The majority of digital marketing strategies must include link building as a crucial element. Building a private blog network (PBN) is one of the more popular strategies used by marketers.

Unfortunately, they often turn out to be seriously harmful over time.

What is Private Blog Network (PBN)

It is, quite simply, a network of websites used to create a single website.

Given how they actually affect link building, it’s understandable why it’s now regarded as a black hat technique.

How Private Blog Network WORKS?

Someone discovered that you can buy expired domains in bulk, and a bad habit was born.

PBNs are created by buying a sizable number of these outdated domain names that still have domain authority, posting very simple copy, and adding backlinks to your main website.

It goes without saying that this propels the main site to the top of the list.

The challenging aspect of this link-building strategy is that it technically functions.

SEO Impacts if You Use Private Blog Network

Everything makes sense on paper. Increase the authority and SEO of your own company by gathering a large number of high authority domains. You’ll have command over the rankings of your website, which is a power that every marketer adores.

In actuality, many marketers have observed honest outcomes from their SEO. The number one factor affecting SERP rankings is link building. If you create a strong PBN, earning the trust of search engines becomes relatively simple.

None of these benefits lessen the danger of the activity. Similar to a get-rich-quick scheme, once search engines figure out what’s going on, the benefits are rather fleeting.

Is It a Good Idea to Use a PBN Building Service?

No if you don’t want to risk some serious Google penalties. There are several examples of how a private blog network has backfired on someone.

SEO specialist Nathan Gotch was pretty deep into the practice before he got in trouble. Enticed by the idea of “controlling” his SEO, he focused on growing his PBN and reducing his footprint from it. But eventually Google put an end to it all.

His business was pretty heavily penalized. And not only did it affect him, but several of his clients felt the effects as well. Gotch learned a couple of hard lessons about PBNs from his experience:

1. Time Consuming

After locating qualified domains (which are hard to come by), locating web hosts, and developing the site, it typically takes 36 hours to create a network of 10 sites.

2. Expensive

Prices for domains can range from $40 to $400 per domain. Consider the scenario where you spent $100 on a single domain. You must pay about $12 to get hosting.

You’re looking at $122 for one domain after paying for domain privacy and writing a quality article with a backlink. Add the 36 hours spent and multiply that by ten.

And not just marketers have experienced the pain.

The New York Times revealed the link scheme used by JCPenny in 2011. An investigation into what was happening was prompted by the fact that the department store was receiving a ton of backlinks from unrelated domains.

JCPenny’s immediately fired their SEO agency after denying any knowledge of the PBN. The affected webpages were manually removed along with a nearly immediate drop in Google rankings.

Private Blog Network Alternatives

You should pursue alternative link-building strategies that are just as successful as PBNs but less dangerous than breaking Google Webmaster Guidelines rather than doing so. Here are some to think about.

Link Roundup

The best and most ethical way to create links pointing to your website is through networking.

You can draw attention to other bloggers by highlighting them in lists of related blog posts you’ve created. The idea is that you’ll do them a favor in return. Giving and receiving is a pleasant act.

Make sure to include blogs that may have previously sent traffic your way when creating these lists. It gives off a feeling of reciprocity.

Guest Blog

Guest blogging is nothing brand-new. In order to write content for them that is relevant to your own brand, you collaborate with another company or blog.

If you produce a high-quality, worthwhile article, you’ve not only helped a fellow professional in your field but also established yourself as an authority on the subject.

But if you’re really smart about it, you’ll have referenced some of your own content on your site with one or more external links. You have direct control over those backlinks, and they aren’t shady or fake.

Pitching to sites with context and relevance is the key. The use of guest blogging in content or marketing strategies is not particularly novel. To build your domain authority, however, you must be selective and deliberate about the audience you write for.

Broken Link Building

An article or blog post might contain one or two broken links.

Since you don’t get to see the content you were hoping for, it is typically annoying. But for link building, that is a fantastic chance to ask for a backlink.

You can alert the post’s owner to the broken link based on the subject matter. You could propose linking to your website instead if you have content that could take the place of the broken link or is at least pertinent to it.

In return, you’ll assist them in enhancing their content and gain a backlink in the process.

If you want to go one step further, you could look into how many websites are using that broken link and get in touch with each one individually. There is plenty of lush pasture to graze on.

Competitor Link Replication

Following what your rivals are doing is one of the best ways to stay informed about what’s going on in your sector. If you don’t know what the competition is doing and how well they are doing it, how are you going to stay one step ahead of them? Particularly in terms of gaining links.

You might be shocked by who is linking to them, in fact. Make an effort to determine where and why your competitors are ranked on SERPs.

What search terms do they use that you don’t? Who is linking to their content from outside sources? what subjects?

These websites may use your competitors’ services, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the benefits your company can offer as well.

Reach out to these backlink sources using any of the aforementioned strategies to rejoin the battle with your rivals.

Final Verdict

You should only use white hat techniques when optimizing your website for search engines. Black hat SEO techniques, such as creating private blog networks and participating in dubious link schemes, can be risky on numerous levels.

You run the risk of jeopardizing your reputation, your business, and occasionally even your ability to recover from penalties.

You’ll benefit later if you behave honestly and prudently.

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