Best Practices of Private Blog Networks (PBNs) to Avoid Google Penalty

February 10, 2024 | Link Building

Today, there’s nothing that marketing consultants, digital marketers, and SEO experts don’t try for a better Google SERP ranking. 

Right away, from practicing end-to-end SEO to PPC advertisement, everything is being voraciously implemented in today’s competitive era. 

PBN SEO for better link-building is one such aspect that can be used strategically to make your website and content more visible on the internet. The only condition is that you will have to learn its utility, benefits, and drawbacks through a modern SEO perspective. 

So, let’s proceed forward to know better. 

What is a PBN?

Image of what

A private blog network (PBN) is a structured cell of multiple authoritative websites that only exist to offer backlinks to a single website and improve its value in the SERP algorithm. 

This is fundamentally an idea to boost the domain authority of your website in order to make it more trustworthy for users. Basically, people use PBN to maximize the effort and effectiveness of the link-building strategy.

How to Identify a Private Blog Network? 

The cross-site footprint is the major factor in identifying private blog networks where the majority of the technical data resemble each other. Today, PBNs are much more crucial, sophisticated, and tough to identify because of the distinct site structure of different industries. 

So, do consider the following elements before identifying a PBN.

  1. Hosting
  2. Site design
  3. Common themes
  4. Site Ownership
  5. Content duplicity
  6. Backlink profiles
  7. Images and videos

Best PBN Practices To Implement

Some of the best practices of PBN are: 

Disavow PBN links

In case you suspect some link that is pointing towards your website is from PBNs, you can use the disavow tool to ignore or eliminate them. 

RankWatch’s backlink analyzer would help you to disavow links. Using this tool, you can recognize toxic links and further separate them from good ones. 

How do I use it? 

Add your domain URL as the new project and visit the backlink audit page. Within seconds, every backlink-related data will be displayed in front of you.

RankWatch’s backlink analyzer insights

Click the “Referring domains” in the overview section. A new dashboard will emerge in graphical representation showing the total referring domains acquired.

RankWatch’s backlink analyzer insights

Below, you will see a table stating the referring domains, along with other insights like IP addresses, organic keywords, etc. Use the advanced filter option to evaluate the domain quality and understand whether the respective domain is trustworthy or not.

RankWatch’s backlink analyzer insights

The table will exhibit the domain quality in chronological order to make you understand whether a particular domain can be kept or not. 

Download this report, and start abandoning the links that are not good for your website. 

Don’t Choose PBN Over Normal Links 

On the chronology of preference, you have to choose normal links over PBN. 

There would be consultants in the market who would try to offer you PBN. However, you will have to ignore them and choose the authoritative links first. 

But how do we know which links are trustworthy?

RankWatch’s free backlink analyzer tool

The free backlink checker of RankWatch can help you in this endeavor. 

Once you enter your competitor’s domain in the given box, you will get a list of all the referring websites that point towards them, along with details like whether the links are organic or paid, link quality, anchor text percentage, link category, and much more.

You can use these insights to build an organic and reliable link profile that will not only improve your domain authority but also increase your organic traffic percentage. 

Remember, authoritative links are far better than paid links.

Practice Link Outreach

Link outreach is a better substitute for PBN reach. This includes creating useful content for linking, finding potential websites where you can link your content, pitching the site owners, and further requesting them to initiate the process. 

Now, how do you initiate the best backlink network strategy? It’s simple! You will have to get a backlink analysis tool in order to get an end-to-end evaluation and then formulate the campaign accordingly. 

Understandably, The backlink tracker of RankWatch is best for this business. 

Know the Utility & Risk of Using Private Blog Network

After knowing about SEO PBN and the method to identify and practice it, you must learn about its benefits and risks. 

Let’s find them out. 

Benefits Of Using PBNs

The two significant benefits of PBNs are:

Better Link-Building Strategy

Better link building strategy

Usually, earning a huge amount of backlinks is a pretty tough job. On top of that, the results aren’t guaranteed. 

So, the common link-building tactics that usually offer you an authoritative and quality backlink network are email outreach, broken link building, digital PR, link reclamation, resource link building, etc. 

But the above-mentioned techniques are all about reaching, requesting, or approaching the relevant sources like bloggers, website owners, and journalists and further trying to convince them to link your content. 

However, web PBNs are more like having your own control with guaranteed success. You are certain to gain a tentative number of links on a daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Yet, it is mostly recommended that you prefer quality and organic backlinks rather than PBN. 

Capitalize Anchor Texts

Anchor texts

A descriptive anchor text would help Google comprehend the context of the page, eventually improving the rank of the site.

However, web PBN owners help you choose the anchor text you need for each backlink. 

So, the opportunity to capitalize the anchor texts is comparatively higher. Every website owner would want keyword-rich anchor texts and SEO PBN to bring the best for their business. 

Risks Of Using PBNs

The two major risks of using PBNs are:

Site Penalty

Google site penalty

The one who manipulates the linking strategy for better SERP ranking would never escape the vengeance of Google. 

Technically, private blog SEO networks do the same. Google will possibly trigger a penalty for the website that would foster unnatural links for ranking. 

Consequently, the whole website can be demoted or even deindexed by Google. As the Google algorithm smartly progresses, you will gradually lose the opportunity to practice PBN SEO. 

Link Ignorance

Link ignorance

As we discussed above, Google will definitely try to ignore the links that have been produced in an unnatural way. 

If the algorithm finds out that an avalanche of links is just a hoax, it will take no time to ignore them and disapprove of their efficiency. 

Top Myths Associated with Private Blog Network

A few significant myths associated with these backlinks network are:

PBN Links Are No Ranking Catalyst

We can still consider it a myth that private blog links don’t help you rank. 

Although it violates Google disciplinary guidelines, PBN has enough potential to make your website rank higher on Google.

The problem lies in the sustainability of the ranking. Just when Google gets to know about the manipulation, it will pull down your rank and can even deindex you.

Google Easily Identifies Private Blog Network

Basically, Google identifies private blog networks by following the footprints like shared IP addresses, purchased domains from auction sites, same hosting service provider, blocking third-party backlink analysis tools, and so on. 

Now, if the consultant is smart enough to remove this footprint, there would be a bright possibility that Google may not identify it. 

PBN Backlinks Throws Paid Links

Yes, PBN does rely on paid links, but not all paid links come from PBN. 

Now, paid links always go against Google’s guidelines. So, whether you are deploying them via PBN or other sources, it is against the Google Bible.  

All Interconnected Sites Are PBN

Interconnected PBN sites

It is fairly impossible for a business to have more than one website and then link them with each other. Now, most of the links might not be natural, but they are not mandatorily PBN.

Wrapping Up!

You might feel frustrated when your competitors are getting ranked using PBN link-building techniques, and you lack potential visibility with normal white-hat SEO techniques. 

Well, you can certainly rely on the usual white-hat SEO framework, but the practices associated with PBN will offer you link volume in bulk. Thus, even with white-hat SEO, you can count on SEO PBN for better results. The only condition is that you have to play safely and a bit ethically. 

Meanwhile, an internet marketing platform like RankWatch can offer you a phenomenal backlinking strategy for the betterment of your website. 


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