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!!
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.
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.
Go get them higher rankings!!