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Does Private Blog Network (PBN) still make sense in 2021?

05 December 2021, Sunday By Victoria Frolova
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The simplest definition for Private Blog Network (PBN) is that it is a collection of websites. On these sites, links to the promoted resource are placed and thereby increase its rating. The key goal is to hide the link between these sites from the search engine.

Private Blog Network

Private Blog Network (PBN) Became a Black Hat SEO

The key goal is also determined by the fact that the construction of such networks is increasingly referred to as black SEO. The Forbes article "A Brief Guide To Successful SEO Link Building In 2020" states the following:

If you purchase backlinks or use a private blog network (PBN), you’re almost certainly going to receive a Google penalty for violating its Webmaster Guidelines.

Typically, a PBN is based on drop domains. This is convenient, since such domains already have a certain reputation in the eyes of search engines, but among them you need to choose those that have a positive reputation. Over time, finding such domains becomes more and more difficult. Whereas previously it was enough to study the backlink profile, now you need to thoroughly review the history, looking for any signs that the domain has already been used in the Private Blog Network (PBN) (after all, in this case, it most likely already fell under Google sanctions).

In 2014, when Google got serious about identifying and penalizing Private Blog Networks (PBN), many of them were de-indexed. Since then, there has been a constant battle between Google's ever-improving algorithms and SEO specialists using Private Blog Network (PBN).

Does Private Blog Network (PBN) still make sense?

Yes, even now it is a powerful tool for getting backlinks. In terms of honesty, it is no different from buying links from trusted sites. In some cases, you cannot do without Private Blog Network (PBN): for certain topics, the price of paid links is too high, and in some cases it is simply impossible to find a sufficient number of thematic donors. But you need to understand that now there are no cheap Private Blog Network (PBN) (they can exist, but they will bring harm rather than benefit). Every site on the web must be of high quality in the eyes of search engines.

To disguise a network of domains, consider the following:

  • Use different registration data, try to adhere to the tactic "one domain - one name", and do not hide this data in Whois.
  • Add a page with contacts, email address, phone number to the site.
  • Do not use sites with automatically generated content. The domain must be live, it must have traffic and an adequate average length of time spent by the user on the page. The site should be useful.
  • Link analytics to websites, but don't do it from one account. Otherwise, it will be very easy to calculate your network not only for search engines, but also for ordinary users. For example, you can check this using the Publicwww service.
  • If there was an abrupt change of subject on the site, it will be a bad marker for search engines.
  • Do not buy domains that have links or content related to gray topics (casino, gambling, adult content).
  • Obviously, you should place domains from the network on different IP-addresses and hosting, they should be unique in terms of content and style.

Publicwww service

Such requirements for Private Blog Network (PBN) lead to the following conclusions: buying links from someone else's network is too risky, because there is a high probability that it will not meet all the requirements. It is important to spend a lot of time looking for quality and thematic drop domains. And if the classic approaches to the search for drops have already been described, then the search for thematic sites is more complicated.

How to find dropped domains for building Private Blog Network (PBN)

Usually, services provide an opportunity to search by text in a domain name, but, first of all, everyone is looking for this, and a high-quality thematic dropped domain with a “thematic” domain name can only be bought at an auction of released domains. Secondly, in the search results you will see many domains whose topics do not correspond to the expected ones. At the same time, you will lose hundreds of those that match your topic, but do not reflect it in the domain name.

Related: What Is A Domain Name? Explanation For Beginners

The way out is to use tools that allow you to search for the content of drop domains (based on information from the Wayback Machine or data collected on your own). A good example of such a service is Expired Domains, which collects domain metrics that allow you to quickly filter out inappropriate ones (for example, by the number of incoming links counted by Majestic.com).

The use of Private Blog Network (PBN in 2021) makes no less sense than before, only the requirements for such networks have changed.

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