How Do You Test Your PBNs?

To ensure that the domains that we have obtained are not toxic, we test every PBN domain we set up. To do this, we monitor the effects of linking out these domains to test cases in various niches. Only the domains that produce positive results in the form of ranking increases get added to our network, and the ones that fail either have to be retested or in the worst case scenario retired.

Build a List of Test Cases for Testing

The first step to testing our PBNs is by building a list of test cases or rather URLs to test our links. We use Ahrefs to find out the anchors and backlinks of possible test cases. These sites have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • URL is ranking on page 2-4 (best between rank 15 to 40) for the chosen keyword
  • Related keywords are also not ranked on the first page
  • Backlinks do not have exact match anchors
  • Not an authority site (such as a popular magazine, or craigslist for example)
  • Page must be explicitly talking about the keyword in the content or url (such as for the keyword ‘cat toys’

The main aim of a test case is to find a page that Google likes but does not have the backlinks to rank on page 1 for the keyword. We prefer using pages with zero backlinks (or even root domains with no backlinks) as these pages are clean and already achieve a decent ranking without any links. By pointing a link to them with our PBN, we can narrow down the reasons for a ranking change of a test case being a result of the link.

Test Your PBN

With a gathered list of test cases, we will now start testing our newly setup PBNs by linking out to these test URLs. For every PBN, we will create two new links, each one to a different test case URL. For each link, a new post will be created, with at least 500 words of content, 2-3 pictures and videos, with a prominent link at the top of the content.

After posting these links, we will record the date that these links were published, and also indexed. We will now start monitoring the ranking changes for each test case URL for their respective keywords. We perform this test for a minimum of 1-2 weeks, to 1 month.

Passing the Test

If at any point of time after the 1-2 week initial period, the test cases show a significant ranking improvement (such as increasing in 10+ ranking positions or immediately to the first page), we will approve of this PBN domain and add it to the Relentless Network. Sometimes, we will wait for another week of testing or so to observe if these ranking improvements are stable.

Failing the Test

If after one month of testing, the PBNs do not show any ranking increases at all, or even worse, they show a negative result for the test cases where the rankings started to fall; then these PBNs fail the test. As it is possible that these sites are not suitable for the niche we tested them on, we will conduct a second test for it on different niches to find out if the domains are indeed toxic. For the domains that still fail the second time, we do not add them to our network and retire them.


In order to provide the most cost-effective and powerful domains, we manually test each one of the new domains we add to our rapidly expanding network. By doing everything manually and in-house, we can control the quality of our PBNs and ensure that they comply with the Relentless Network’s requirements.

Our methods of domain hunting, setup and testing are tried and proven over the past 4 years. If you’re interested to get some links without doing all the above work on your own, check our our Relentless Network.

Alternatively, you may also want to look for your own domains. Learn how to do so by checking out this article on finding PBN domains. Otherwise, you can also see how we build PBN domains beautifully.