Private Blog Networks: Penalty or Profit?

Back in 2016, Google itself confirmed — link building is one of the topmost ranking factors. So, we can’t do away with the importance of link building as one of the most primary ways to enhance traffic. Building links is one of the most effective ways of supercharging your SEO, ranking & accelerating the organic growth of your website. But making use of SEO tactics that do not adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines— can cause a huge penalty. There are SEO experts who rely on a few SEO tactics in contrast to the guidelines & PBN (Private Blog Network) is one of those SEO tactics

In this blog post, we’ll talk everything about PBN (Private Blog Network)— why it is often referred to as the controversial link building method, what is PBN, common myths & more. Let’s dive a little deeper:

What is PBN (Private Blog Network)?   

A Private Blog Network is designed to manipulate the search engines in order to increase the website’s authority. PNB makes use of a network of websites to build links in order to influence the authority of the central website. The links that are created through the network of websites boost the authority of the website and thus ranking but that is only until Google finds this use of the unethical technique. This network of websites consists of low-quality links that are created to manipulate search engines. 

Why are SEO experts use PBN (Private Blog Network) as Link Building Technique?

SEO experts who are in a hurry to take full control of their website & the link-building efforts make use of the PBN technique. While using other white hat techniques, the SEO experts cannot always take control of where the links are coming from. And, that is why SEO experts use PBN (Private Blog Network) by building expired domains, which have sites that have built up authority in the eyes of the search engines. These expired domains are made a part of the PBN by adding new content regularly. And, SEO experts who make use of this black hat technique go to great lengths to make sure Google doesn’t identify the PBN network sites in the following way:

  1. Buying hosting services from different hosting providers.

2. Using different themes, layouts & different domain extensions

3. Using different registrars for domain registration

4. Content creation that does not link to money sites.

How Private Blog Networks Work?

How PBN (Private Blog Network) works is about beginning with understanding the importance of authority & backlinks. In simple terms, a backlink is a link that comes from some other site to your site. Organically backlinking occurs through authoritative content that makes some other sites quote your site using a link. This link helps your site where the link is created in a way that—it signals to the search engine about your site as being authoritative in the subject matter, which in turn has a positive impact on your site increasing your site’s ranking with respect to the related keywords

PNB is designed to increase the ranking by obtaining links from a collection of sites purchased & created for the purpose. These domains are either collections of domains that have been already established or the domains that are purchased & built to obtain authority for the purpose of providing links to your main site. After the domains are established, real content is posted that also includes a link back to the main site. 

Backlinks are one of the most important SEO factors & building organic backlinks might take days & months & something years. Building high-quality backlinks using the white hat techniques— needs the site owner to develop great content & work strenuously on relationship building. And, undoubtedly, organic link building takes a lot of work, time & strategy. On the other hand with PNB, the opportunity is absolutely unlimited to create your own backlinks and manipulate the search engine bots and make them believe your content or links. 

Is PBN (Private Blog Network) a Good SEO Practice?

While PBN might get instant results, they’re not appreciated by Google and are considered as a black hat technique. And, as we know Black hat SEO technique does not have any intention to fulfill the searchers’ query & the human audience— it is about hoodwinking the search engine bots for obtaining authority for their site. The PBN (Private Blog Network) method often results in unwelcomed penalties including banning sites and sometimes-indexing. This can be sometimes a huge price that the site has to pay in comparison to the value PBN networks adds to your website. 

How to Identify a Site is a Part of the Private Blog Network?

With Search engines becoming more aware of the black hat techniques and working more rigorously than ever before towards finding efficient ways to detect these techniques, the Black hat SEO experts are becoming more sophisticated & versatile. So, to know well in advance before you decide to give backlinks to some website XYZ, you need to know where it can negatively affect your site. In the below section, we’ve created a brief guideline to help you detect if a website belongs to a PBN (Private Blog Network) or not:

Look for the Factors to identify a Private Blog Network:

No New Updates: If there are no new updates— no new content, no new external links— will indicate that the site is not authentic and is used only to generate links. Another sign that a website is a part of a PBN (Private Blog Network) is— the site is using spun & duplicate content, videos & images. 

Hosting: For a number of sites that are stemming from the same IP can indicate that — a website is a part of a Private Blog Network.

Site Design: A site may be a part of a PBN network, if it is following, copying — design, navigation, & other features like the color scheme. 

Similar backlink Profile: If you see multiple sites having similar backlink profiles, it is an indication that the site is a part of a PBN(Private Blog Network). 

Site Ownership: If the ownership & contact information is hidden — check the WHOIS lookup tools.

But, it is also essential to note that not all owners who maintain multiple sites are making use of the PBN scheme. If the same links are present in multiple websites in an organic fashion then it should not be considered as harmful.                                                                                                           

In nutshell, if you are relying on the Personal Blog Network scheme, you must know that you are always at the risk of getting your website’s SEO hurt. While there are pros to consider, but only under the cloud of potential penalization. With PBN(Private Blog Network), you might generate some quick authority,  but that might not exist for long. On the other hand, whereas on the other hand, it might take more time to increase ranking with the traditional methods, the results are there to exist. Here are some of the best traditional SEO methods to increase ranking:

  1. Guest blogging
  2. Writing testimonials
  3. Creating share-worthy content
  4. Leveraging your social platforms
  5. Building a loyal audience


So, the question is if you should use a private blog network now— as we’ve discussed in the sections above, while it might help your SEO & give results quickly but there is an unfortunate risk of Google banning your website or hurting your website’s ranking. So, the better way is building backlinks by guest blogging, sharing content that matters & leveraging social media sites— it might take time but the time is worth it.

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