How To Use CloudFlare For Your PBN

CloudFlare is a free CDN service that includes a feature that completely masks your real host, making it perfect for PBN’s. It allows you to put unlimited sites on a single host without anyone knowing they are on the same host – except for you.

I’ve been using it for over 6 months without any issues. And recently, I’ve been getting questions from friends about how they can use it and whether or not it is safe.

The main two questions I receive are…

Does it leave a footprint?

Yes.

Every website will have nameservers and an IP address that is owned by CloudFlare. But this is good thing. More than 2 million websites use CloudFlare, so while this gives you footprints, you are hiding behind the numbers.

Unlike SEO hosting, Google can’t just hit every single customer because they are all used for PBN’s. Most websites using CloudFlare are using it for the increased loading times their CDN/caching services provide, or maybe even the DDoS protection it offers. We are just a tiny subset of users.

Now there is still one footprint you can leave that will allow anyone to find out every single website you own, but we will cover how to cover this later in the article.

How does it work?

CloudFlare has a reverse proxy feature that hides your web-host/server behind an IP address that they own. If you do it right, nobody will be able to figure out which host you actually use.

The basics of this are, CloudFlare own thousands of IP addresses that will visit your website, download all the content, and display it on their servers. This will mess with your Analytics, but that shouldn’t be an issue for your PBN sites, if it is, there is a way of setting it up still.

To do this, you will have to point your domain at their servers by setting the nameservers, and you need to give them the IP address of where they can find the actual website.

To understand the footprints and how it works, your best bet is to follow the process of setting it up…

How to Setup CloudFlare

Registration is very simple, enter an email address relevant to the domain you want to setup. Don’t worry about the email actually being setup, you do not need to verify it. The username has to be unique for your account but isn’t important for logging in. I usually just use whatever the domain is, for example ‘lionzeal’.

registration

Next you add the website you want to add, again very simple:

add-website

Then this video comes up that you cannot skip. Pause it and wait for the countdown to finish below the video. When it does, click the continue button:

continue

Now you will see a list of DNS records. These will vary for every website depending on how you have it setup, or which registrar you use. Here is what I see for this site:

dns-records

The only ones that matter here are ‘lionzeal.com’ or whatever domain you are setting up, and ‘www’. Everything else should be removed to eliminate footprints, otherwise anyone could still see which service or server you use for your email still.

Click the little cogs and hit delete to remove any of the records:

delete

And now you need to get the IP address of the new server you plan on using. If you use a cPanel host, login to the panel and have a look down the sidebar for ‘Shared IP Address’ as shown below:

cpanel_ip_2

Now, you can click the cog as before, for the remaining two records (domain & www) and replace the IP address in the ‘Value’ column to the one you just copied.

I’m not going to be actually setting this up, but if I were, it would look like this:

finished-dns

All you need to do now is click the “I’ve added all missing records, continue” button to save these settings. Ignore the red warning box about email, we don’t need this setup as these are only PBN sites.

save

Select the ‘Free’ plan, absolutely no need to pay for anything here. And when you click the Continue button, you’ll be given your nameservers to use:

nameservers

You’ll need to set those nameservers up with your registrar as soon as you want it to work. You can either do that straight away, or just keep a note of the nameservers then click the “I’ve updated my nameservers, continue” button.

Footprint Removal

Over-Usage

The footprint of using CloudFlare will always be there. This is not risky because over 2 million other websites also use it, I would suggest not over-using it though. Presuming there are a billion websites in the world, CloudFlare is only used by about 0.2% of them. You will want to at least take this into consideration when hosting your entire network.

If you only have 10 sites, it’s not likely that them all using the same host would be an issue, but for larger networks, if 50% of the websites linking to you are on a hosting service that only 0.2% of the websites on the internet use, you can see that as being a bit of a footprint.

With that said, I personally use CloudFlare on about 25% of my network alongside a number of various web hosts. It’s unlikely this will ever be an issue as only a small number of PBN sites are used for linking to any particular website.

Duplicate Nameservers

Every account is given unique combination of nameservers when they register. This is in the form of names, so the example above we got:

cleo.ns.cloudflare.com
marge.ns.cloudflare.com

Each time you register, you are automatically assigned a random name out of a list for each one. Other websites are using cleo.ns.cloudflare.com as a nameserver. And many websites are using marge.ns.cloudflare.com as a nameserver. But not many will be using the exact same combination.

You can see this here: https://who.is/nameserver/cleo.ns.cloudflare.com/

There are a lot of websites using this same nameserver, but if we look at a whois lookup of some of those sites e.g. https://who.is/whois/havocgamers.net/, you’ll see their secondary nameserver is kiki.ns.cloudflare.com. If you check a few of these, you will see every website has unique combinations.

It is really easy to get a unique combination for each of your websites. All you need to do is create a new account for every domain you want to setup. This is why we use an email address relevant to the domain on registration.

Non-Protected DNS Records

This was already covered in the setup process, but make sure to remove any DNS records that are not the domain or WWW, these will leave footprints.

Another thing to make sure is that the records you leave are using CloudFlare, this is shown with an orange cloud under the ‘Active’ tab. If you see a grey cloud, make sure to click it to activate it.

Example of what to look for below:

dns-records-footprints

Train Your VA’s to do it for you

Who has time to do all this? I did it a couple times for 1 or 2 sites, but when you buy 50+ domains in bulk, it is way too much work.

Instead, I created this little worksheet for my VA’s to work from:

worksheet

Works very simple, you give them the IP address to use and they signup and take note of the registration information. I personally do not give them access to my registrar accounts, meaning I need to change the nameservers manually, but this only takes a few minutes.

To train your VA’s how to do this, you can send them to this post, copy the important parts into a PDF document, or record a video of yourself doing it. I personally do the latter, but that’s because it is quicker, the step-by-step part is already done for you in this post.

That’s about all there is, it’s very simple to outsource. You can download the worksheet free, to save yourself re-creating it, by entering your email address below:

Download the CloudFlare Worksheet

Should you use CloudFlare?

It is free to use, takes minutes to setup, and allows you to make things easy for yourself by hosting several websites on a single web host. You should definitely be using it for a portion of your network, just don’t over do it. For hosting the rest, I recommend reading the PBN hosting guide.

What do you guys think? If you have any additional questions I have missed out, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Daryl

About Daryl Rosser

Daryl runs a six figure SEO business primarily focusing on local clients. He's extremely analytical, and his favourite ranking strategy is using PBN's.

94 Responses to “How To Use CloudFlare For Your PBN”

  • Hin  September 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Great writeup Daryl!

    • Daryl Rosser  September 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks Hin!

  • Nir Levi  October 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    wow thanks alot Daryl, I was in the middle of setting up cloud flare and I bumped into your article..

    Cheers!

    • Daryl Rosser  October 14, 2014 at 5:30 am

      Good luck with it Nir 🙂

  • Rick  October 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Great post, I’ve been using cloudflare from the start. They now offer free SSL which is great as SSL may be introduced as a ranking factor.

    Out of interest how many sites from a network do you have on cloudflare? What do you think is safe?

    • Daryl Rosser  October 16, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I think I mentioned in the post, about 25% of my PBN is on CloudFlare. On top of that, I use a ton of shared hosts. I would not want to use anymore than 25%, but if you only have like 20 sites, you should be fine with them all.

  • Marie  November 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Hello, what to do in the case that no single DNS record is there in cloudflare. Where can I get the DNS records for my website? I found none of A, AAAA or CNAME or MX in wohis-info and none of them in my host-data. Thanks

    • Daryl Rosser  November 12, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Hey Marie,

      Add new ‘A’ records and follow the same steps.

      One record for the name put ‘www’, then after points to – put the IP as the guide shows.
      For the next record name, put ‘.’ and then the IP again.

      Now you should have both records set, you can continue as usual.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  • Mahid  November 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Hi Daryl,

    the post is very helpful. I am currently thinking of setting up the cloudflare for one of my moneysites because it is on the same host as my other money site. Do you think this is needed or you would just keep them both on the same host. Naturally if I will add PBN sites to the host I will use for them cloudflare or even put them on a different host.

    Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work.

    • Daryl Rosser  November 14, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Thanks Mahid.

      I used CloudFlare on a few of my money sites, it’s a good idea to mix up the hosting you use (even for money sites). It could look weird that your PBN sites link to several sites all on the exact same server.

  • Pete  January 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    You must be careful with your MX records that still will show your real (VPS) server IP if you don’t delete them or use a third party email provider. Check your settings with intodns.com once you are done to see if your real server IP address is revealed anywhere.

    • Daryl Rosser  January 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Good point Pete. I do not setup email for my PBN sites, so remove the MX records from CloudFlare (therefore removing this footprint).

  • Jen  January 25, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Great post as usual Daryl!

    Noob question – so say i have the baby plan on hostgator and want to use multiple domains and hide them using cloudfare..

    and my primary domain is http://www.alligator.com – I set up cloudfare like this for the primary domain..

    and the exact same process for every other “Add-on” domain? Thanks!!!!!!!

    • Daryl Rosser  January 26, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks Jen. Yep, exactly. Set it up as you normally would, except rather than using HostGator nameservers, you set it up through CloudFlare.

  • Jen  January 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks Daryl, absolutely love your blog, I’ve learned more from here than any other SEO site. Thanks a million, man!

  • Martin  February 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Great article Daryl,

    I will test this in the next few days, bought shared hosting (hostgator) and I will add 15-20 domains :), so I have to create cloudflare account for each domain to avoid any footprints?

    • Daryl Rosser  March 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Bit late with this response. Yes, exactly that. It’s really easy though because there is no email verification.

  • Mark  March 9, 2015 at 10:57 am

    So basically you can use the same cheap host over and over again for each and every of your PBNs, and as long as you set up Cloudflare, it should be ok.

    Correct?

    • Daryl Rosser  March 10, 2015 at 2:43 am

      Yes, and no.

      That is the idea, you can use a single shared host and put several PBN sites on it. There is however safe limitations of how much of your network you use with CloudFlare, personally I use less than 25%.

  • Christos  March 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    So can i use one shared hosting for a lot of domains? Isn’t the fact that each domain will be set-up as a subdomain to main one a footprint?

    • Daryl Rosser  March 16, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Yes, you can.

      You can try using this tool:
      https://pentest-tools.com/reconnaissance/find-subdomains-of-domain

      It will try to find the subdomains of your site based on DNS records, etc. This tool, and others I’ve tested, can’t seem to find the subdomains at all.

      To be extra careful though, and this is what I do with my PBN sites on shared hosts. Don’t use the nameservers provided by the webhost for your main domain, instead just point it directly at the shared hosting IP through your registrars DNS service. This way the subdomains won’t actually exist, and you won’t be able to access them.

  • Martin  April 2, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Guys, is there any way that I can test which of the pages, images and files are or aren’t swapped over to the CDN? Scanner or something?

    THanks

    • Daryl Rosser  April 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      If you’re using CloudFlare for your PBN, everything is on the CDN, and behind their reverse proxy. You can test CloudFlare is working by doing a simple “ping”. There are only tools for it, like this: http://cloudmonitor.ca.com/en/ping.php

      Then just check it doesn’t match your web servers IP address. If it does, you probably haven’t activated CloudFlare.

  • Zak  May 11, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Quick question for you on this topic, Daryl! Was noticing I wasn’t getting emails through to e.g. info@domain.com for the PBNs I’d had my VA set up with Cloudflare. He used that email to sign up to Cloudflare and so of course the reason is due to the MX records being deleted, I’m guessing.

    So I’m now going to be using a new email for each Cloudflare I set up, and was wondering which service you’d recommend? Can I just tell my VA to use his email for all of them, since I don’t think the email for Cloudflared sites shows up in the Whois?

    • Daryl Rosser  May 12, 2015 at 3:45 am

      Yeah, that is the reason you were not receiving emails.

      The email needs to be different every time you sign up to CloudFlare, but nobody aside from CloudFlare can see the email you signed up with. I just use some random @domain.com email, since there is no verifications (at least yet) to check the email address is valid, and creating a new email account every time is too much hassle (even for my VA’s).

  • Zak  May 12, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Makes sense, thank you. I’ve just heard that ICANN are starting to do more verifications etc, so until now had been using @pbndomain.com since that is what I had set up on the domain and when registering. Since that won’t work anymore, what do you suggest so I can be reached if necessary for verification?

    • Daryl Rosser  May 12, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Ahh, I see what you mean now.

      I either have whois protection with a legit email, the domain email that doesn’t work, or for UK domains (since they always verify) – a pre-created account like gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.

      You can just go on Fiverr and buy a bunch of email accounts if you need.

  • Zak  May 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you, good idea. I guess Fiverr is the easiest way then since you said they’d need to be different each time (not sure then how you could use same whois-protected legit email, but Ima assume you’re doing it the fiverr way :)) I’m also in the UK, so lots of UK Cloudflares!

  • Sebastian  May 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Before coming to this page I had read some of the details to set up cloudflare and I was very concerned with the difficulty and effort it would take to not only apply but also learn the process. This page was very easy to follow and I expect to have minimal challenge in implementing. Thank you for putting this tutorial together and sharing it.

    • Daryl Rosser  June 19, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Honestly can’t tell if this is a spam comment or not. Reads exactly like my old GSA SER comments, lol. Approved it anyway, but removed the link.

  • Joao  June 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hello, first, thanks for the great post!

    I have one question:

    So, using this method, can I use just one shared host to put Money sites and PBN’s (Money sites not necessarily with cloudflare), just setting cloudflare on PBN’s ?

    Thanks a lot!

    Joao

    • Daryl Rosser  June 19, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Joao!

      You shouldn’t put all of your PBN sites (or even money sites) on a single host, but yes, that would work. There would be no way to identify the PBN sites and money sites were on the same host.

      CloudFlare counts as the same host, but a very popular one, allowing you to put more of your sites on it than normal.

  • James  June 24, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Hi Daryl – great post! Came across your website on the Marketing Inc video.

    I’m pretty new to PBNs and am in the process of setting up my first one.

    Quick question I have – you mention ‘……and now you need to get the IP address of the new server you plan on using’

    Can you expand on this? Is this just an IP address from one of my other hosting plans? Or something else?

    Many thanks,
    James

    • Daryl Rosser  June 24, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Hey James, you must have been watching closely to have caught it! I’m referring to the IP address that your website is hosted on, provided by the hosting company. Most shared hosts are using cPanel, so this screenshot explains what that is once you’re logged in:

      cPanel IP address

      Hope you learn some new things from the blog!

      • James  June 24, 2015 at 8:25 am

        Got it – thanks Daryl. I’ve read most of it already – looking forward to the future posts!

  • Imilia  June 28, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Hi Daryl! Thanks for this guide! I have a question though. After the scan, it showed that my www record is a CNAME type (yours is A) with CloudFlare enabled. I left it as is and completed the setup process. But should I also delete that and add an A type www record? Can I still do that even after completing the setup?

    • Daryl Rosser  June 28, 2015 at 7:00 am

      CNAME is fine also, just make sure the CNAME is the domain. If your domain is example.com, then that should be the CNAME for the WWW record.

      What that does is point it to the root domain, which is pointed to your IP. Rather than pointing them separately.

      Hope that second line didn’t make it more confusing than it needs to be, lol.

      You can edit all of this stuff by going into the DNS settings of the domain in CloudFlare.

      Hope that helps!

      • Imilia  June 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm

        The CNAME says it’s an alias for my domain, so I guess I’m set. Thanks for replying Daryl!

  • Mike  June 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Daryl, does it pose a problem when u try to post articles via xmlrpc or any remote publishing tool?

    Can cloudflare handle such dynamic request?

    • Daryl Rosser  June 30, 2015 at 10:54 am

      I believe it should be fine, Mike.

      I can’t say for sure though, only remote publishing tool I use is MainWP. And I’m pretty sure that doesn’t submit via xmlrpc.

      You’ll have to test it to know for sure. Let me know if it works, may help other people here.

  • Abderrahim  July 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Does this method still works fine ? just asking for a confirmation before i apply it
    and another thing, i know you only use it for no more than 25% of your network but the size of the network matters, the more the network is bigger the more the percentage will decrease for safety purposes, but for my case i have 20 PBN is it safe enough to use it for 50% of them ? Thank you Daryl, keep up (y)

    • Daryl Rosser  July 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Works great man. It’s not something that’s likely to suddenly stop working.

      Should be fine, but make sure to build a bunch of different types of links (other than PBN), to diversify your links.

  • John  July 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hi, I have 2 questions:

    1: When buying a domain, it’s secure to add the webhosting nameserver?
    2: It’s recommended to install mod_cloudflare? – https://github.com/cloudflare/mod_cloudflare

    Thanks!

    • Daryl Rosser  July 30, 2015 at 8:14 am

      It’s not a good idea to use the web hosts nameservers when you’re planning on using CloudFlare, otherwise the history will be a footprint showing which host was used. And no, you don’t need to install mod_cloudflare.

      Hope that helps.

  • John Sloan  August 5, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Being that cloudflare does not mask the IP address of your websites, they all still show as being at the same IP. See here: https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200172646-Will-CloudFlare-hide-my-IP-online-

    You can see this when you check your websites availability here: https://www.site24x7.com/check-website-availability.html

    So, does using cloudflare truly protect you?

    • Daryl Rosser  August 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Setup CloudFlare as explained in this post, then find the IP of the server it’s hosted on, and I’ll publicly apologise and redact this post. I couldn’t manage it.

      CloudFlare has a reverse proxy feature which masks your server IP. There are ways of finding the server if you set it up wrong i.e. MX records, but I personally could not find any if it’s setup correctly.

      An IP lookup only shows CloudFlare IP’s, not your server ones.

      Your choice whether you use it or not though.

      • John Sloan  August 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        I went back and did it exactly as you posted, and it seems you are correct. When I did it the first time, I set the www as a cname. This was still showing my hosts IP when I looked it up. After changing cname to an A entry, it is now showing the cloudflare IP.

        Thanks for steering me right. 🙂

        • Daryl Rosser  August 8, 2015 at 6:01 am

          Sweet, glad you got it working.

  • Jack Manning  September 6, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Hey Daryl,

    I recently came across your website and thinks it’s a great platform of info!

    I know of a free webhost called webhost.co.nz where I have made a few gimmicky websites:
    – adzealand.cf (Twitter clone)
    – kiwinews.cf (wikipedia clone)
    – tuneshare.cf (online craigslist clone)

    All of these websites I made with free domains and hosting. Relating to Cloudflare, would using this freewebhost be very similar to using cloudflare if you use it for PBN’s or am I completely missing the point?

    I have hosted quite a few domains with the same account using this free service

    -Jack

    • Daryl Rosser  September 10, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Thanks Jack.

      You could use webhost.co.nz as a free hosting solution for a PBN site, even though it’s a little slow loading. But the idea of CloudFlare is that you can use a reputable host for your PBN, but mask it behind CloudFlare IPs so nobody can see who the host is. This allows you to host several sites from a single hosting account.

      Using free hosts isn’t the same because they’re small companies, so it’s a clear footprint when multiple or all of your PBN sites are hosted on them. You can use it for 1 site, but not multiple, like you can when using CloudFlare.

  • Sean  September 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Dary, thanks for the interesting and informative post. Do you create separate PBNs for your money sites or do you link to more than one money site from each PBN?

  • Taylor  September 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Nice one, Daryl!
    I have a question about the IP change.
    I have a site in a server that shows for example the IP 123.45.123.98.
    When i use the CloudFlare, the ip that shows (during the configuration) is the same 123.45.123.98.
    So, what is the “new server hosting” that you said to chang the “new” ip? (the ip that shows im my cpanel is the same 123.45.123.98.)

    Thanks, Daryl.

    • Daryl Rosser  September 27, 2015 at 6:52 am

      You shouldn’t be pointing your domain at your host prior to setting up CloudFlare, otherwise there will always be a history footprint of it being pointed at the host. You should just setup CloudFlare straight away after buying the domain. Then the instructions will make more sense.

  • Sreejan  September 20, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Loved your post! I am starting out with PBNs and would like to know more. sent an invite in the FB group- Please Do Approve!

    • Daryl Rosser  September 27, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Glad to hear man. Should have approved you by now, if not, let me know.

  • Trevor  September 23, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Hey Daryl,

    Get blog/effort supporting the seo community – thanks.

    You describe the process above for using CloudFlare CDN service but do you know if there are any other CDN services offer a similar service to CloudFlare ? I’m a little worried setting up 50 pbns using CloudFlare all linking to the same money sites will cause a footprint?

    • Daryl Rosser  September 27, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Thanks Trevor. Don’t setup that many on CloudFlare, you’ll have to buy some hosting as well, don’t try to do it all on the cheap. Another solution is Incapsula, which I covered in this post.

  • trevor butler  September 25, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Just to add to my last question …
    lets say i set up my site on CF and it scans/downloads my site – all good!
    I then post 3 new articles, what happens when googlebot or a real visitor try to open a new article?
    If it wasnt available in my original PBN scan will CF know and try to pick it up from my actual site?

    • Daryl Rosser  September 27, 2015 at 6:59 am

      Your site will be updated in real time, as usual, aside from some things like CSS/JS files which are cached.

  • Angelo  October 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Hi,

    very nice article with a lot of info. But what do You think about expired domains with chinese links?
    And what about expired domain with a good link profile ( no chinese links) that had in the last few years (1-2 years on wayback) chinese content.

    Avoiding such domains or can I use them for PBN or even for a real website (if neutral name, like your lionzeal)?

    Maybe that could be also a good point for this article: Avoid domains from …

    Thanks
    Angelo

    • Daryl Rosser  February 1, 2016 at 3:28 am

      If the links were all legit and the site didn’t look spammy, then go ahead and buy it, won’t hurt. Chinese links can be bad, but they are fine *presuming they are legit links*. That’s all domain buying really comes down to, just check if it was a legit website with legit links, if so – buy it.

  • Bogdan  December 7, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I don’t understand why you change the IP with your shared one, can’t the domain remain with what cloudflare gives you? Wouldn’t it be better than a shared IP?

    • Daryl Rosser  February 1, 2016 at 3:29 am

      Don’t understand what you’re asking. You point the site at CloudFlare, which is pointing at your webhosting, but CloudFlare masks that IP and only shows a CloudFlare IP address.

  • Mr. Bill  December 10, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Hi, thanks for sharing useful post. I think it will be more clear if you have a video on how to set up cloudflare. thanks Daryl

  • stu  December 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

    You think the fact Google has bought Cloudflare is a sign they are going after cheap PBNs that use CF as a free hosting option?

    I guess multihosting more than one domain on CF is now a huge footprint

    • Daryl Rosser  February 1, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Google did not buy CloudFlare. And they sure as hell would never acquire a company that large to go after people like us, would be a terrible business move, many easier avenues of taking us down.

      CloudFlare still works perfectly fine, nothings changed. Will do a revision to the guide on this shortly.

  • shweta  February 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I am a noob so kindly excuse me if I sound silly
    So your steps are like this
    1) buy a domain
    2) straight away head to cloudflare and create an account
    3) Make changes and point to the IP of the the shared webhosting for PBNs
    4) head over to the domain panel and change the nameserver to the ones provided by cloudflare
    5) Now, I have a QUESTION. Normally, in my hosting panel, I have to add my domain and create a folder. Do I need to do that in this case also?

    • Daryl Rosser  February 7, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Yes. Step 3 is done on CloudFlare though (just in case anyone reads the comments and is confused).

      You add the domain to your hosting panel as usual.

  • Lucas  March 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    How much PBN you put in the same Host using cloudflare?
    Thanks!

    • Daryl Rosser  March 28, 2016 at 6:58 am

      As many as you want, nobody except for CloudFlare (and you) can see they’re all on the same host.

  • Josh  April 7, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Hey Daryl,
    Thanks for the great post! I was curious about using Cloudflare for my PBNs and you pretty much confirmed what I was thinking. However, in addition to using Cloudflare, I was planning to also use whois protection for each of my PBN domains, and host all of them on the same server…What are you thoughts on this? Also, considering that a lot of websites will potentially be using the same CF nameservers as your sites, and your IPs will be hidden couldn’t you just use one CF account without really leaving a footprint?

    • Daryl Rosser  April 12, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Mix up your registrars, but that’s fine. One CloudFlare account means identical nameservers though. There are dozens of different nameservers. And every account gets their own combination. So if you have 5 sites all with the exact same nameserver combination linking to the exact same website(s), it’s a pretty clear footprint.

  • Ian  May 12, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Great post Daryl, thanks for putting it together.

    I’m currently using cloudflare with a vps and serverpilot for a small amount of pbns. The reason I chose this setup was because of a potential footprint I read about with using cpanel/cloudflare where cpanel reveals your IP. Have you come across this at all? Thanks

    • Daryl Rosser  May 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks Ian. I wouldn’t worry about it, we have a bad habit of getting paranoid over everything when doing stuff against Google TOS.

  • ken  May 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the post but what if your clourflare ns has porn or other scammy sites?

    I think that will de-index some of the sites falling in that ns name. Let me know your thoughts.

    • Daryl Rosser  May 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Doesn’t matter. It’s a very small % of all the sites on there, most are legit sites.

  • Krasimir Krastev  July 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Daryl,

    And thank you for the useful post. That was the exact info I was looking for. Keep going this way.

  • daniel  August 21, 2016 at 8:30 am

    hey sir!

    i got a specific question about domains themselves. i mainly use german domains, but those are not egliable for whois protection. can u think of a way to still hide my identity? if i was going for fake ids it looks like i would have to use many many domain services not to get busted by the seller?

    what do you think about using english domains but hosting german content?

    thank you!

    • daniel  August 21, 2016 at 10:21 am

      also: cloudflare already knew my shared ip adress, so there was nothing to change. is that a problem?

  • Shaun Ling  September 9, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Google bought cloudfare, does it mean that its not safe to host on cloudfare anymore?

    • Daryl Rosser  September 10, 2016 at 4:08 am

      Google definitely did not buy CloudFlare.

      • Nils  September 29, 2016 at 7:37 am

        Hi Daryl,

        I am interested in your opinion on this:
        https://www.cloudflare.com/integrations/google-cloud/

        So… still safe? I have like 20 PBN on Hostnine + Cloudflare and no problems in the last 1,5 years, but who knows…

        Thanks
        Nils

        • Daryl Rosser  September 29, 2016 at 6:38 pm

          Doesn’t really matter. Highly doubt Google have access to CloudFlare user data.

  • Jamie Willows  October 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Great Article Daryl, just to confirm as I was getting a little confused.. The initial IP ” 184.168.47.225″ is where your content and site is hosted. Than after setting up cloud-flare you did a IP lookup using like whatismyipaddress or similar? Than you grabbed that IP you looked up and put that “cloudflare” hosted IP was 70.39.145.13? Into the settings?

    I guess Im just getting confused as to where the second IP “70.39.145.13” is coming from?

    Also saw this video that highlights another method to mask the IP ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzXVY8aPB4c

    • Daryl Rosser  October 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      The initial IP you referenced is where the domain is currently pointed. In my case, it was where the files are stored. But if you use CloudFlare for PBN sites, then it’ll just be a random IP from your registrars parked page, since you should never point the domain to the hosting outside of CloudFlare – otherwise there’s a permanent footprint.

      The other IP is just an example of where to find your hosting servers IP address if using a cPanel host.

      • Jamie Willows  October 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm

        Ah yes that makes total sense! I just tested it out on a couple different domains! This method works well just need to setup the cloudflare account when it is pointed to a parked page and than change it afterwards!

        Thanks for the tip!

  • Andrew McBurney  November 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Super informative – thanks!

  • Zum Splet  November 22, 2016 at 11:47 am

    This was very insightful, thank you very much! I already use Cloud Flare, now I will also use it for my PBN’s.

    • Daryl Rosser  November 23, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      You’re welcome 🙂 Thanks for commenting

  • Naval Gupta  December 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Can i host 10 pbn in single host and then use cloudflare?

    • Daryl Rosser  December 7, 2016 at 2:34 am

      Yes, but remember there’s still a footprint in the sense that anyone can see the sites are using CloudFlare. So if all the sites, or even most, that link to yours are on CloudFlare, that’s a footprint.

  • Alex  December 16, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Daryl not sure how safe it is to host lets say 5 PBNs on a Shared Hosting, even with CloudFlare.

    On some tests of mine (without CloudFlare) you can easily see that the PBN’s are related,and they are on the same hosting package/server.

    I haven’t tried with CloudFlare yet, I always played safe and went trough the long path, but I am assuming based on how the internet works, ( resolving DNS to access a website and other stuff ) with cloudflare for let’s say 5 pbns on the same hosting package will still cause the same thing as without cloudflare.

    • Daryl Rosser  December 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      CloudFlare is a reverse proxy, so the DNS resolves through their servers instead of the shared host.