PBN (Private Blog Network)
What is PBN (Private Blog Network)?
PBN (Private Blog Network) – also known as a link network, a private blog network is a collection of private websites all linking to each other. These networks are intended to manipulate search engines by adding large amounts of new links to a website’s link profile.
More recently, search engines like Google have cracked down on the abuse of PBNs and have devalued them or even penalized sites that exploit them.
PBNS stands for ‘PBN Site’, referring to a website that is part of your private blog network.
One very important detail here is that each of the individual PBN sites is not linked to each other in any way. The idea of a private blog network is that the websites appear unrelated to each other, therefore natural links, as opposed to someone linking to their own website from their other websites.
Black Hat Tactic
While these types of schemes were used commonly years ago, PBNs have now considered a pure black hat tactic and should be avoided at all costs, as they can lead to a loss in rankings or even a manual penalty. PBNs usually provide little to no long-term value to the websites they are linking to.
Google has long been fighting PBNs, and businesses caught up in this shady tactic have been made an example of over the years. One such case was the J.C. Penney link scheme that was exposed back in 2011 by The New York Times. As Google gets smarter and develops better technology to combat link spam techniques, it has become harder and harder for black hat SEOs to pull off a PBN successfully.
Protect your Site from PBNs?
Warning No reputable SEO consultant will recommend private blog networks for link building or increasing website traffic. Unfortunately, your site may be involved in a PBN without your even knowing it, especially if you are outsourcing your link building activities to a third party. Buying links on sites like Fiverr or through other services may put your site in grave danger. And if anyone tries to convince you to participate in link exchange (i.e., trade links with them), run.
Strong oversight of link-building activities is key. Educate yourself on which practices Google considers to be link schemes, and ensure that anyone responsible for building links to your site is strictly adhering to these guidelines; any reputable link builder should agree to be transparent about the links they are pursuing you.« Back to Glossary Index