Private Blog Networks – Why Build Them & Why They Work

private blog networks
Photo by fdecomite (CC BY)

Just saw a post today in the SEO Organization Philippines Facebook group about a discussion in Google Forums about private blog networks. Basically the guy who posted it in Google Forums reported that he saw a PBN with around 700 sites and how this private network of blogs are ranking and are helping other sites rank as well.

Is it wrong?

Private blog networks are mostly frowned upon in today’s SEO industry. I however don’t see anything wrong with it – provided that they provide quality content. Today, it’s all about quality & unique content. Site’s that don’t provide quality content – may they be PBNs or not – are the problem.

Why build them?

So, why build private blog networks? There can be many reasons why but the main reason why people do it is to have control over backlinks. It’s hard to get quality backlinks nowadays so why not just create a huge number of sites that provide quality content and use them to link to your “more important” sites?

Say NO to garbage content

Is it spammy? My answer to that again is, do you provide quality content? If your content is garbage then your site/s deserve to be booted out of the online universe but if they’re gold (or silver or bronze) then they deserve to stay and be given some sort of value by the search engines.

Think about it

Imagine this scenario:

  • I started a brand new business selling tires online
  • I need online presence so I build a website
  • I optimize for specific keywords but the competition is high
  • I realize I need more sites to link to me (blame Google for that)
  • I try to reach out to webmasters and get a few sites linking back to me
  • I check my rankings but still find no love
  • I decide to build 50 different websites each on a different topic but somewhat related to tires (cars, rims, rubber, engines, etc)
  • On these sites I provided quality content and all of them link back to my main tire business site

Do you see anything evil in that? I don’t. In fact I added value to the net by creating those 50 sites.

The big guys do it (properly)

In my reply to the Facebook post mentioned above, I pointed out that WordPress.com and Blogger.com are more or less PBNs in that they’re owned by one entity (each its own). Then people like you and me create on content on their network – they still own the network although we own the content. Let’s say that 5000 random people on these networks decide to link to just one article, say this article – is there anything wrong with that?

But that’s organic you’d say. How would the search engines know?

So, yes, PBNs are OK but just like any tool, it can be used for good and for bad. It can be used properly or not. What about you? What do you think about PBNs?

 

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