NoHatSEO Case Studies & SEO Testing Division
1 vote, 5.00 avg. tacos (84% score)

Update, want to see how we are currently moving away from PBN sites and testing new business strategies? Click here to learn more.

Greg and I have been very busy running internships and building new money sites over the past 4-5 months and we are now at a point where we have approximately 150 money sites in various stage of development.


We have a volume of sites that is surplus to our needs and with continued internships running, it struck us that we have a great opportunity to be an SEO testing ground so we have decided to launch an SEO testing division to our business.


Moving forward, we would like to test new SEO theories and with Scott Davis now on board to help out with running this blog, we would love to become your one-stop-shop for SEO theory testing with regular news and updates!


What would you like us to test?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Our initial ideas are:

  • Ways to overcome the Google Sandbox and rank sites faster
  • Testing PBN link-building velocity and the impact on rankings
  • Some fairly new on-page SEO factors and,
  • Social signals

Of course there is much more we could look into as well.

It’s over to you now, what would YOU like to see us test out for our first case study?

NoHatSEO Case Studies & SEO Testing Division
1 vote, 5.00 avg. tacos (84% score)
  1. I’ve been wandering if social metrics of linking sites make any difference. I wonder if links from sites with good PA / DA that don’t have strong social signals get valued not as high because big G knows something is off.

    • Ah social signals does my head in lol. But it has to be tested for sure. Whenever I’ve considered it, I’ve always just kept going with PBN link building because I perceive the ROI, in terms of time investment, to be better. BUT, I guess that’s the point of this – see if social signals do matter.

  2. Dudes, very cool! Excited to see you guys getting really serious about testing. I’d be interested to see a test of using aged domains or expired domains as money sites to see if you could get a ranking boost or avoid the sandbox. And more generally I’m for you guys testing any potential ways to rank faster than 4-5 months

    • Hey Josh. We have started re-testing this. I say re-testing because my July 2013 internship was all on trying to rank expired domains and it proved to be a failed experiment overall. BUT, I have some theories around relevancy of old site vs new site and the thinking is that if the old site content is very closely related to the new site content, perhaps the chances of beating the sandbox are improved.

      We have a domain we launched end of April. It actually had part of the main KW in the domain name and also 4 fairly average links pointing to it, but all from sites related to the KW and it ranked at pos 120 within 24 hours of launching for the main KW (very encouraging!).

      It hasn’t bounced in and out of serps nearly as much as most new sites in the first 2 months. So far in June it’s be fairly consistent in the 50s.

      So it’s a one site “case study” and hardly conclusive, particularly given how hit and miss expired domains are for ranking, but it’s given a glimmer of hope! We’ll have to do a bunch more sites to work it out. The challenge is finding domains related to decent KWs worth targeting < I'll leave that to Hayden!.

  3. Hey!

    Something that I will like to test it’s the subdomains as a regular page. My logic behind of this will be that if you “limit” your ratio of a person who click to your page as the 0.2% in a regular SERP, with subdomains you could increase this number highly because right now Google see it as a different pages (and will be like this a lot of time thanks to pages as a wordpress)… Did I explay myself?

    From other side will be more difficult to move it fo the first page, but still looks interesting for me.

    BTW, I encourage everyone to try the Course/Training… I’m just doing it right now and it is very funny!!

  4. I could go on and on about this but I’ll just throw out one for now.

    People talk a lot about relevancy and I’ve seen some people place a great deal of importance in relevancy in their backlinking strategy.

    Hayden has talked about trying to use your keyword in the title of your PBN linking page and also in the words surrounding your backlink but not in your anchor text.

    If the formula is:

    Pagerank Passed = Backlink Pagerank x Relevancy

    How much of a dampening effect will poor relevancy have if any?

    What would the ideal backlink website/page look like such that there was no dampening and the maximum ammount of juice is passed.

    Experiment… take a site with only 1 powerful backlink. Rank it for a low competition keyword, but not number 1 we need room to allow the needle to move. Play with the PBN-on-page to try to move the rank. Will it rank just as high with lorem ipson on the PBN? Lorem-ipsum + keyword? Irrelevant but english text? Foreign text? Highly relevant and optimised PBN content?

    You get the idea )

  5. Hi Scott/Greg,

    Just wondering if you guys are still accepting applications for internships? If not, do you guys have an eta of when the next round might come around?


  6. I’d love to see a case study done on the power of co-citations in content and if it’s possible to rank sites based solely on that.

    I think you’d have to set up a test where a batch of sites just got co-citations, some got a few links and then a bunch of co-citations, and others got mostly links and then some co-citations and then others got just links, and you monitored their progression through the serps.

    There’s been a lot of talk about it so I’d be really keen to see how that would go.

  7. One I have been wanting to test for a while.
    Using Google App Engine ( to host expired domains for your PBN (you can create 10 sites for free – html, or WordPress if you are feeling more adventurous). These will be on Googles own IPs in theroy, so I wanted to see if there is a benefit to this.

    • Thats an interesting theory. I would love to see it tested. I believe big g would give some more credits on the sites hosted on its own cloud. worth trying

  8. Great initiative guys, I’d be interested in seeing a test on user metrics and how large a part they play in ranking e.g. long click, time on page, bounce rate etc.

  9. Hi,

    I’m wondering if Hayden’s expired domains strategy will rank a YouTube video…meaning, rank the video on YouTube and rank it in Google. If so, how fast does it work…and what is the link structure necessary?
    It would be great if you targeted some keywords of different difficulty as part of the test.


  10. The world can go to war between proponents of silo and non-silo (read WordPress purists) site structures.

    I can “see” the advantages that silo provides to a machine/bot, but do not believe the contextual navigation within and around the post (sidebars et. al.) is intuitive.

    Tests around “do silos *really* work that well” will be interesting.

  11. Hello Guys.

    I just have a question. Do you do any other type of link building such as Gsa search enginer ranker, Senuke or web 2.0? or you just build back links using expired domains no matter the niche?


    • Yes – I’ve also been meaning to case study titles based on the deeper meaning of a keyword (usually short tail). IE optimizing for more explanatory titles to rank for a vague short tail. Unfortunately running experiments is a little costly.

  12. When setting up your blog network sites, what is the minimum number of pages you need for a site? For instance, About Us page, contact page, policy page and so forth. Is there a number you shoot for? (without indexing category and tag pages)

  13. Hi,
    i was actually wondering how do you guys build your PR sites ? do you put links on home page ? do yo use free or premium theme ? WordPress only or other platforms ? do you link to different money sites or only one ? etc… i know it sounds a big topic, but i am sure we’d be all glad to get a general idea on how you do it, and what works the best for you … Thanks !

  14. Hey Scott and Greg

    I was just thinking if you guys where still taking in interns? Because I applied a couple of weeks back but did not hear back from you guys. If I was to late, when will you open up again for interns to apply?

    Regards, Tryggvi

    • I believe the next internship starts July 20 or so. Greg has just been a bit swamped but will send out an email the end of this week/beginning of next week.

      • Tryggvi, I don’t have record of an email from you, but have got your gmail email (from site backend) in the July intake email list now. Expect an email in a week or so.

  15. Hayden, I’ve waited for weeks to have a site “RE-indexed” naturally… do you guys have a method that you use to have Google come through and index it quicker? I have read methods like sharing on twitter and facebook… or throw out a press release with the link.. what do you guys do?

  16. Guys please test this!
    Is linking to a decent gambling /casino/ affiliate website dangerous for my PBN ? Will this destroy the rankings of other websites that this PBN is linking to ? There are a lot of theories on this, but no evidence that placing gambling links can compromise your PBN power.

    Also, will placing a backlink to decent casino affiliate site compromise the PR of that PBN ?

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