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Are Private Blog Network’s Dead?

Back in the day, Search Engine Optimisation was pretty simple. The algorithms used by Google and Yahoo were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are today and you could very easily rank for moderately competitive key words with a bulk of spammy backlinks and other so called ‘black hat’ SEO methods. Unfortunately for the lazy folk out there, the big search engines got wise to this and penalized websites that were using obviously spammy methods of SEO and so the development of Private Blog Networks (PBN’s) began. In a day and age when we constantly hear the message that ‘content is king’ I suppose the question that many internet marketers want answering is:

do PBN’s still work?

A PBN is a number of websites that display original posts with targeted and optimised linked anchor text pointing back to the webpage that you are trying to rank. So, let’s say for example that you are trying to rank for the term ‘Birmingham SEO’ the theory behind this would state that you would develop a network of aged websites that you would then point back to your site using relevant anchor text such as ‘Birmingham SEO’ to trick Google in to thinking that your site is the most trusted authority for that term. The more PBN links – the better you would rank.

A lot of people in the world of SEO will tell you that PBN’s simply don’t work anymore. That is not strictly true and a more accurate statement would be that they don’t work in quite the same way as they used to. It is certainly true that Google wants to reward websites that produce new content on a regular basis and provide real value for their users. This has led to an increase in importance that Google offers to metrics such as bounce rate, average user visitor time, social shares etc. However, in our experience it does not mean that the need for a rock solid profile of PBN’s is not important and quite the reverse is true.

Whilst the on-page SEO effort is pretty much the first thing we look at when working with a new client, it is also crucial to develop the off-page strategy and niche relevant PBN’s are a crucial part of this. The use of diversified anchor text, PBN’s with exactly the right metrics and a method of being super secure about who can se those backlinks is key. For example, at Brum Design SEO we can pretty much find every backlink your competitor has for their website. Now, why would we want to give our competitors the same advantage? Of course we don’t, so we hide them… but Google will still see them and that is all that matters in SEO right now.

The reason many SEO agencies say that PBN’s are dead is because with the new algorithm changes and especially with the way Google treats PBN’s in 2016, is that if they are used incorrectly, or if Google catches you doing it in the first place, then it can be extremely harmful to your website. If you know how to avoid this and also provide value to your website visitors then you are not going to have to worry about a manual Google check or anything of that nature – in short… PBN’s are still pure gold if used the right way!

The great news for you is that we know exactly how to use a combination of on-page and off-page SEO to give your business that Google rankings boost that you so desperately need. If you want to find out more then head to our discovery page here.