I started mine the easy way and in a time when links where plain and simple. So any of the following may or may not work in todayís post penguin/panda updates. They have also changed the rules on age of domain, parked domains, dropping domains. You will need to read it and work out for yourself if anything I am saying will help you or hinder you.
As the rules have changed and I have been busy with other stuff I donít build on the network anymore so I cannot really say what would work now.
I am not sure if you would call it 1 big network or smaller targeted networks, the reason I say this is I built up smaller niche networks with the express desire to do my own linking strategy, including my main reason deeplinks. I have money making sites which need links, I learnt pretty quick that people didnít like doing deeplinks so they would like to link to the root of a domain but not to a product or sales page or if they would deeplink it cost extra. I couldnít really control how they did the links or where they placed the links.
I would grab a dropping domain with age, pr and backlinks. I would go for something in the niche with at least 1 keyword in it from the niche or the anchor text I was planning on using, 5 years or even older is better, PR4 or higher (when pr counted for something), and of course lots of backlinks. This was when they didn't penalise the dropping domain, "in theory" I would put the original content back on the site "with permission" and use the original names and stuff while only changing the contact emails to the domain in question for the registry data. Trying to make it look like the domain was forgotten but recouped by the original. I would also check to see if it had common hosting and then use that hosting if applicable, lots of sites are hosted on godaddy/hostgator/1and1 etc etc. (Sometimes the original host account was still active making it easy to scrape the content)
If not I would use either free or cheap hosting as these domains arenít there to make any money for me, I donít have adverts on them. I donít use incriminating code on them such as GA/AS or other forms that might be able to track back to me. All emails used on the site are back to plain ones like webmaster, sales, info, admin etc.. etc.. at the domain in question.
They are a mix of sites, html, wordpress, .php .asp etc etc I wasnít fussy at all and would just copy the page names if I needed to.
The content I use was specifically written with 1 unique product in mind so the link becomes like a natural link whilst talking about that product. The rest of the website just serves as a tool to support that page.
Funny enough I used a variety of anchor text styles, upper case letters, sometimes even a common misspelling of a word and if it worked out I would rearrange words as well and use filler words ďthe a if not etc etcĒ in the anchor text, I would use some links with title tags and others without, I tried to be as individual about the whole process as I could but in the end all the anchor text is basically the same. If I wanted to build up a product page for a massage table for example, I would use a variety of styles in the links
this massage table
perfect table for massaging
You should get the point (mind you I always checked in google that the misspelling would actually redirect to the correct word I wanted)
masage tabel Showing results for massage table
I would never host these sites on my servers, they would also never cross link any of my sites but if the pr was good I might also sell links if people came to me. Every now and then if I remember I will get some content written and add to one of the sites but apart from that I just let them sit.
As I was lucky to get in before all the big changes none of them have been hit by the updates, when pr meant something the links donít seem to have diminished any well nothing that I can tell.
I am sure I have probably missed a step or two but if you want to ask me anything let me know. Crabfoot will tell you my spelling aint the best so please forgive me and also the Elijah has been my friend today/tonight so if none of it makes sense I can blame that lol