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What Is a Private Blog Network (Pbn)?

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You know how important it is to get your website the best possible SEO rankings, so you've heard about Private Blog Networks (PBNs). It sounds like a great way to control your link building and get better results - but don't be fooled.

PBNs are not as great of a strategy as they may seem and can cause more harm than good! Read on to learn more about what PBNs are, the risks associated with them, and why it's best to stick with legitimate tactics.

Key Takeaways

  • • PBNs are a group of websites created or purchased to provide backlinks to another website and improve its search rankings.
  • • PBNs violate Google's guidelines on link spam and manipulative behavior.
  • • Excessive use of PBNs can lead to penalties and manual actions from Google, resulting in lower rankings or omission from search results.
  • • It is important to focus on legitimate and ethical link building methods such as outreach, becoming a source, and broken link building.

Definition of a PBN

You've heard of private blog networks (PBNs) and want to know more?

A PBN is a group of websites created or purchased to provide backlinks to another website and improve its search rankings. SEOs use them for link building, but the links are not earned naturally.

PBN sites lack real value compared to natural backlinks, and Google uses footprints like shared IP addresses and web hosting to detect them. The risks associated with PBNs include potential penalties and manual actions from Google if used excessively.

Instead, focus on alternative methods like outreach, digital PR, broken link building, creating unique content, and keyword research for safe link building practices.

Risks Associated With Pbns

Using PBNs for link building carries risks and can lead to penalties from search engines. Search engines such as Google use automated systems to detect the footprint of a PBN, which can result in manual actions and website penalties. If a website is penalized, its rankings may suffer or it may be completely omitted from search results.

To recover, manual action issues must be fixed and a reconsideration request filed. In addition to link removal, disavowing pages may be necessary if there is an unnatural link manual action or to proactively address potential issues.

Alternatives to PBNs exist that won't have a negative impact on your website rankings. Quality backlinks should always be earned through creating unique content instead of using manipulative tactics like PBNs.

Reasons for Using PBNs and Debunking Myths

You may be tempted to turn to PBNs for their perceived advantages, but it's important to understand the risks associated with them.

While some SEOs use PBNs to manipulate anchor text, which is difficult to control through outreach, excessive use of manipulative link building tactics can lead to penalties and manual actions from Google. Penalized sites may experience lower rankings or even complete omission from search results.

It's important to consider alternatives like email outreach and digital PR as they involve reaching out to others and hoping for links. High-quality, relevant links are best earned through the creation of unique and valuable content rather than relying on PBNs.

Recovery from a manual action requires fixing the issue and filing a reconsideration request, so it's best that you focus on effective SEO strategies without PBNs in order to avoid the impact of using them on your search rankings.

Where to find strong aged domains for PBNs?

If one thing is certain about PBNs is that you must build them on strong aged domains, otherwise it is not worth your time and money. There are different ways to acquire such domains:

  • · Buy them from an aged domain marketplace
  • · Drop catch them by yourself
  • · Participate in auctions
  • · Broken links scraping technique

All of these are explained in details by Quirk Biz on their article on How to find domains for PBNs? 

Myths About Paid Links and Groups of Sites Linking to Each Other

Paying for links is against Google's guidelines, regardless of whether they come from a PBN or not. Even though some bloggers openly sell links or sponsored posts, this does not make them part of a PBN.

Unnatural links can be detected by Google and have negative consequences, so it's important to avoid using PBNs for link building.

Linking between your own websites can be done naturally and is not considered unnatural. Companies often use multiple sites to promote related ones to visitors through footer links.

It's crucial to focus on ethical link building methods such as outreach, broken link building, and becoming a source instead of relying on PBNs for effectiveness.

Google has improved their detection methods over the years and are able to identify spammy tactics like paid linking networks.

There are many resources available that can help you learn more about proper ways of getting quality links without risking penalties from Google.

Dealing With PBN Links on Your Website and Proper Ways to Get Links

Now that you know the risks of using private blog networks (PBNs) for link building, it's time to evaluate the impact of any PBN links on your website rankings.

To do this, use Semrush's Backlink Audit tool to detect and remove any harmful links from your website. Once all suspicious links are identified and removed, you should focus on alternative link building methods beyond PBNs.

This includes strategies like outreach, becoming a source, and broken link building – all of which provide natural and authoritative backlinks without putting your site at risk.

Understanding the risks associated with PBNs and exploring alternative link building methods is key to maintain successful SEO rankings.


To conclude, PBNs are risky and have the potential to get your website penalized. It's important to remember that legitimate link building techniques will provide more long-term success than PBNs.

Even though some SEOs may turn to PBNs for their perceived advantages, research shows that only 2% of websites actually use them. Therefore, focus on ethical and organic link building methods, such as outreach and keyword research, to get your site ranking higher in search engine results.

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Last Updated on June 9, 2006 10:41 AM |TrackBack

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