01204 235 331 | hello@piccana.co.uk

Why You Should Avoid Using PBNs

Search Engine Optimization | by Neil Andrew

That title might have you scratching your head; After all, PBNs are popular aren’t they?

Well, they are in some circles. However, it’s been proven time and time again that blindly following what’s popular could be disastrous in the long run.

Before we get into why you should avoid using PBNs, let’s briefly touch upon what they are.

What Is A PBN?

physical example of a pbn using roads

Simply put, a Private Blog Network (PBN) is a network of websites created to build links to your main website.

The goal of a Private Blog Network is to create dead websites – website owners let their domains expire, which means people can no longer visit that domain – however, these sites often still contain plenty of link juice. They then link those websites to their main money making website(s) which boosts them to the first page of Google (In theory.)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that in practice, and can often see you getting wiped off of Google completely.

Why You Should Avoid Using Public Network Network Sites

There’s a myriad of reasons why you want to stay away from PBN’s, but let’s start with the most serious;

It’s utterly pointless.

Building PBNs Is A Waste Of Your TIme

It’s astonishing how far people go to make their PBNs useful – it’s as though they’ve brought into the hype of PBNs and are now invested. They’re going to see a return on that investment, no matter the cost of time and effort.

When you consider all the work that goes into making a PBN, you might as well purchase an actual backlink. It would save you plenty of time.

clocks wasting time

Why is building a PBN so difficult though? Well, first of all, it’s hard to find suitable domains.

Out of all available domains, about 5% of them are qualified, if that. Building a PBN of 5 websites can take you over 6 hours, and by the end of it, it’ll still be below average.

If you want a collection of good websites, you might be looking at over 12 hours worth of time, and that’s just finding them. There’s still more work to be done.

Once you have the sites, you then have to flesh them out so that you have a chance of fooling Google.

This involves creating pages, writing content, adding plugins, and more. By the end of it you will probably have spent about 1 or 2 hours – per website.

We haven’t even touched upon hosting problems yet, but they’re another potential time waster.

You might be thinking;

“I can just outsource though.”

Which you can, but then you’re spending money instead of time. Of course, you’re going to have to spend money anyway; lots of it.

PBNs Are Costly

We won’t beat around the bush here; You will end up paying at least $40 for a domain that’s not so great.

But let’s assume you want a decent domain, that’s not perfect, but isn’t going to get instantly by Google. You’ll likely end up paying $100 for it.

Then you add the money for hosting and articles (if you aren’t writing your own) which brings the cost to about $115

115 dollars, for one website, and probably more in the long run. Keep in mind that in order to create a good PBN it’s recommended you have 10 websites.

But hey, maybe all that is worth it, right?

We’re afraid not. The ROI of using PBNs is next to nonexistent, plus it can lead to you getting destroyed by Google – and that’s not an exaggeration.

How Google Punishes Those Who Use PBNs

punishment gavel

In Google’s eyes, users should come by your site naturally, in order for the algorithms to ensure that your content is relevant.

If you’re found to be breaking Google’s guidelines, you will get hit with a hefty penalty.

Your punishment will depend on the severity of your actions, but in some cases it can completely ruin your website – and business.

Some of these penalties include, but are not limited to;

  • A considerable decrease in rankings
  • Removal from Google’s index
  • Loss of credibility
  • Further legal action, if deemed necessary

Hopefully by now it’s clear why you should avoid using PBNs, but if not, then let’s go into a little more depth.

There are 2 different kinds of penalties Google might issue you, these are;

Algorithmic Penalties

These penalties are the harsher of the two, and harder to rectify. If Google notices something seriously amiss with your site, their algorithm will drastically drop your rankings.

This often occurs with no warning and can lead to entire sites being wiped from Google.

Manual Penalties

These tend to be slightly more lenient – but not much.

If a Google reviewer inspects your site and notices that you’re using a PBN, they’re likely to hand you a manual penalty. You will quickly be contacted through the Google Search Console and issued a warning.

Usually, users are given a chance to see the error of their ways which will remove the penalty. In order for that to happen, they must change their link building strategies, and delete all the work they’ve done.

Imagine investing all that time and money into PBNs, only to have Google tell you that you must delete it all. It could be worse though, you could wake up one day to find the algorithm has hit you with a penalty.

Technically, PBNs aren’t black hat, but they’re not white hat either – most people would consider them gray hat. Not Google though.

In Google’s eyes, they are a tactic used to manipulate links, which falls strongly into the ‘black hat’ category.

Now that you see why you should avoid using PBNs, you’re probably searching for other options – luckily, there’s plenty available, most of which offer far better results! These include

  • A clickable title which contains plenty of relevant keywords
  • Good quality images, and infographics
  • High-quality Content should be readable, and here’s a quick tip to ensure it is; Break paragraphs up into short sentences, use plenty of pictures, and try to bullet points. (If you’ve made it this far, it’s working for us!)

Of course, there’s plenty more, but there’s one way above all others to ensure your site ranks well;

Let the professionals shoulder the burden for you. Here at Piccana, we help clients from around the world dominate Google and increase the traffic to their website. Using our tried and tested ranking strategy, we give websites a complete audit to identify their weaknesses and to see how we can make it climb the rankings!

Contact Us