PBN: What is a Private Blog Network and How to Use Them

PBN: What is a Private Blog Network and How to Use Them

Once you have built your site, written fantastic content, and started to promote your brand on social media, you may be eager to see it achieve high ranking search engine result pages. After all, that is the best way to get your brand in front of as many eyes as possible. Unfortunately, reaching the top of the page organically can take a lot of time and effort. In the meantime, to expedite efforts, many sites incorporate the use of a PBN as well as other, more organic SEO strategies.

What Exactly is a PBN?

A PBN, or a private blog network, uses a series of authoritative, legitimate websites to build links back to your income-earning website, helping it to rank higher on Google and other search engine result pages. These authoritative sites have no connection to one another, only to the income-earning one. The key to success with a PBN is to ensure that the individual PBN sites operate 100 percent independently from one another, so the links on the income-earning one appear as natural as possible.

The Risks of Using a PBN

Unfortunately, the Google strongly disapproves of PBNs to build links. Part of this reason is because the only strategy they want websites to use to increase their page ran on search engine results pages is Google’s own AdWords. This makes sense from a business standpoint, as AdWords is a huge revenue earner for the company – allowing other strategies to occur that could render AdWords irrelevant is not in their best interests. As a result, if Google “catches” you using a PBN, they could penalize the income-earning site, lowering its search rank. There have even been a few high-profile cases where Google has even targeted the income-earning site as well as the PBN sites connected to it.

The Benefits of Using a PBN

Just as there are risks, there are also numerous benefits to using a PBN. First, it gives you ultimate control over all of your SEO. A network allows you to direct the anchor text and links as you see fit, and then gives you the chance to test them out. Most SEO experts agree that there are no other link building strategies that give you that kind of flexibility and freedom. Additionally, with a PBN, even if a penalty happens, you can simply remove the link and the penalty gets removed as well.

If you are hoping to establish your brand as an authoritative voice in your industry, a PBN is the best way to do so. With a PBN, you can use the authority already built up by a pre-established website to your advantage. Additionally, you can do so without spending time reaching out to other website owners to try and establish a relationship or build connections. Obviously, you should also be doing this as a practice, but it can take some time. PBNs give you instant authority while you spend time developing organic connections as well. 

How to Avoid the Risks

Thankfully, there are things you can do to avoid getting your activity detected by Google. Your first step is to consider whether the risks are worth the benefits. In most cases, the answer is yes. Having ultimate control over your links, their placement, and being able to experiment with search engine results is more than worth the moderate risks. Your return on investment is going to be even higher if you use PBNs alongside other, white hat SEO strategies.

First, SEO experts recommend diversifying your links, much the way a skilled investor diversifies their portfolio. No one puts all their money into one stock; similarly, you should use other sources as well as PBNs in your link building strategies. Experts recommend keeping your PBN links to between five and 25 percent of your overall links, with the remaining ones coming from internal pages, branded properties, news articles, or blog or forum comments, depending on your niche.

Next, do a thorough review of your income-earning site to be sure that keywords are included in titles and meta-descriptions, as well as occurring naturally in page content. The inclusion of white hat SEO strategies as well using PBNs is a good way to escape the notice of Google’s reviewers. It is also incredibly important that you ensure there is no way to connect your PBN sites to each other. Ideally, you should use a VPN or proxy when you log into each independent site, if you have created the network yourself, to ensure that the same IP address is not associated with ownership of each one.

Using a private blog network is a great way to get your site the authoritative backlinks it needs to achieve high results ranking. By incorporating the strategies discussed above, you can use this SEO strategy to your advantage, seeing the results you want in a much shorter time.