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Can You Trust Private Blog Networks?

Can You Trust Private Blog Networks?

A PBN is simply a network of websites that you use to build links to increase the ranking of one or more websites. There is a debate on the ethics of this tactic. But before we get into this discussion, let's focus on explaining what a private blogging network is and how they work in a bit more detail.

A Private Blog Network works by transmitting authority, in the form of links, from a number of websites that you control, to one or more other websites. We all understand the role that links play in search engine algorithms. The more PBN links that point to a particular web page, and ideally the higher the quality the links are, the better the web page will rank.

However, linking construction is both costly and expensive, since many marketers have decided to construct their own websites from which they can then connect to their other domains. This is a PBN or Private Blogging Network.

By providing the authority of the links, the principal website may be enhanced by a PBN connection. Google says the core site is reliable in the diversity of authoritative domains. This is what gives the main site a boost in the SERPs.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that Google is always on the lookout for PBN. Any website that gets caught doing this will be severely penalized and may lose all of its rankings. A website that finds success by following these shady tactics is unlikely to last long. Private blogging networks may work for a short time, but they all go down in the long run.

These sites were then receiving a constant stream of free content from other marketers ranging from very well written to something that looked like it had been written by a drunk toddler from another country.

The quality of the content did not appear to have an impact on the PBN link’s ability to improve the rankings of the websites to which it was linked. One was to create a platform that would generate a number of new pages, based on a starting set of content, every time a certain trigger was fired.

Are PBNs Worth It?

Google theoretically bans PBN backlinks. But the search engine actually struggles with the (too) many black hat SEOs which leverage the defects of Google's algorithms to provide people with good content. These cyber fraudsters first misused keywords in their content, then exploited backlinks, in other words, inbound links.

Google is constantly updating its algorithms and when a site finds itself at the top of the results overnight, thanks to fraudulent methods, it does not stay that way for very long.

Indexing methods are very advanced today, but it is still possible to exploit PBN links to promote content online. However, it is essential not to make mistakes. Let’s now look at the different kinds of PBNs and the advantages and disadvantages of PBN backlinks

The different types of PBNs

  • PBNs that contain little content. Usually, they are created by black hat SEOs and then are abandoned after a few months and sometimes even a few weeks. These PBNs aim to increase the traffic of the money site. This of course comes at the expense of content.
  • Content-rich PBNs. They are meant to attract and satisfy the audience. The latter are involved in proper site referencing and can even have a beneficial influence on sales.
  • News site PBNs. It offers new content regularly and retains the audience. However, an effort must be made to offer attractive subjects.

Why are some SEOs still using private blogging networks?

You're probably wondering why some SEOs still use private blogging networks as a way to build links, given the risks associated with this tactic. It can be divided into two reasons:

1. Getting links is difficult and unpredictable

Getting quality links is difficult. It takes time and results are not guaranteed.

Those tactics that result in authoritative, quality links are typically achieved by using email outreach in conjunction with digital PR, broken link building, link recovery, resource link building, or other similar techniques.

In short, the one thing all of these tactics have in common is that they involve reaching out to relevant journalists or webmasters and trying to convince them to link to your content. The aim of these techniques is to raise awareness of the material and hope that the beneficiary is willing to link to it from current or new content.

But this in itself means that the results are unpredictable. Even the best efforts cannot guarantee the return of a certain number of links per month or quarter. Using a PBN, on the other hand, means that you can have more control with regard to reducing uncertainty.

2. Desire to control and manipulate anchor text

Go back 10 years, and most SEOs were creating exact match anchor text links. You see, the anchor text of a link is used as an indication of the subject of the landing page, and SEOs thought that the algorithm could be manipulated this way.

Penguin's algorithm in many ways puts a stop to this, but SEOs still want to manage their link profile anchor text. Get links editorially and you will find that journalists and webmasters naturally link to anchor texts like:

  • Click here
  • the title of an article
  • a naked URL
  • a trade name

The keyword you are targeting is much less likely to be the anchor text. Like the ones given as an example in Google's link scheme guide:

Private blogging networks allow you to have control over the anchor text used, and some use it to further manipulate rankings.

What are the advantages of a PBN?

1. Fast and easy to generate

Today, with the plethora of CMS that exist on the market, it is very easy and inexpensive to set up small sites quickly. Some writing platforms also allow ordering cheap themed articles to feed them quickly. It is also possible to buy a few links to "raise" the metrics of these small sites.

2. Full control of your links

The main advantage of PBN is that it provides full control of the links that point to your site since you will be the originator. In the event of a Google penalty or a change in algorithm, it is possible to delete them, modify the anchors or the landing pages. This is a significant advantage, especially when you know that Google's link disavowal is not necessarily very effective.

3. Themed niche sites

Advertisers operating in a niche market often struggle to find sites in their theme. Thanks to the SEOs who set up PBNs made up of small nested sites, these advertisers manage to find "relevant" links, essential to their off-site strategy.

4. A competitive advantage

When you own your PBN, you are able to send exclusive links to our money site. In other words, our competitors will never be able to receive links from one of our themed sites. So you will have an advantage over them.

5. Long-lasting links on the home page

The advantage of having your own sites for your net linking is to be able to put the links wherever you want. Thus, we can add them directly to the home page of small sites to transmit more SEO "juice". Home links are therefore in theory more powerful and do not weaken over time (unlike a blog post which usually ends up in the dark).

What are the disadvantages of a PBN?

1. Too artificial sites

The major disadvantage of a PBN is its lack of "naturalness". Indeed, we can legitimately wonder what Google can think of a site that has little, or even no traffic, no off-site ecosystem, often composed of a majority of sponsored articles, with links on anchors. rarely neutral. Likewise, with the implementation of Google EAT, we can all the more doubt the effectiveness of PBNs insofar as they are very rarely well positioned and are never cited as a reference on the web (on social networks or other sites)

2. Identical CMS

Often, the SEOs behind the PBNs use the same CMS to administer the small sites. The most common is of course WordPress which allows sites to be set up very quickly. Google of course knows how to detect the CMS used and it's a safe bet that if there is any suspicion, this is one of the first things that will be checked.

3. The footprints trap

In SEO, a footprint is a footprint you leave on the internet and which can be used to track your activity across different sites, to locate multiple accounts, and multiple sites you own. For example, if the sites of the network have the same IP address, you directly establish the link between them, which will be interpreted by Google as an attempt to manipulate its algorithms. This is why, to be as discreet as possible, the network must come from several CMS, but also from several hostings ... There are a lot of footprints making it possible to put together a network of sites. These precautions, greatly complicating the creation of PBN, are rarely respected by SEOs.

Ideally, to perpetuate its netlinking, we must find this diagram:

One link = one site = one unique IP address = a different publisher.

Clearly, you have to be as natural as possible and build your link profile through different publishers, even if this turns out to be much more time-consuming. This is why some emerging platforms offer to buy links by varying the publisher sites to minimize the risks.

Tips for your netlinking strategies

Whether you go for a PBN, one-time link buying, or “old-fashioned” netlinking through partnerships, here are some tips that still apply:

  • Vary your link anchors as much as possible (avoid over-optimization) and your landing pages
  • Send a large part of the links to the home page, because that's what is natural: when we talk about you, we most often link the home page,
  • Use mostly URL type anchors or branded anchors, it is also the most natural,
  • Make sure that the sites that send you links display different metrics and are administered from different CMS
  • Sprinkle your link profile with themed nofollow links, it will only make it more natural,
  • Make the most of canvassing with real bloggers/influencers who will send you juice but also real qualified traffic,
  • Monitor the quality of the links you receive. No one is immune to negative SEO even if Google claims to have it under control. You can do this using the Backlink Audit tool and audit the quality or toxicity of your links.


The network of sites is today a technique that is no longer unanimous because the grip of Google tightens over the months. If some still manage to rush into breaches, we must keep in mind that what Google tolerates (or does not see) today may not be tomorrow. It is, therefore, preferable to focus your netlinking strategy on the development of a profile of clean and varied links. Varying the links means buying them from different publishers to protect you especially from footprints.

PBNs are not to be avoided, but they should no longer be your only source of links. But they still have a bright future ahead of them, especially in specific business sectors (plastic injection, specialized CAD / CAM, lift pumps, etc.) which have great difficulty in finding real editors of sites or blogs or to come. complete a strategy of more varied links. If you need one or more feathers to create content for your various sites, do let us know so we can further help you out!

She is an ecommerce and digital marketing enthusiast who loves to share and write new insights and perspectives about marketing and growth hacking for startup business. Currently, she works as full-time Lead Editor at Removal.AI - an AI tool used for image background removal and processing photos ideally for ecommerce, web and app development and all other related industry that needs photo editing services.

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