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Why to Build a Private Blog Network (PBN)?

Website administrators are always looking for ways to boost the search engine rankings of their websites, and in search engine optimization (SEO), the rules of the game are always changing.

Keyword stuffing is out.
Authority content is in.

So what about private blog networks (PBNs)? They have existed for a while, but perhaps their longevity is a testament to their usefulness for SEO purposes.
Are PBNs worth the considerable investment of time and money that it takes to build them? Are they worth the risk?

Anyone actively involved in SEO understands certain strategies are riskier than others.
Google and the other search engines want websites to be optimized as part of good design practice and content to be of the highest quality.
However, they don't want site owners to build backlinks in a way that could be considered deceptive.
A popular strategy is the use of PBNs, with positive results being experienced by many who employ the tactic. A PBN does not adhere to search engine guidelines, though, so each individual has to weight up risk versus reward.

What is a PBN?
A private blog network is a group of websites that posts links for a fee.
This websites aren't necessarily blogs.
The basic idea is that the links will boost the rankings of a web page.
A PBN is a privately owned group of domains that link back to your main website.
The domains are typically purchased because they have a high level of authority and possibly some relevance to your own niche.
As the domains are powerful due to their own incoming backlinks, they pass authority onto your main site allowing it to rank higher.
Ultimately, building a PBN is the act of gaining a selection of powerful backlinks, but the links are being gained in an unnatural way from the point of view of the search engines.

Buying Domains.
The domains you acquire for a PBN will be expired sites that have existing backlinks pointing towards them.
There are countless sites expiring each day, with owners deciding not to renew them.
In order to find the right options, though, you will need to perform some analysis.
If you want to avoid most of the hassle, there are domain brokers who will sell a domain that meets your needs You could even potentially buy an entire PBN from a broker who is experienced in buying and building a network.
If you decide to buy your own domains, sites like GoDaddy, FreshDrop, Dynadot, and DomCop run auctions and offer instant purchases.
Any purchase you are considering should be run through a tool like Ahrefs or Majestic to ensure the site authority is accurate and there is not a spammy backlink profile associated with it. Also, use the WaybackMachine to check the site was previously a legitimate site, avoiding penalized sites that were being used as PBNs.

Hosting is an important aspect of building a PBN because you need to avoid leaving footprints.
Hosting all your sites on the same server ensures your PBN will be quickly discovered, so you need to host sites across different IP addresses.
Most large PBNs are hosted across multiple locations, replicating a natural backlink profile.
These locations include common brands like Hostgator and GoDaddy, cheap hosting providers, cloud hosting like Amazon S3, and virtual private servers.
Costs for these providers can vary considerably, so most people begin using the cheaper services first.

Site Building.
It is important that each site is built carefully, considering that you may face manual reviews by Google.
Using the information from Ahrefs or Majestic, you should have a list of the previously indexed pages particularly any pages that had authority.
Ensure the sites are not built with the same template, have quality content, and feature contact and privacy policy pages.
The most successful pages also update content just as a standard blog would.

Backlink Building.
Don't start adding links until the PBN site has been indexed by the search engines. After indexing, add links to some relevant authority sites in your niche, before then adding a link back to your own site. Add your link to the page with the most authority, using Ahrefs or Majestic to check this.

Why Private Blog Network is not worth it after 2017?
In the SEO world, nothing is more dangerous or more effective than a private blog network.
Private blog networks are rumored to be highly effective at boosting rankings, with customers often reporting dramatic improvements in rankings through their use.
Some people who purchase links even report that they yield front page rankings.

Google dislikes PBNs!
A private blog network offers high risks and high rewards.
This is because Google strongly dislikes private blog networks, which it sees as an attempt to game the rankings.
Links on a private blog network exist because they are paid for rather than because somebody found them useful.
To Google, then, private blog networks compromise the effectiveness of its algorithm.
In fact, Google dislikes private blog networks so intensely that it gives them manual penalties.
This means that Google writes code that specify, by name, the web pages it wishes to penalize for using a private blog network.

Google's employees locate private blog networks through internet browsing manually list those they wish to penalize, and apply the penalty by sending a list to Google's engineers.
It isn't only private blog networks themselves that are penalized.
Google applies the principle of "guilt by association" and even penalizes websites have relied upon private blog networks to improve their rankings.
Those who rely on private blog networks are likely to find that their high rankings disappear overnight.
All of this means that private blog networks only work if they are genuinely private.
They must be completely and totally unknown to Google.
This means that if its possible to learn about a private blog network through a Google search, you shouldn't use it.

After all, if you can find a blog network through a Google search, then so can Google itself.
Don't think that because you only learned of a private blog network through an obscure listing on the Warrior Forum or Blackhat Worid that Google doesn't know about it.
There are strong indications that Google actively reads these forums in search of the latest SEO snake oil.

After all, wouldn't you do the same if you were Google? In fact, Google's Matt Cutts has acknowledged visiting various forums to see the latest effort to game Google's algorithm.
Even if the private blog network in question is truly unknown to Google, Google may still someday manage to develop an algorithm to detect many private blog networks automatically.
This could be possible because these networks tend to have many characteristics in common.
For example, they tend to have many outgoing links but few internal links.
Often, they are all hosted on the same web host.
Only extremely well constructed private blog networks are capable of evading detection as Google improves its algorithm.

What does all this mean for you, an ordinary web marketer?
Now that Google has cracked down, it's probably best to steer clear of private blog networks.
Other tools, like social media, remain as effective as ever and pose a much lower risk.
Creating a private blog network is every bit as difficult as creating an ordinary website-meaning it's more cost effective to focus on adding quality content to existing properties.


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