Private Blog Network links (PBNs) are a controversial topic in the SEO world. Now, we all know how important it is to rank websites higher on search engine rankings. Among many ranking factors, a strong backlink profile is of immense importance. Google has also stated that backlinks are considered “votes” and are an important ranking signal.
Getting high-quality backlinks from the right website can boost your organic traffic. But earning backlinks is difficult, especially high-quality backlinks. So, is buying PBN links an option to increase website organic ranking? What is the risk of buying PBN links? And what should you know about private blog networks?
Private Blog Networks
PBN links are a group of websites solely created to increase your organic ranking by linking to other websites. Most private blog networks are created to pass the link equity to other websites, boosting Domain Authority (DA) and ranking power. As we know, the more highly authoritative sites that are pointing towards your website, the better the chance of Google ranking your website positively.
PBN links are normally built by purchasing expired domains with existing good DA. After acquiring these domains, they build content on each website and link each one to a primary website. The continuous practice of this will generate a strong backlink profile for websites.
In the past, especially before the Google Penguin update, PBN links were a powerful mode of link building. Websites saw an increase in their organic traffic with PBN link-building strategy.
In 2012, after Google launched their “webspam algorithm update,” also known as the “Penguin algorithm update,” PBNs and other non-ethical link-building tactics came under the “black hat strategy.” According to Google, building links through techniques that manipulate Google’s webmaster guidelines is unethical. After the Penguin algorithm update, spam links and low-quality backlinks were targeted by Google.
So Why Are People Buying PBN Sites?
Even though private blog network sites are costly and risky, a large number of website owners buy them. There are two major reasons for that: one is because manual white hat link-building methods are more difficult, and the other reason is that anchor texts can be manipulated easily.
Proper Link Building Takes Time
Since Google values a strong backlink profile, it is crucial to earning backlinks from highly authoritative websites. But the time to get a good backlink is long. The approved white hat methods of organically earning backlinks are by blogger outreach. But the results of blogger outreach might not always be what we hoped for. It is common to spend efforts setting up an outreach campaign and sending hundreds of emails but still fail to earn the right backlink. Some webmasters buy PBN sites to avoid a long time of blogger outreach process and to achieve quick results in rankings.
Anchor text is the phrase that you hyperlink to another website. Using the appropriate anchor text is important for users and Google to understand the context of the associated link. Search engines use anchor text to rank and index web pages. Anchor text increases brand trust with users, leading to an increase in organic ranking.
Relevancy is important for anchor texts. If we want to rank a keyword “top colleges in California,” we expect a backlink that takes us to a relevant website. It helps search engines understand that the anchor text is relevant to your domain.
Black hat SEO users manipulate the anchor text usage by putting highly relevant anchor texts with different links to help Google rank their website higher for targeted search queries.
Common Facts and Myths about PBNs
Let’s look at some common facts about PBN and debunk a few myths that surround this term.
Myth: PBNs are not effective
PBN links in competitive niches help in the gradual growth of websites. PBNs provide a positive impact on the sites they are used. You can find clear evidence of such growth by performing link research techniques.
Fact: PBN sites are useless
This is a true statement since PBN sites are essentially websites that host good content used to promote other websites. In this case, any website you use to get links through direct access is nothing more than a PBN.
Myth: PBNs are easily noticeable
Contrary to this myth, search engines actually find it difficult to recognize a PBN since PBNs are usually expired domains that used to have great site authority.
Fact: Using a PBN is unethical
Usage of PBNs is unethical as per Google Webmaster guidelines. It states that the usage of such mechanisms to generate links is treated as a violation of guidelines.
While it is unethical, many still use PBNs because no laws or statutes ban PBNs from being utilized.
Myth: PBNs offer you better control over your traffic
While it is partially true, PBNs are really not worth the trouble for many businesses. Multiple sites generating links on their own and directing them to you might sound like a dream come true. But the risk of being penalized is always there, and the traffic you get might suddenly dwindle. You cannot track them like any regular website.
Fact: PBNs have security concerns
This is a true statement. PBNs, while providing links to your site, also leave traces of your transactions and payment methods on their pages which any keen hacker can discover. Particularly aggressive competitors use this as leverage when trying to pull you down.
Myth: PBNs are easy to maintain
PBNs are built on auction domains. With the rise of technology and online businesses, domain prices are skyrocketing. Getting a good quality domain is a difficult and expensive process. Along with that, maintaining such PBN websites by adding good content can prove to be very difficult.
While PBNs were effective in the past, they now can prove to be a bane to your website. Private Blog Networks offer a fast and steady flow of links to your site, but since they are unethical and breach Google’s code of business, you can be penalized heavily.
PBNs do not come under White Hat SEO techniques, so they are not a good way to promote your business. The results, though plenty, will ultimately (and often swiftly) lead to your site being deindexed from search engines.
Ethical link building will get you steady and long-lasting results. The experts at LinkDoctor can help you with that, ensuring that your business is using the latest guideline-approved white hat methods to build your business to the next level and increase traffic to your site.