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What are private blog networks?

Michael Kuzmin
28.12.2021

You can't overlook link building if you want to boost your website's organic traffic. RankBrain and content are two very important ranking elements, according to Google's own admission from 2016.

The proper links may boost your ranks and increase your organic visibility, and building links is a key strategy in SEO. However, building a backlink profile takes time and effort. As long as you follow Google's Webmaster Guidelines, you shouldn't have to worry about link-building difficulties.

In order to speed up their site's organic growth, some SEOs employ strategies that go against these recommendations, such as the utilization of private blog networks (PBNs). Here, we discuss PBN links SEO and all you should know about them.

What are private blog networks?

A PBN is a network of sites that are used to build links (and hence assign authority) to a single website in order to manipulate search engine results.

It is a community of websites constructed on expired domains with some prior history that are part of a PBN or public/private blogging network.

A good history and a decent link profile are what they are looking for when purchasing dropped domains. However, it's more common for them to check the link mass, rather than DR and DA, when purchasing drops. The most important thing is that there have been good links from credible sources.

A lot of these domains have been bought and re-registered by other domain owners during auctions.

It is then resurrected and built on some kind of CMS like Wordpress, which is the most common one.

How private blog networks work

In a PBN, links are sent from one or more of your own websites to another, which, in turn, increases the authority of the other website.

We all know how important links are to search engine algorithms. The stronger the quality of the links connecting to a given web page, the higher that web page will rank. This explains why people learn how to build PBN links.

Because link acquisition is expensive and time-consuming, many marketers have decided to develop their own websites from which they may link to their other sites. This is a Private Blog Network (PBN), or a network of private blogs.

PBNs have changed over time, just like many other aspects of the SEO industry. There were times when a few dozen websites filled with junk material and connections to your "money site" would allow you to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Many of these were set up in the past (before Penguin) and had astonishing results. Many times we have built large article directories where anyone could contribute their work.

Free material from other marketers would then be delivered to these websites. However, the materials ranged from extremely well-written texts to terrible works.

There was no correlation between the PBN's ability to boost the ranks of the linked websites and the quality of the material.

What the Google recommendation says about PBN

Google's John Mueller said: "Sometimes we recognize that a new site is completely unrelated to an old site. So, for example, if you go out and buy an old domain name, it might have been a church website for 10 years. If we recognize your new website is really not the same as it was, then we need to understand that difference and say that these links apply to the old website, but they don't apply to the new one."

PBNs, like many other Black Hat SEO approaches, carry serious consequences. Your site will be penalized by Google if it detects the use of PBN links, and you will have a difficult time establishing yourself in search engine optimization.

Google is suspicious if all of the backlinks you've gotten are from sites that aren't updated frequently and have few or no internal links

From John's statement, it appears that Google now takes a closer look at link relevance and quality.

Why Some Webmasters Use Private Blog Networks

There are 3 main reasons why webmasters choose to use private blog networks.

  1. It is difficult and costly to get links.
    Because of competitors' fierce competition and willingness to use all means necessary to rise to the top, some businesses are forced to follow these principles. Webmasters create their own networks to save money because external links are difficult to come by in certain niches and can be prohibitively expensive when purchased.
  2. Full control.
    It's up to you what you want to do with the websites on your network. You can adjust the anchors, delete links, and explore in any way you choose. Controlled sites may not take down links to your article in the future (which is generally the case since webmasters delete some links). They may even add links to your article that point to a rival. They are the ones who decide how to build websites, what material to include, and so on.
  3. Regions where there is simply nowhere to get a link.
    For example, in places like Scandinavia, Africa, and Latin America, it is quite difficult to gain a connection because there simply aren't enough sites.

Should you use PBN?

We’re afraid there's no direct way to answer this one. No, we'd rather not even think about it. Before opting to try PBN, you'll need to answer a couple of questions. For instance, If you're not sure whether there are enough blogs or places in your niche where you can receive relevant connections, you may choose to consider it. You may also want to ask if it's going to help you make money.

You don't need to do PBN if you won't derive any benefits. A network can be advantageous in theory, but it is a very complicated procedure in practice. Also, it may not be beneficial if you lack skills and may even be detrimental to the main site.

What can replace links with PBN

For the most part, getting good links to your site may be done for very little money. If you can provide high-quality material and work out a deal for guest posts, it will be more lucrative than setting up a grid of your own. Using broken links creation, niche edits, forum backlinks are also quite inexpensive. If you have enough expertise negotiating with websites, you may do it for nearly nothing by spending just your own time or that of your company's staff and creating content.

Guest Posts

Guest posting has remained one of the best ways to grow backlinks since the dawn of blogging. For a good number of reasons, guest posting sets you up for better ranking and visibility. Nonetheless, a few people assume it could be quite costly to build links via guest posts, but that's not always the case.

Niche edits backlinks and broken link building

Inserting a link into an existing article is known as "niche edits" or "link inserts." In most cases, link inserts are inserted into old content on authority sites in your field of interest. In order to get a lot of link juice from an authoritative site, this is a highly successful link development approach.

Conclusion

Some publishers may claim to have benefited from the use of PBNs. However, Google's guidelines state that PBN links should not be used for SEO purposes. Also, PBN is not considered a totally ethical method of obtaining connections by specialists, but other methods, such as purchasing links, also conflict. As a result, in order to make sense of any given scenario, you must approach it from multiple perspectives. We hope this article has offered useful insight and could potentially be helpful.

Michael Kuzmin
Co-Founder 10х Agency. 10 years in Sales&Marketing. The last 4 years specializing in link-building processes and outreach development.