Private Blog Networks, also known as PBNs, are an integral part of the SEO industry; while backlinks are still a key factor in the search algorithm for Google, PBNs always serve as a source of discussion and interest among SEO practitioners.
If you’ve ever purchased a domain or run a website listed on Google, you’re used to getting emails from Private Blog Networks every day. They’re going to offer you a list of links that you can buy.
When you use PBNs, will you get penalized? If you are considering using it? Read on to find out what experts and consultants are saying.
The emails you receive are usually called as follows:
Top Quality Guest Posting
Posting Guest Service
Strong Quality DA Sites
But would you pay for adding those links to your website? And what does that mean?
What are PBNs?
PBNs (Private Blog Networks) are blogs or old websites with expired domains, but they still have a lot of value because they have won thousands of historic backlinks.
Anyone can buy these domains until they expire and they are often purchased via an online auction for the ability to use this expired domain, redesign, add some fresh content, and then add or sell links for SEO rankings or commercial gains from this site.
People will sell PBN links anywhere from $10 to $1,000 per link. When you want to justify or scale up your SEO spending, it’s very important that you know what you’re getting for $100, $500, or $1,000.
A PBN can be a news site or blog selling links. Before 2014, buying PBNs links was a fast and effective way of ranking any website in any domain, be it finance, wealth, fashion, insurance – you name it.
However, over the last few years, Google has begun penalizing every PBN site and where it connects to. Google considers this as a “quick system gaming” and a violation of Google guidelines. Get on the wrong side of Google, you’re looking at a severe penalty in rankings and/or blacklisting as well. You wake up with a penalty one morning, and it changes the business model overnight.
Various Uses of PBNs
PBNs have different uses and interpretations and is used as follows:
Links to Your Site – Take an outdated domain, set up a new site, and start writing posts, with links to your websites.
Sale of links – You may offer links to other SEOs – but this represents misuse and is a violation of Google guidelines.
Link These to Your Homepage – You can buy and re-design several PBN sites and add your links to each homepage (which is the highest flow of trust).
Can My Website (Ranking, Traffic, and Branding) Improve if I use a PBN?
In the world of SEO gray hat or black hat, using PBNs will boost the website search results.
In the short term, the surge of links from high-DA sites would give you an immediate boost. For a variety of SEO firms and online companies, PBNs are the way they pursue an SEO campaign, and that’s how they do business.
If they stay untouched by penalties, PBNs can be given credit for ranking some websites in Google’s top search positions. Sectors that attract these dubious techniques are usually websites offering loans, web hosting, casinos, and porn.
If I use PBNs, will I get penalized?
When you use PBNs to get links, you’re walking on a constant thin line and you risk Google penalizing you. You cannot get downgraded, but it only takes one Google update or algorithm shift to change this overnight if you have done nothing but the tie-up with PBNs for years and years.
There is an argument, PBN can be effective for more experienced SEOs as part of a link-building strategy, but actually, Google is known to change its targets, and disclosing such a plan is unlikely to go well with investors, business partners, and clients.
Our finale? Stay off PBNs.
Experienced SEOs can somehow balance PBNs with a clean approach. However, for the novices, we would just say “Stay off PBNs”. With artificial intelligence getting smarter and smarter, a good white hat link building is cheap is much more stable and long-term method to drive traffic to your site.