Before I go deep into this, I would like to state that Majestic SEO is a great tool, but if you rely solely on TF to determine of the quality of an expired domain, then you should maybe quit the business as well.
The main purpose of Majestic TF is to reflect the quality of the backlinks of a domain, but the guys in Majestic followed maybe a bit wrong direction as TF is URL based metric and not really on domain level as that is what Google is doing you cna easily see that from the many patents they have been granted over the past 5-6 years.
So to give you an example – TF adds up, so if you got sitewide links that metric can be easily manipulated, and combined with a check of the top referring domains linking to your site is a must, if you see that the 4-5 top links of a domain come from same domain, they it is clear that TF is fake(reminds me of PR).
Other easy method to fake TF is comment links from big media sites. As we all know those big media sites got some sick links and metrics and most of their internal pages got TF 25-30+, so with links from comments section the effect is same as sitewide links…inflated TF.
For the sake of the experiment I directed 1 sitewide link from a PBN domain of mine with only 10 pages but with some sick metrics but not really the exact niche of my money site business here is a screen shot:
As you can see some pretty sweet metrics right…
Then I added 2-3 comment links from big sites, and another sitewide link from weaker PBN domain and here is what I got as a result to my “money” site:
As you can see the site looks like it should be kicking some ass in micro niche keywords and for few it does but overall the result is not even close to what it should be with that TF of 45…
So in few words TF alone sux, it can not really determine how strong is the researched domain and detailed examination of the link profile is a MUST. Majestic and others are still way behind in to how to determine a value of a site or domain, just their algorithms are not so advanced as they should be, I can imagine that comes from the problem that just indexing and crawling takes so much resources and tons of money, so if they decide to build a really quality product they would start to get what Google does – start to basic semantic understanding of the content, rending the pages the way a user will do as UX is main trust factor too, complex algorithm of filtering out famous blackhat techniques like parasite, commenting, 404, redirects and etc., hell even Google are far behind it so what we should say about the companies that provide SEO tools. In few words you guys need to understand at least a bit how Google works, they do not do magic they use algorithms – highly advanced but still algos, so following Google patents and testing would pretty much bring you closer to the truth, and with little help of SEO tools metrics you are set to go.
The main point in this article is that no SEO tool is good enough to determine the quality of an expired domain for PBN, just their algos and crawlers are based to determine the quality of a live site(though they fail there too, but at a bit smaller scale).
Such techniques are used by domain/website sellers in sites like Flippa to scam the good people that want to invest in good properties, not to mention for the link sellers that flame around with high TF links and etc, but the end result in general – SUX.
How to solve this issue and actually do it the right way?
Based on my reasearch here are few tips to help you out when picking PBN domains or when you purchase links for your sites:
- Always check the backlink profile if you see sitewide link and comment links that clearly are the leading parts of the TF score – just move on there is no juice or power to get from there
- Diversity of the links – see the organic backlink profile of a domain would include links to images, links to documents like PDF and etc, if a domain has just clear URL links that might be a sign that something is not really OK!
- Use your brain and based on the basic criteria of how SEO metrics work just decide if it is worth it or not – very often you will be right!
- TRUST – yea thats right – TRUST is what you are after and Majestic TF metric is not TRUST sign – in the next section I will exlain a bit more about TRUST
What Trust is, and how to get trusted links for my money site
The topic is pretty wide and wild, but I will share my thoughts based on my research and my experience.
In general Google determines the trust score of a website based on few criteria:
- How close as link level is the linked site to a current seed site
- Is/Was the content worth it – yea for actual live sites it is pretty easy to see if the owners really invest in content or it just average shit, for an expired domain check the archives very often the ex owners were really adding value with their content
- Clean domain name – any exact match keyword or partial match keyword domain name is more likely to be spammed and not good for PBN – I’m not saying that such domain names are not good, on opposite they are good for money sites, but in the case when someone let the domain drop it is clear that the domain has/had issues
- Many, many more small factors determine the trust score as well but that knowledge is gained with experience and testing
Let me explain a bit more about the main Trust factor – How close as link level is the linked site to a current seed site
First some of you will ask what is seed site? Well guys Google although tech advanced has its search engine core on humans decisions, in order to get the crawling of the Web started the bots have to start from somewhere as those starting points are used and as а Trust score model/template and as close link you got from such seed site to your money site, as better.
Example: You have a PBN domain with direct links in articles from CNN and BBC, so it is clear that such authority medias are seed sites and very trusted in Google’s eyes, and when you get a link from that PBN site to your money site it is just 1 level away from direct seed site link – in my eyes that is trusted link(in Google’s eyes too)
And back to the seed sites as above said was just a general example. Seed sites are not general medias or etc. See there are few types of trusted seed sites and points in Google’s algo:
- Global General seed sites – those are big media sites and news portals where the content is top quality and there is no chance to get paid links
- Global Niche seed sites – those are again huge media sites but in more specific niches like Forbes in finance or Techcrunch in tech niche
- Micro niche seed sites – those are a bit more deep into certain topic and are really trusted by users in specific niche – take for example highly moderated forums of health issues, personal sites of known experts in certain area and etc
- Country level general seed sites – those would be big authority news portals for certain country – great for local SEO
- Country level niche seed sites
- Country level micro niche seed sites
It is fairly easy to determine if a site is trusted seed, so all that is left to get links of as close level from those sites as you can do. Easiest is to start crawling and scraping such sites – that is expensive task and requires lot of time and money, so if you are not really that deep into this business just use domain providers that have proven to deliver proper domains, in separate post I will explain how to scrape big and small trust sites with just few simple tools.
And to point something out – if a domain has links from seed site it does not mean it is trusted links – comment links and etc are not good – only in content links or referring sources are good, so always check in the page where the links are.
In my experience links matter way more than TF so if a domain has 5-10 referring domains and TF like 5-8 many people would just ignore it, but imagine that the domain dropped long ago and it has links from year 2000 from BBC and Guardian…. would you not get it on the spot? This is a real example of how bad Majestic TF is to determine the quality of an expired domain, so my conclusion is – USE YOUR BRAIN, the SEO tools are here just for basic help.