Do Private Blog Networks Really Work

One of the most popular methods of ranking sites these days is using private blog networks. But the question I get asked often is, Do private blog networks really work?

The short answer is: Yes

But there is a little more to it than simply getting a few PBN links. In this post I am going to cover everything you need to know about Private Blog Networks and how you should use them correctly to boost your rankings.





What exactly is a Private Blog Network?

Im sure many of you already know what a Private Blog Network is (Or PBN for Short), but if not, here is my definition.

A Private network is a number of blogs or sites that link back to your ‘money’ site to give your money site more authority and better SEO metrics, thus improving it’s rankings in the search engines. 

The network sites are all related to your niche so that the links appear natural and relevant, although I have seen many cases where people use PBN sites on random subjects because all they care about is a backlink.

I personally feel very strongly that your private blog network sites should all be niche relevant. If you had a money site about dog training and you linked from a PBN site about travel, it would not appear natural to Google and would not carry as much strength than a link from a site about dogs.

Generally you would use contextual links from relevant content on your network sites to rank to your main money site.

Websites within a private network are built on already established or expired domains that already carry some authority.


How effective are PBNs?

The simple answer to this question is that they are very effective indeed. I have seen more and more ‘highly recognisable’ sites using private blog networks to boost their own rankings. We all know that quality back links go a long way in helping a site to rank higher.

High authority and niche related links are the kind of back links that everybody strives for. A PBN offers both of these elements and it is for this reason why they are so effective.

Proof from clients sites:

Having built a few Private blog networks for my clients over the past few months I now have enough data to see some actual results. Obviously I can’t reveal the URL’s or keywords for the owners sake, but here are some positive results.

This site was a client in the health niche who had a relative new site with good content and on page SEO, but they had done little to no backlinking and the site  was sitting around 130 in Google for the main keyword they were targeting.

We built 5 high quality PBN sites and started to drop links. As you can see, the site quickly moved up the rankings and finally hit number 2 position!!

Screen ShotPrivateBlogNetworkLinks


I have noticed excellent results from clients sites and I have also noted that Jon from ‘Authoritywebsiteincome’ has reported a 75% success rate with his clients sites within 1 month.

The key to assuring that a Private blog network will work for you is:

  • You must have good quality, unique content
  • You must do your keyword research
  • You must have good On-Page SEO

If you have spammy back links and over optimised anchor text and poor content, there is a good chance you will get penalised and a PBN will not help your causes.

Another important factor that determines the effectiveness is the quality of the PBN sites. It’s vital that you build the sites with quality, manual content, relevant images and links and all of the usual stuff you would find on a real site. Contact page, about page etc..

NOTE: Our Done For You Private Blog Network Service Is Now OPEN, places are limited as we can only take on a certain number of clients at any one time



Are there any dangers to using a PBN?

Private blog network links are considered to be a black hat method, so obviously there are some dangers involved, but only if you go about it the wrong way.

dangers of private blog networks



It’s a bit like crossing the road. If you are cautious and carefully look out for cars and then only cross the road once it’s clear, then its completely safe. If you run across the road without looking then it is very dangerous!!

The same thing applies here. The only danger that you face is Google finding out about your PBN. If they do they can de-index your sites and penalise your money site.

The good news is, you can follow some simple rules so that Google has no trace of ever finding out about your network. I actually discuss all of these in my guide on ‘How to build your own private blog network

The most important factor is to NOT leave a footprint.

Some of the steps we take are:

  • Use separate hosting companies
  • Use different themes and designs
  • Use different content
  • Like out to other sites in a similar niche.

All of these steps help towards keeping your network ‘undetectable’. If you follow the correct procedures then private networks can be completely safe!

I can’t see how Google can possibly do anything about them unless they remove ‘back linking’ from their algorithms altogether, and I cant see that happening anytime soon!


Are they expensive?

Building your own network can be an expensive process and this is why we see so many large companies getting ahead of the competition, because they can afford to build massive networks and purchase links on other high authority sites.

There are a few things you need to consider that will affect the price to have your own PBN

The cost of purchasing expired domains. The better the SEO metrics the more expensive the domains will cost you

Domain registration. All domain have to be registered which comes with a yearly fee, usually around $10.

Domain privacy. One important factor to prevent leaving a footprint is ‘domain privacy’. You don’t want to register all of you PBN sites under your name as this will leave quite an obvious footprint. Therefore we pay extra to activate domain privacy

Content – Your sites will need well written content, and this comes at a price. You can be looking at up to $ 50 per site for content

Hosting – This is what puts a lot of people off. You need to pay for separate hosting companies for each site in your network. Can be around $5 per month per site!!

As you can see, a private blog network can run up some fairly high costs. Then there are running costs which you must account for.

(If you don’t want all of the bother, we can build and manage a Private blog network for you)



How many sites should you have in your network?

There is no exact number to answer this question because it all boils down to the competitiveness of your niche and keywords. The more competition, the bigger the network you will need.

When building PBN’s for clients we usually start with 5 sites and build from there. A lot of the time 5 sites is enough for low competition keywords.

Some people build a network of hundreds of sites, but from my experience I have found it more beneficial to have a smaller number of high quality and VERY niche related sites that a high number of general PBN sites.


Public/Private blog network confusion

You may have come across a lot of services offering link packages to private blog networks. The problem I see with these such services is that they are not actually private at all.

If they are advertising them across the internet on forums and blogs, then surely that becomes a ‘public’ network because it is open to anybody that wishes to pay to get links from.

Link networks that are easily accessible to the public are also easily accessible to Google. So if you are thinking about purchasing links from somebody else’s sites, just be warned that these networks could shut down at anytime if discovered!


Will a private blog network really work for me?

There are no niches that a PBN can not be affectively used on. If you have a website and you want to improve your rankings and you have good on page SEO and quality content, then a private network will work for you.

Blog networks provide high authority links that are niche related and Google love these type of links. From my experiences I have found this to be the most affective way of increasing your rankings. I have also found it to be the safest way, providing you do things correctly.

If you want to build your own private blog network then you can follow my completely free guide here. If you can’t be bothered, then we offer a done for you service right here.


Go get them higher rankings!!


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Comments (14)

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  1. George says:

    So if I build a 5 site PBN for a niche of mine and I link out to my money site, for how long should I keep the PBN sites up and is there any way to make use of them afterwards?


    Jason Chesters

    Jason Chesters Reply:

    Hi George, 5 pBN sites is a starting point, it really depends on how competitive your keywords are. Once they are built you leave them up. You can make other uses out of them. Some of them may pick up search engine traffic too and you can monetize the sites. Your blog network will also be of value to other people should you wish to sell!!


  2. Kenneth Tabor says:

    In your tutorial about ranking any website in Google you go over building “manual web 2.0 properties”.

    What are some of the main differences between building a blog on say WordPress / Blogger and buying hosting/domain etc. to create a network of blogs?


    Jason Chesters

    Jason Chesters Reply:

    The difference is that buy building blogs on free blogging platforms you already have the domain authority of the originating domain. So WordPress has a DA of about 99. However hosting your own domains is more creditable and you have full control.

    A free blog can be taken down at anytime and I guess Google could easily prevent these kind of blogs from carrying any relevancy in the ranking algorithm. I would say back links from hosted sites with a proper domain carry more link juice, but Web 2.0’s are good to take advantage of well we still can!


  3. Helge Sverre says:

    I wondered about that as well.


  4. Rascal says:

    I was reading another article the other day about the risks of PBNs and I’d just like to ask your opinion on it.

    There is a footprint that ALL private blog networks generally have in common and that’s that they are made up of expiring/dropped domains.

    What’s to stop Google just stopping domains like this passing juice?


    Jason Chesters

    Jason Chesters Reply:

    Hi, Yes you are correct, the majority of PBN sites are built on expired domains. But if you have a diverse link profile then there is no way of knowing which sites are your PBN sites because you will also have a number of other links from ‘non expired’ domains.

    Google has already taken a step towards this and they have prevented PageRank from passing on Expired domains, however there are a lot of other metrics that are still kept and I can’t see them doing anything about it anytime soon. If they can do anything at all that is. They also know that people can register new domains and blast them with thousands of links using software to quickly improve metrics anyway!


  5. Anton says:

    Hi Jason,

    “Google has already taken a step towards this and they have prevented PageRank from passing on Expired domains”

    Where did you hear this?


  6. Fredrik says:

    Hi Jason,

    Good article.

    In a previous write-up you mentioned:
    “Imagine having 50+ sites with a PR between 3 and 7 and they all included a link to your money site. Just think of all that link juice!! This alone can be enough to rank some sites number 1.”

    Now you say:Imagine having 50+ sites with a PR between 3 and 7 and they all included a link to your money site. Just think of all that link juice!! This alone can be enough to rank some sites number 1.

    Thus, you mean PR is no longer valid as a link-juice factor. Then, what is/are? You don’t say anything about this, and let me tell you – it is a fundamental piece of the puzzle.



    Jason Chesters

    Jason Chesters Reply:

    I never said PR is no longer a factor, I am just saying that recently, PR is not being carried over once a domain has expired. Although I do not think PR is as important as it used to be, it does still play a part as a ranking factor!!

    Sites can regain page rank by building authority!!


  7. Fredrik says:

    Sorry, I meant: “Google has already taken a step towards this and they have prevented PageRank from passing on Expired domains”


  8. Jona says:

    Hi Jason
    Thank you for the excellent article. I’m learning about SEO at the moment and I’m trying to set up my own PBN. One thing confuses me though: How important is the relevance between the PBN’s content and the money site? If I have a website about socks for example, does every site from the PBN have to be about socks? But then I would have to set up an entire new network for every money site, because my second money site would be about something completely different? Do you understand what I mean?
    Thank you very much!


    Jason Chesters

    Jason Chesters Reply:

    Hi Jona

    Yes it is important to have relevancy. Each PBN site does not necessarily have to be about socks (only), just make sure the article from which are linking from is about socks. So you could have a PBN about sportswear and that could include a couple of articles about sports socks, but you still have a PBN in the sports niche for other projects.


  9. Candace says:

    Hi Jason…

    Thanks for a great article on building your own PBN… I am very interested in this and have already started searching for expired high authority domains in my niche.

    My niche is day trading futures.

    I found an expired domain for my PBN that is in the investment banking world. It has a Page Authority of 41 and a Domain Authority of 31 with a MozRank of 4.1 and a MozTrust of 4.9… It’s from 2009. It has a Page Rank of 1.

    It also has 108 existing back links with most of those links being high authority (40+) for the DA and PA…

    My concern is that none of those 108 links are from any site in the investment world… even though they are all high ranking.

    So my question to you is: Do we need to be concerned where the links are coming from for our PBN’s… as long as the links are not spam and are high ranking DA and PA?

    Thanks for your reply!


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