all the time that claim to specialize in hosting just for PBN blogs. They lease out accounts from major providers in volume and sublease them to you. While this sounds like a fantastic deal, please understand that you’ll always be under their thumb. That means paying more for hosting than necessary & being at the mercy of any footprints they might leave behind.
Don’t get me wrong, there is an opening in the market for someone to come in and do a spectacular job, probably better than the average non-reader of this blog. I still won’t be handing them a penny of my money. it’s too important. PBN networks go down all the time based on footprints and bad neighborhoods. The cost (both financial and man hours) is simply too high to take any chances and hope for the best.