For those of you who are not aware, PBN stands for Private Blog Network. It is a search engine optimization (SEO) tool that raises a great deal of controversy with SEO specialists. And even though people might think that the concept of PBN is a current trend, the truth is that it has been around for over a decade now. What’s even more important, it’s proved to be quite an effective SEO strategy, if you implement it properly, of course. So what are the risks and rewards of investing in PBN development to boost your rankings? Opinions vary greatly among professional moving developers, website buyers and SEO experts.
What Are PBNs and the contribution of PBN development?
PBNs are basically dead websites. Expired domains that you can hardly locate unless with the help of tools such as Wayback Machine. And the good thing about these domains is that they have a “lot of SEO juice”. In other words, they have good value with Google and are able to rank for keywords much faster because of it. And if you were to link these domains to your website, that juice is passed along. So you end up with a boost in the eyes of Google as well.
How do you go about acquiring PBNs?
There are many different ways to hunt down these domains. SEO specialists sometimes scrape the Internet using software that hunts for abandoned domains. Other times they will look to purchase them through online domain auctions. Each domain you find should be checked through tools such as:
These tools can help you ensure that the domains used to be real and healthy sites, and not spammed sites with questionable content. You use them to confirm that there are still live links from other websites pointing towards them. If the stats look good and spam-free, then the SEO expert would label that domain as a real site that once had high-quality link content. You would then purchase that domain and host it (usually on different hosts from your money sites and other PBN sites), and rebuild the entire website.
What is the purpose of PBN development?
You will find that most SEOs will use PBNs for the promotion and selling of backlinks to other website owners. The thing you should consider with these kinds of offers is open to risk. There is a difference to be made between Public and Private Blog Networks. In other words, by selling links to various clients, you run the risk of Google discovering the ploy and responding. And believe me, if there is one thing that you want to avoid, that is for Google to penalize you. Private Blog Networks have a reduced risk of penalization, seeing that links are not sold to anyone but are instead used for specific sites only.
The main purpose of buying and rebuilding expired domains in PBNs is absolute control of link implementation. SEOs are able to control the exact amount of links they aim towards their own websites. It also means their content may be not as high-quality, since the focus is put on the multitude of links to ensure standing with Google.
However, there are many of those who invest a lot of time and effort in high-quality content on PBNs. It makes getting links all the much easier. Others argue that the white hat principle is much more effective, cheaper and less of a hassle to use. All this goes back to the fact that the longer you use PBNs, the more exposed you are to being penalized by Google. Add to that the cost of PBN development grows substantially as the network grows. So you are ultimately left with a choice – invest or not?
Should You Buy a Site Built with PBN Development?
I understand that all this is a lot of information to process. And you still haven’t received the answer to the question whether or not you should purchase a site built with a PBN. It all comes down to who you are and the resources you have at your disposal.
If you have no prior understanding of SEO, PBNs might not be the best place to start. After all, why would you want to plunge into a venture without knowing the risks? And the truth of the matter is that a PBN-built site is always going to be riskier than a white hat site. This does not mean that white hat sites are perfect, of course. In fact, no SEO strategy is 100% safe, but everyone has potential under the right conditions. All this can lead to long-term profits. But you should be well aware of the risks involved with each of them before purchasing any kind of online asset.
What mostly affect the decision to buy a PBN is whether or not you are willing to accept the risks that go with it. And if you are, you need to have a plan on how to minimize those risks. For example, you can do this by mixing it up with some white hat links. A site founded on PBN development will acquire organic links in due time with the increase in visitors. So ultimately, the PBN you own will become redundant.
In addition to these natural links, you should also do white hat link building campaigns. Campaign such as a series of guest posts on other powerful websites to again minimize the potential risk.
PBN development is still a good investment, even in 2018
Even with the layers of risk and complexity that PBNs bring to the table, they can still be a good investment. If you were to do some research, you would find many people that have bought a PBN-built website and are still profiting from it. And if they are no longer profiting, from it, they are still receiving traffic based on them.
So if it so happens that you find a site that you consider ideal, do not let the influence of PBN dissuade you from buying it. This especially goes if the site has the potential to grow. If you develop the website, you are able to minimize the risk of PBN with more sustainable links. Thus you receive rich content with minimum risk.
And even if you choose not to grow and develop the website further, you can benefit from it. The website can still deliver a consistent income that takes a minimal amount of time to manage – several hours a month in fact.
So to conclude, it all comes down to your particular level of comfort when it comes to taking risks. At the end of the day, you are the one that’s making the choice. But it is my hope that this post has shed some light on what your options are.