Do Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Still Work? Should You Build One?

When you build a PBN, you connect your site to a publicly accessible blog network and let Google and others crawl and index your site. Build a PBN and you could dominate the organic search results appearing in Google’s search results. Unfortunately, as I’ve written before, there are many reasons why people shouldn’t build PBNs, and they include SEO factors, ability to control quality of links, and authority. I’m going to show you how to build a PBN that is effective, and still safe from the attacks and penalties Google can levy against sites that are in violation of its guidelines.

Private blog networks are a relatively new concept in the blogging world. You build a PBN (Private Blog Network) to gain traffic and rankings for your blog posts. This strategy usually works best for blogs that are new and just starting out, but the problem is that any blog can be built into a PBN. This means that anyone with the know how to build a blog can do the same.

Private blog networks (PBNs) are promotions that are used to help you rank your website in search engines. PBNs are used for a variety of purposes, but the most common one is to help you rank your website in search engines. They are also used to drive traffic to your website. The main purpose of a PBN is to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your website. Backlinks are links that point to a website, so when you apply a set of backlinks to your website, it makes it easier for search engines to find it. PBNs are a great way to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your website. With that being said, PBNs can be used for several. Read more about how to build a private blog network and let us know what you think. If you use SEO to promote your website, you’ve probably heard of PBNs (Private Blog Networks). The concept is not that difficult to understand (although it is difficult to implement), but you can find yourself in a quandary when faced with a plethora of information. Will PBNs still be active in 2021? Are there any risks? The short answers are yes and yes. So, is it worth building it? It’s all up to you. However, the purpose of this article is to help you make an informed decision. This is not a tutorial on how to make a PBN. However, if you have been thinking about creating a PBN for your sites, then you should definitely read this article. word-image-6573

  1. What is PBN?
  2. Do PBNs work?
    1. How Google fooled everyone and was always one step ahead
    2. The thin line between PBN and multi-site ownership
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of PBN
    1. Benefits
    2. Cons
  4. Do you need to create a PBN in 2021?

Denial: Just so we’re clear: We do NOT recommend creating a PBN. This is risky and violates Google’s terms of service. They also waste time and money that could have been invested in safer and more effective timeless tactics.

What is a PBN?

PBN stands for Private Blog Network. In short, it is a group of websites owned by a webmaster whose sole purpose is to improve the ranking of other websites. These networks fall into the category of BlackHat SEO link building tactics. Of course they didn’t in the first place. But after people started abusing it, Google took action. Until 2014, PBN was the most popular. The excitement was great and everyone started building them. Everyone wanted a ride. That was until Google completely eliminated some PBN services and the PBNs of some popular marketing bloggers. Here is an example of a PBN service among many others that have fallen: word-image-2335 The truth is that PBN is nothing more than Web 2.0 on steroids. Instead of using WordPress.com and Blogger subdomains, use expired domains that already have authority. If you buy the right expired domains and build your network properly, you can make a pretty big profit. To avoid getting caught by Google, BlackHat SEOs are forced to constantly cover their tracks. What an uphill battle…. This list of paths may include: Whois information: If you have 10 domains linking to each other and all publicly registered under the same name, everyone will know it’s a PBN. In most cases this information is not made public and you can buy Whois protection for a fee (sometimes it’s offered for free), but I’ve heard stories that Google has access to Whois information anyway. IP address and hosting: If different websites are on the same IP address, they are certainly connected in some way. This is why shared hosting accounts are dangerous. If someone sends spam from that IP address, you will also be listed. You can buy dedicated IPs for each domain to solve this problem. (Not just for PBN sites. Do it for all your sites. It will help them stay safe). Company name and contact information : In some countries, you are required by law to disclose this information if you make money from your site in any way (you do this because it is part of your marketing strategy, and if someone reports you, you risk a fine). Design, code, layout, content: In many cases, these sites are simply copied by copying and changing some basic aspects like colors and logo. However, the platforms and themes they use are always the same. Analytical accounts : Do you have 10 sites under one Analytics account? Good luck dodging Google. Script Identification : If you have several tools that require tracking, you need a separate subscription for each, otherwise anyone can figure out the connection between the two sites. These are the most basic, and they are often in the public domain. However, some (including myself) say that Google may be considering other things: E-mail accounts : Save everything under the same email address, especially if it’s Gmail, and you’ll end up linking everything to that address. One mistake and you could endanger it. Location: Were you logging into the same mailbox or editing all your PBN pages under the same home IP? Good job. You just told Google you’re the owner. You need proxies and proxy servers to keep everything clean. Isn’t it like a hacker or criminal hiding his @%% from the police? I’ve never really understood why Google doesn’t try to make these things illegal. I mean… If you spam online and visit the site with bots without the owner’s permission….. If you keep pretending to be someone else… Shouldn’t something like that be punishable by a fine? I guess they can’t or just want people to keep doing it. Maybe I’m paranoid, but we use a lot of Google services like Chrome, Analytics, MyBusiness and Gmail. They are all owned by Google. Am I saying that Google reads your emails to see if you have a PBN or if you buy links? No. But, uh… Maybe? Your Gmail account is probably connected to your smartphone. Nowadays you are connected to the internet everywhere, so Google knows your location. You and another webmaster show up at the same place and 2 hours before your sites start linking to each other? I’m just saying… This is just speculation, but consider this: If you want to avoid getting caught with two different hosting accounts, sign up with the same email address? Absolutely not. I’m not talking about someone from Google reading your personal emails and spying on your webcam. I’m just saying that it’s possible that there’s some sort of algorithm that keeps track of administrative relationships between websites.

Are PBNs still in use?

You may be wondering if PBNs still work. How far has Google evolved and how well can it accommodate these trends in 2021? Despite what many think after 2014, PBNs still work and will continue to work as long as backlinks are a ranking factor, which won’t change anytime soon.

How Google fooled and outwitted everyone

When PBN started going viral, I’m sure both parties were a bit horrified. For webmasters, because they get caught, and for Google, because people learn the ultimate BlackHat SEO technique. But Google also had a head start. Let me explain: As we mentioned earlier, Google values backlinks. Link building is always a very important ranking factor. They tried to remove the links from the algorithm, but apparently that worsened the search engine results: PBN is really undetectable if done correctly. There’s no way to know, or at least to be sure. All links to other pages. People know each other, communicate and connect. If you only ban templates, innocent people doing white hat SEO may suffer. Might as well ban them all, right? So what did Google do? How did they catch those who really thought making a PBN was a BlackHat method to get good rankings for their money sites? Well, they… they didn’t. Instead, Google focused on some popular PBN services and some well-known marketing bloggers who use and blog about these services. Today we tackled a large network of guest blogs. A reminder of the risks of guest blog spamming: http://t.co/rc9O82fjfn – Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 19, 2014 But how? How can Google identify an entire network of private websites set up by professionals and experts in the BlackHat SEO industry? Well, uh… It’s a simple answer. You bought the service. It’s that simple. I mean… …anyone can do it. Even Matt Cutts. Just order the service and find out what PBN pages are used. The worst part? Many local residents and business owners have suffered as a result. Their websites were penalized and they didn’t even know how, because their SEO companies acted as middlemen and bought the PBN service instead. It happens all the time: Position 1 guaranteed. And also a guarantee that I was not the boss in case of punishment. How did Google find Marketer-Blogger? I have no idea, but I’m sure they were targeted. Don’t you find it strange that right after that, many well-known marketers and SEO bloggers were penalized for their PBNs, while hundreds of other unknown players continued to claim they worked? If this had been a simple Google update and not a manual review, this could have been a disaster. After receiving fines, Spencer Howes and Pat Flynn (two very popular niche site builders and bloggers you should check out) made a 180 degree turn and wrote about the time and money they had invested in their PBNs only to lose it all in a second. And then the almighty expression began to appear everywhere: The PBN are DEAD! No, it’s not. it’s not that. They’re just very risky. But people don’t jump in anymore.

The fine line between PBN and multi-site ownership

I worked for a fairly large food and fitness company. It was a very difficult task as I was responsible for all the content and publicity (even though I had nothing to do with bodybuilding). Anyway, I did a lot of research before writing anything and was able to create high quality content that increased my website’s organic traffic by 30% in less than six months. All bragging rights aside, one of the challenges of this particular project was that there were simply no sites to get links from. Why? This is because almost all the sites were owned by 3 or 4 companies that were direct competitors. At least that’s what my supervisor told me, but I’m inclined to believe him since he’s been in the market for over 10 years. I started looking for possible links and discovered that all these sites were linked. You know what I mean? While the fact that I couldn’t get links from anywhere was frustrating, the fact that I discovered PBN was rewarding. There was only one problem: It wasn’t really a PBN. No one was punished. I even reported it to John Mueller, but my request was completely ignored. Why? Well, uh… Probably because the sites were completely legitimate businesses, with their own phone numbers, teams and services. You can order products from them and they will send them to you under their name. And that’s when I started thinking that the PBN problem is much more serious than it seems. Is it really a PBN? I’m not sure… Can Google detect it and read the PBN? It is possible. Should he be punished? I don’t think so. I think several sites from the same company can form a network that will dominate the first pages of Google. In different positions. I did some research to prove this to be true for different markets and countries. When I was researching the motorcycle niche, after only 2 or 3 searches I came across a motorcycle news site (motorcyclenews.com) that ranked very high for certain keywords. I then used SpyOnWeb.com to see if other sites were linked by IP or some code. It turns out a lot of people do. The relationship was established through a Google Adsense account. word-image-6574 Then I used CognitiveSEO’s Site Explorer program to quickly see which pages had links to them: word-image-6575 I just looked at some sites that are in the same niche like performancebikes.ru, ride.ru, classicbike.ru and mcnsport.ru. They all link to motorcyclenews.com. It’s only 4 pages, but there may be more that can’t be so easily attributed. Can this be considered a PBN? Maybe. But these are all legitimate and reputable sites that sell bikes or offer some kind of service. They all generate organic traffic, offer interesting and quality content, and some even have physical, printed magazines. Isn’t this already unethical? Does it have to conflict with Google’s TOS? Imagine that you have set up a very successful coffee shop. How to develop? Make the same store bigger and bigger until it swallows up the whole town? No, you open another one in another city, in another place, and so on. But do you make cheaper, worse coffee and only recommend your main shop in the capital when people want to drink the good coffee? No, of course not. You have to serve them the best you can if you want them to stay. And when they visit the starting city, they will know where to go. The same goes for these pages. Sure, you can’t call them all Starbucks, but you can keep building new ones if you want to grow, and they will all survive and thrive as long as they provide quality services to users. And even linking or using the same IP will not result in a penalty. Google’s only job is to deliver quality to users so they keep coming back to Google to search and find, because that’s the only way Google can survive. If bad sites rank high because of a PBN system, people will stop loving Google. Most PBNs are websites that lack design, personality and usability. They only populate the web and use Google’s resources (for crawling, indexing and other things). But if these sites are good, I don’t think anyone will have a problem. You can’t even call it a private blog network, at least not in the way BlackHat SEO likes to say. In my opinion, it is very normal to have multiple quality websites. You can still be fined, however ….

Advantages and disadvantages of PBN

Although PBNs have their advantages, we believe that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, and therefore we do not recommend creating a PBN. However, we will describe them in general terms so that you can get a clear picture of the situation.

Benefits:

Most effective in the rankings: Of all the BlackHat SEO techniques, PBNs are probably the most effective. The better the quality of the expired domain names you buy, the faster the results. It’s harder to get caught: Also, if you get caught, it will take time. They have to constantly look over your shoulder and erase every trace of your steps. It’s not an easy way to live, but it’s safer than blowing up links with GSA Search Engine Ranker. In theory, it’s simple: They buy expired domains at a domain auction, create websites and put content on them, hide all traces, link to the money site. The part where you have to cover all the tracks is a little harder, but you’ll get there. That is, if Google doesn’t list you first. Extra earnings : You can also take advantage of PBN by selling links to other sites. As long as they are not direct competitors, it doesn’t matter. However, bear in mind that you are taking a risk in doing so. Someone could compromise your network. Full control: This is the best option. I have to admit it: Don’t you just love to be in control? There are none left. Here is my good content, can you link to it?

Cons:

High cost : This seems cheap at first glance. Some shared hosting, some IP addresses, some domain names and some content. Two hundred dollars? Now, uh… make it a double. Then multiply it by 50. If you really want to do it right, you need good hosting, lots of IP addresses, proxy servers and tools. Sure, you can spend as little as $1,000 on your network if you’re in a market with little competition, but will that investment be worth it? For high competitiveness, you need to buy expired domains that have high authority, and you need a large number of these domains, at least 10-25. You also need to make sure they don’t end up in spam. They can cost thousands of dollars each, not to mention the content. Do you think 500-word articles are enough? Think carefully, or the panda will get you. It takes a lot of time: Although the results appear pretty quickly once you start working with the link, the whole configuration process takes a lot of time. We start with one page, then we expand, but it all takes time. Management complexity: You should also take care of your network at all times. Besides the content you have to publish all the time, every website comes with its own problems, like SPAM, hackers, accounts….. and don’t forget that you have to do everything under a different name, a different IP and possibly a different device, just to be safe. He can be caught: The worst part is that there is always a risk of getting caught. Is it worth the time and money?

Should there be a PBN in 2021?

It depends on who you are as a person. Do you like to take risks? Are you interested in Google’s TOS? Some people think that Google is an evil entity that controls the Internet and wants to profit from it. You see, the truth is that the big sites on Google that are always on top don’t need to PBN. Webmasters who deliver quality content, who network and make contacts, who promote their content, products and services in the right way, don’t have to resort to ruses to reach the top. They will always be there, or at least eventually they will appear because users are asking for them. So, should we make a PBN? Probably not. We think it’s better to invest all that money and time in developing a site first. Then you can expand to another site, then another, and you have your own little legitimate network of quality sites. Spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to buy outdated domains and fill them with content you don’t really care about instead of spending it on user experience, creating quality content, promotion and improving services doesn’t seem to make much sense. Ultimately, it’s a combination of time, skill and luck that will determine whether or not you fall under the PBN umbrella. You can get caught after the first two weeks. You may never get caught and even your grandchildren will use your PBNs to make a profit. However… If your goal is long-term SEO, you’re better off not using PBNs and focusing on traditional SEO methods. Search engines are constantly evolving and getting better at finding tricks every day. Why not focus on fair play and improving the skills that really matter? Why waste time learning to hide when you can learn to create a better experience? Regardless of which side you’re on, we’re interested in your experience with private blogging networks. Have you ever had one? Have you tried PBN services? Are you under sanctions? Do you still have it and is it still working? Let us know in the comments. word-image-6576I get a lot of questions about building PBNs these days, so I decided to go ahead and create a post and answer it all. I’ll cover everything you need to know about PBNs including: What is a PBN? Why should you build one? How to build it? How to rank in Google? Why PBNs are better than a blog? How to buy backlinks? What are the best links to buy? How to prevent spamming? What are the best PBNs? Using PBNs to build backlinks? Why should you use PBNs? Why should you not use PBNs? What is the best PBN to build? Should you buy PBNs? Why should you not. Read more about how to create pbn backlinks and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do PBNs still work?

One of the most fundamental questions that business owners always ask themselves is how to get traffic to their websites. There are so many tools, techniques, and strategies that can be used to get traffic to your website, sometimes it can become overwhelming. But one question you should always be asking yourself is what is the purpose of your website. Do you want to drive traffic to your site to sell it, or do you want to build a community of people that will lead to more sales? If you are not sure about the purpose of your site, you should be. PBNs used to be a hot topic—and not just in the niche of Internet marketing. Nowadays, there are tons of people who have built their own PBNs, or have been trying to build them.

Are PBNs worth it?

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are not a new concept. You can find examples of them on the internet dating back to 2007, but PBNs aren’t a suitable solution for everyone. The main reason why PBNs are popular is because they offer cheap ways to increase a blog’s authority and popularity. Private blog networks (PBNs) are an effective way to build your blog and backlinks. But are they worth it? Many people are asking themselves this question after seeing the recent drop in PBN rankings. And the answer may surprise you.

What is private blog network?

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are a popular way to build a blog network. In this article we will take a look at the rise of private blog networks (PBNs) in the last year and examine their popularity. These blog networks are usually set up by individuals who wish to monetize their websites by getting paid for a link back to their blog.

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