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The Truth About Private Blog Networks (for SEO)

PBNs are private blog networks. Publishers use them for SEO, specifically backlinks. A person will create three or more blogs and link each one back to their main website, which is where they earn their income. The blogs in the network never link to each other. By purchasing aged domains, the PBN publisher has blogs with instant authority and the backlinks are more valuable.


Is Google Okay with PBNs

When you create blogs for the sole purpose of linking to another website, this goes against Google’s TOS and they will penalize your money site. Many publishers and even SEO agencies use PBNs, but they are smart and don’t get caught. It’s easy for Google to spot poorly made private blog networks, but harder for the search engine to detect ones carefully made to avoid scrutiny.


How Do I Start a Private Blog Network?

If you want to risk starting your own PBN for backlinks from relevant sites, buy some older, expired domains that will work for your niche. Register them with different registrars and host your websites with at least two different companies. Keep your WHOIS information private or a competitor may turn you in to Google for running a PBN. You must keep detailed records to keep track of everything. If you want to use WordPress, use different templates so the blogs do not appear related. There are tons of tutorials out there, that go into more detail.


How Can I Avoid Scrutiny?

Update your blogs with fresh content at least once a week. Google looks for PBNs by checking for blogs never updated since you post the initial content. Never duplicate content, even images, between blogs. Use images, press releases and other content so you don’t have to create so many fresh articles. Occasionally link out to other sites, like Wikipedia, not your competitors. Use internal linking as well.


Are PBNs Too Much Work?

It’s expensive, between buying expired domains and hosting them, to create a PBN that will fly under Google’s radar. It’s also time consuming as you need fresh content for each blog. Buying backlinks and paying to guest post can also be costly. At least you control the blog and anchor text if you own a PBN.

There are pros and cons to creating one; decide if it is worth the risk in your case. Many SEO professionals will tell you a PBN is a good way to get a manual penalty, but some SEO agencies make good use of them. As long as the blogs in your network provide some value to visitors, it won’t appear to Google that you’re trying to manipulate PageRank. You could even end up with blogs that start ranking well and you can monetize them too.e

There are also some great videos on youtube where SEOs discuss PBNs in great details:

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