PBN stands for Private Blog Networks. You don’t have to be a veteran of SEO marketing to come across this term. In fact, in your typical run-of-the-mill affiliate marketing blog or forum, people talk about PBNs. Indeed, many of them can’t seem to stop talking about PBNs. There’s a lot of buzz regarding PBNs precisely because of one thing: they work. This method is being used by more and more marketers because it actually works. That says a lot considering the fast-shifting nature of online traffic generation methods. Indeed, in the world of SEO, techniques that deliver quick and decisive results often quickly disappear. The fact that PBNs continue to work is a testament to its inherent comparative durability. Here’s a quick primer on PBNs and why they are so popular.
Private Blog Networks are networks of blogs built to pass link juice to target sites. They can be built entirely from scratch like typical blogs: these are completely organic blogs that form part of a network and are used primarily for generating link juice. As the members blogs of the network mature in terms of link authority, credibility, and overall niche context, the value of the link juice they pass to target sites increases. Of course, using a completely organic approach to building PBNs can take quite a bit of time. Indeed, it can take so much time and effort (if you are using original high quality content) that many marketers often forget this type of PBN. In most cases, many marketers automatically define “PBN” as a network comprised of expired domains exclusively.
Of course, the other way to build them is to use expired domains: these are domains that were associated with previously active blogs that earned backlinks.
Private Blog Networks can also be self-hosted using WordPress, or they can be built in Web 2.0 public blogging platforms. Usually, when people talk about PBNs, there’s a misconception that they can only be built on WordPress using your own hosting. This is not true. There are many PBNs that also use Web 2.0 platforms.
Now that you have a clear idea of what PBNs are, the reason why people build them is because they use link equity. You build them to create a “pump” for link juice. As I mentioned above, you can build your Private Blog Network from scratch. You can register fresh domains, create fresh blogs, and given enough time, this would earn enough backlinks from the rest of the internet. You can then aim this link juice to your target website.
As you can probably already tell, that takes a long time. Thankfully, there is a shortcut using expired domains that can get you a head start. Usually, people use domain tools to find expired domains. One particularly effective expired domain analysis tool is Domain Hunter Gatherer.
Regardless of which tool you use, you find expired domains that have their existing backlink footprint. This is called their link equity. This link equity did not happen overnight. This was generated back when the blog associated with the dropped domain was still alive and active.
Let’s face it, organic SEO can be a tough slog. Depending on the market you’re in, it can be quite competitive. Accordingly, it can take quite a while for your organic blog to start ranking. Also, it takes a lot more resources. You might not have the content available, or you might not have the time or money to build a comprehensive network.
With dropped domains you leverage the time, effort, and energy spent by the previous owner of that domain in earning links. You’re no longer starting at square one, instead you simply restart that website that somebody previously worked hard on. In fact, using expired domains as the backbone of private blog networks is so powerful and so quick (compared to other methods) that, as mentioned above, many otherwise knowledgeable online marketers automatically assume that the only way to build a PBN is with the use of dropped domains.
As I mentioned previously, there are PBNs that are grown organically. They are built from scratch and they don’t use expired domains. The problem here is that they not only take a long time to mature, but you also have to deal with the headaches of Google’s frequent updates.
Google has been very good at detecting spam, it’s also been very good in trying to weed out BLACKHAT methods. Due to the fact that Google’s core engine is mutating really fast, organic SEO will, by definition, always be vulnerable. In many cases, you’re only one update away from seeing your rankings crash. With PBNs you gain some measure of protection against this. I’m not saying it’s bulletproof, but at least you have some level of protection.
I can’t emphasize this enough. When you build a PBN using expired domains, you get relatively quick results because organic SEO takes so much longer. Of course, “quick” here depends on how competitive your niche is. If you’re in a niche that is fairly easy to rank on, a PBN can rocket you to the top.
The problem with SEO is that it’s very tempting to cut corners. It’s very tempting to install and operate some sort of software that builds all these backlinks fairly quickly but if you do that then you have a very unnatural backlink pattern. If you know how to operate a PBN properly, you will hide your footprints and it would look much more natural than other SEO techniques. The end result is that you have a more durable link network.
Keep the information above in mind if you’re considering putting up your own PBN. You need a tremendous amount of attention to detail. You might also need quite a bit of money. The good news is if you do this properly, your link network might be more durable than organic networks. Use these information as a guide when piecing together a viable SEO link strategy using PBNs.