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In the world of digital marketing, strong traffic figures count for everything. Given that Google is still the number one tool used by consumers on desktop and mobile, finding a way to rank highly on this platform is vital. Could a Multiple Domain SEO strategy be the answer to your prayers?

If you are planning to use multiple domains as part of your SEO tactics, it’s likely that you’ll also be considering PBNs – or thinking about whether to replace it with the multiple domain strategy. So, which is the best option for the sake of your online ambitions? Let’s find out.

What Are Multiple Domains & PBNs?

Multiple domains and PBNs can both be categorised as tools that are used to help boost the SEO ranking of the main website when you want to direct the traffic. Before thinking about which could be best for your business, it’s important to gain a little insight into both.

Multiple Domains:

The Multiple Domain Strategy is an alternative to having a single money site with your own PBN propping it up in the search engines. It is instead based around having a group of money websites to dominate the first page. This is achieved by building out many sites around some closely related but slightly different keywords so you are holding many of the ranks for your desired group of keywords.

If you control multiple websites all in one niche you can essentially control your corner of your niche.

PBNs:

PBN is an acronym that stands for Private Blog Network. It is a network of websites or accounts on blogging sites that serve as a supportive network for your primary ‘money making’ site. PBNs are a very hot commodity these days because they can be used for improving the rankings of your money site without having to pay other webmasters or spend large amounts of time on outreach.

A PBN is usually a network of websites built upon purchase expired domains with some basic content from your niche with few outbound links, at least 1 of which would be pointing directly at your money site.

This is done to imitate a group of “real” websites that are giving their backing to your money website. The biggest part of SEO is ensuring your link profile is better than the competition so having control over a legion of websites allows you to force your money site up the search rankings.

 

The Pros & Cons Of PBNs & Multiple Domains

No digital marketing strategy is perfect or without potential downsides; if it were, everyone would be using that single idea in favour of anything else on the market. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the pros and cons of any proposed strategy.

Multiple Domains:

Multiple domains are often used by bigger businesses that may use separate domains for different parts of the business or portions of a niche. For example, a cheese retailer may run multiple website specialising in different regional cheeses. By running the business this way you may stand a better chance to rank for some of the more specific keywords while still casting the net wide

Essentially, multiple domains are used to help the brand or business as a whole perform well on the SERPs (search engine results page). When done right, all sites should rank on the first page of the search term. Moreover, this is a long-term strategy, which means the results can and should last.

The multiple domain strategy allows you to dominate a keyword and target unique demographics by having different websites you own aimed at varying sub-niches or even regions. It can also help with link equity(authority).

There are a few issues with multiple domains, not least the running costs. If you’re planning to see all of your sites gain success, the budget will need to be split across them all. This isn’t necessarily the case with PBN sites, where you simply need them to aid the target site. Building microsites will take time too.

Still, the multiple domains route is one that very few owners use, which enables you to see fantastic results due to the lack of competition. Using expired domains found by an expired domain finding tool such as Domain Hunter Gatherer Pro can help to boost the ranking abilities of your website right out of the gate.

Multiple domains aren’t for everyone while they cannot be considered to be a quick fix solution either. Under the right circumstances, though, the overall impact for the brand can be telling.

Pros of a multiple domain strategy:

  • Can help to rank for more keywords overall
  • Lasting results that impact all websites within your brand
  • Overlooked by many businesses
  • Cast a wider net to pull in more search traffic for long tail keywords

Cons of a multiple domain strategy:

  • Can cost more time and money than a PBN
  • Each site will need it’s own content and SEO

PBNs:

Simply put; a PBN is a group of websites that you control and use for linking out to your own money sites. A PBN can consist of just a few websites or hundreds, the size of it is really only dependant on your needs.

Like with a Multiple Domain Strategy PBNs are most successful when used with expired domains that already carry a lot of weight with Google. For example, a website may have been launched for a local community project and received a lot of support from local news sites. This makes the website one of authority. However, the owners may leave it to expire once the event has passed. Buying it and then placing an inbound link to the target site can have a positive impact.

The PBN strategy is certainly one that can work. After all, backlinks remain the most dominant single feature of the SEO strategy. A network of supporting sites linking to the target website will inevitably bring a huge boost to the Google ranking of the ‘money-making’ site.

Unfortunately, the main problem with this technique is that Google is not a fan. In fact, Google has spent around five years purposely targeting sites that use PBNs, hitting them with penalties that essentially prevent them from ranking on their chosen keywords or locations. Without that sense of visibility, it’s almost impossible to secure the new traffic that the business desires. If you take appropriate measures to avoid your PBN being deindexed you should be fine.

In short: the risks probably outweigh the potential rewards, even if it is shown to be a successful strategy.

Pros:

  • PBN sites can be cheaper and quicker to setup
  • Can be used to sell links
  • Possibly the most powerful SEO tactic

Cons:

  • Finding the domains themselves can be time consuming or expensive
  • Potential for deindexation if not done correctly

 

The Verdict – PBNs Or Multiple Domain SEO?

In truth, there is no one size fits all answer for boosting your SEO and Google ranking. However, it could be argued that PBNs are a bad choice due to the risks but as explained above if the individual sites are setup without footprints this should be less of a concern.

When coupled with the fact that multiple domains allow you to take advantage of various new opportunities, there’s a strong argument that multiple domain SEO strategies are the way to go. Of course, though, it’s vital to think about the specific needs of your website and business.

A lot of what is best for you will be determined by budget and the amount of time you really want to dedicate to building out your sites.

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