In this way, the webmaster creates a collection of different blogs and sites and puts content related to the topic of his site in them. These blogs will gain credibility and status over time and will be a good space to link to the main site.
One of the most important and influential factors in ranking Google results is the number and quality of inbound links to the site, but this factor is also the most important reason for the site to lose its position and fine by Google!
In fact, this double-edged sword is our most important tool in tough and complex competitions that, if not used properly, may land on the body of our site and our business.
PBN stands for Private Blog Network, later known as Private Backlink Network. If we look at the meaning of this phrase, we can say in a simple definition;
PBN is a collection of blogs and sites designed to strengthen the main site and build links.
Before examining in detail the positive or negative effects of this method, let us get a little acquainted with the philosophy of existence and the formation of PBN.
When was the concept of PBN introduced in SEO?
It can be said that PBN is a special type of Link Farm. Link Farm has been in SEO since 1999, yes, many years ago, and its goal was to build a huge collection of sites that were related and linked to a specific site.
At that time, Google’s algorithms were not as smart as they are today, and they relied heavily on links to rank sites. This dependence was so great that Google itself officially calculated and announced a factor called Page Rank for sites. PageRank was determined directly based on the number and quality of inbound links.
With this philosophy, many sites were created that would link to you in different ways and earn money for themselves. Methods such as listing on directory sites, two-way link exchange and three-way link exchange were formed and quickly became one of the most important and effective techniques in SEO. We have reviewed and introduced most of these methods in an article entitled Black Hat SEO Techniques in Linking.
Everything was going well until the number of webmasters and sites using this method increased and the farms were filled with links to scattered and irrelevant topics. Google’s algorithms improved, and the value they placed on such sites was less than in the past. At a time when a variety of blogging services were coming in, it was practically difficult to find a secluded and valuable farm.
PBN is a personal link farm
The idea for PBN started when webmasters sought to set up personal link farms because it was difficult to find an empty, relevant farm. In the early stages, launching specialized blogs on free services was an effective solution because these sites generally had a very high page rank, many options were available, and of course the cost of building a farm was very low.
This method also spread rapidly, resulting in a decrease in the value of blogs in the eyes of Google and a decrease in the impact of this model of PBN. This time, however, creative and always active minds in SEO were not idle and found a new way to build PBN, which extended its concept to the Private Backlink Network.
Domains replaced blogs
Due to the low value of blogs, low domain price and the existence of free or shared hosting services, setting up a new site with a specialized theme was not a difficult task, and of course there were many domains that were released due to failure or change in workflow. Domains, some of which even had high Page Rank.
All these years, Google has been trying to improve its algorithms by introducing new algorithms such as the Penguin algorithm (in 2012) with PBN and Link Farm. But the creativity of webmasters was always one step ahead of improving algorithms, until in 2014 Google’s blood boiled over and, after careful scrutiny of its experts, sought out and disabled massive PBN networks.
From this date on, the risk of using PBN increased sharply and many sites faced severe penalties and downgrades.
The result of this ongoing struggle has been to reduce the impact of such link building and increase the cost of building PBN, which we will explain in the following sections of this article as to the reason for its price increase.
3 main reasons to have a PBN
In the common methods of external linking, we focus on identifying relevant and reputable sites and try to get links from them by paying money or creative activities. But there are four major drawbacks to these methods:
- The sites we choose may reduce their activity or divert their content from our site.
- Competitive sites monitor our activities and are present wherever we are.
- Sites with irrelevant topics and no strategy cooperate with our link building resources and increase the number and variety of outbound links.
- Reputable and valuable sites will charge a high fee for your link.
With these conditions, the idea of setting up a private network makes a logical connection. The most important reasons for SEO experts to build a PBN are:
1- You have precise control over link building resources
If all the sites that link to you are under your control, you will never have a problem with the presence of competing sites, loss of content focus or reduced quality and credibility.
In the worst case, your site may be penalized by Google, and in this case, since all the links are at your disposal, you can easily identify and remove low-value and malicious links and get rid of the Google penalty.
2- You use valid and released domains
Instead of focusing on sites with relevant content and high credibility, just look at the domains that end each day and choose topics related to your site.
In practice, your options for external linking and building huge networks will be many.
3- The negotiation and monitoring process is simplified
Sites that are credible and valuable usually have complex and difficult processes for accepting your link and displaying it in different parts of the site. In fact, identifying these sites, interacting with the site administrator and monitoring the existence of links and maintaining the quality of content is time consuming and very tedious.
Setting up a personal PBN is probably a priority for you by this part of the article, but before taking any action, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the difficulties of setting it up.
How does Google identify and penalize PBN backlinks?
Setting up a private network is an exciting and practical idea link, but once you start the game, you should know that Google algorithms and experts are in front of you. If your network is detected by Google, it will have bad consequences for all sites on that network.
In this section, we look at Google’s most important ways to identify PBN and ways to deal with it.
1- Domains are all in the name of one person
One of Google’s criteria for identifying link building networks is domain ownership. If all the sites that are in a network and reinforce each other belong to one person or are registered by an intermediary company, understanding their relationship will be easy.
To prevent this problem, your domains must be registered with different people or the Whois information of the sites must be hidden. Of course, hiding Whois information will cost you extra, and this will make Google more suspicious of these domains. As a result, it is recommended that domains be registered under different people.
2- Link network sites are located on a host or server
Identifying the hosting company or site IP is a very simple task for Google. If the sites on your network that support each other are all on the same provider and with the same IP, the risk of Google identifying the network will be high.
To solve this problem, you have to get hosting from different companies or provide a specific IP for each site, which will increase costs and make site management more difficult.
One common way to hide hosting information is to use CDN services such as Cloudflare, which change the site’s DNS and hide the original hosting information. It is interesting to know that even with this service, the original IP for Google can still be identified and tracked!
3. The domains you buy operate with a new nature and content
When it comes to identifying and purchasing free and valid domains, you should also know about their content and structure. Because with fundamental changes in the content and structure of a site, Google may notice its entry into a link network.
Imagine that you have found an old and reputable site in the field of tourism that has stopped operating for some reason. By purchasing this domain you will have a new site with a different URL structure and of course completely new content.
Loss of internal links on the site, deletion of indexed content, and of course the absence of pages that received external links will reduce the credibility and value of this domain. One way to deal with this is to visit Archive.org and review the pages saved from this domain.
In this way, valuable domain pages are identified and the URL structure and content of the pages are simulated again on your host.
4- The contact information and branding of the sites change or are similar
Perhaps the most common mistake in building a PBN is to use the same information, branding, content and images on all sites. This will make it easier for Google to identify the links between your sites and your goal of setting up a link network.
To avoid this problem, make sure that the logo, contact information, geographical location, images and texts of the site, the page about us and باشند are completely specific and accurate for each site.
5- The content of the sites is not updated or is similar
In the past, as soon as you created a new domain or blog, it was enough and you could easily keep your network up to date by copying content from reputable sites. But if you are planning to launch a PBN today, make sure that each of the sites on the network has specific and completely different content.
Google’s algorithms currently have a high ability to detect duplicate content and do not give it value or credibility when viewed on such pages. As a result, if your sites are collecting content from the web and publishing it aimlessly, they have no chance of retaining credibility and moving it to the main site.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your PBN is to keep your site content up to date.
6. Sites on one network do not link to another
The main purpose of setting up a Private Backlink Network is to be exclusive, but this will make your activities recognizable to Google. If all the sites on a network only reinforce each other and do not link to any other site in their area of activity, Google is more likely to be on the same network.
To avoid this problem, you should identify the reference sites related to the domain of each domain and link to them in the content or different sections of the pages.
7- Your domains do not receive new links or are not active in social networks
Purchased domains have good credentials and links at first, but you should also have a plan to maintain and promote them.
If your site does not receive new links or does not have user satisfaction signals such as reaction and introduction on social networks, it will gradually lose its value and credibility. As a result, external linking for sites on your network will continue to be one of your most important tasks.
Every farm needs a lot of care and attention to bear fruit, PBN is a farm of your sites.
Why not think about building a PBN?
By now, you probably realize how risky, costly, and tedious it is to set up a private network of sites. But let’s look again at the reasons why we believe that using PBN is no longer a good SEO strategy. After seeing these reasons, if your mind was looking for the right link building strategies, we suggest you visit the white hat link building training page.
1- Construction and maintenance of PBN is very expensive
If you do not pay attention to the 7 points mentioned in the previous section, setting up a PBN may seem simple and cheap, but the possibility of it being detected by Google and the sites being penalized will be very high.
Domain buying, hosting, dedicated IP, site management, external link building, and content updating are all activities that take a lot of your time and money. If you are still thinking about building your own network, keep in mind that you need to fund it.
2- Building a powerful network is time consuming
Just review the route we have taken so far. That you are constantly monitoring and purchasing released domains, identifying old pages of the site and rebuilding them on your host, inserting contact information, logo and proprietary content for each, and constantly updating new and proprietary content in Putting them down is hard work and time consuming.
Hard work is determined when you realize that you need a lot of these sites to build a strong PBN, and it will take a long time for your farm to reach fruition.
If you have a PBN strategy in mind, keep an eye on it as a long-term investment.
3- We neglect our site
What happens if we devote the time and energy spent producing and updating PBN to producing valuable content and strengthening the main site? The fact is that almost 90% of websites do not have much competition to get to the first page or even a Google ranking.
Side activities and finding ways to deceive Google cause us to not have enough focus and time for our site.
4- Your best friend becomes your biggest enemy!
Google is our good friend! Yes, we will not have a chance to succeed in SEO until we believe in it. We and Google both pursue one goal: user satisfaction. Every time we step on the path of user satisfaction, we are practically strengthening this bond of friendship and we will have a better chance of gaining a place in the search results.
Making PBN or any other method that falls into the category of black hat SEO puts our site in front of Google and its quality standards, and over the years Google has proven many times that it is a dangerous and cruel enemy.
Do you have the right to choose, do you consider Google your friend or do you intend to be an enemy?
How to be a friend of Google?
If you have asked yourself this question, I must congratulate you, because you are on the path to growth and success. To be a good friend of Google, we must first think about meeting the needs of users and answering their questions.
The set of activities that are in the direction of user satisfaction and improving the site’s ranking is called white hat SEO. In a series of articles, we have introduced the most important techniques. To get acquainted with these methods, we suggest you read the series of SEO teaching articles in the field of white hat SEO.
Which route do you think is the shortest and easiest way to reach the destination? What did you think of after reading this article? Launching a strong PBN or pursuing white hat SEO strategies?