Over the last year, Google has been taking action against sites that use private blog networks, or PBNs, to build links. Basically, they are cutting off not just the links that are created this way but they are also de-indexing the sites themselves. As someone who is interested in getting ranked through SEO, how much risk are you taking by using PBNs? To answer this question it is important to first understand what PBNs are and how they work.
A private blog network is a black hat way of creating links. Imagine that you have your money sites and want them to have more links for better SEO but are not having much success using white hat methods to create links. You then build a bunch of other sites that you link to your money sites. These new sites that you build are basically dummy sites because you dont update the content, they dont get new external links and all they have are a few 3rd party links.
So why isnt Google happy about this? The reason why Google has been taking action against such sites is the fact that they are in the business of providing information. Everything that Google does has to do with making sure that users get proper information when they look for it online. SEO, in fact, is all to do with following a certain set of rules so that website owners who provide the best information get ranked. The fact that these sites are not providing information is one of the reasons why Google is getting rid of them. The other reason is that website owners who run private blog networks have unfair advantage when it comes to links over those who are following the rules. There are several other reasons why you should not be using private blog networks to give your money websites a boost.
It is possible to build a private blog network that Google will miss if you have great skill in website building but the risk versus the reward is just too great. The amount of money and time that it costs to build a good enough private blog network. If you build one with maybe 5 feeder sites and each site costs you a few thousand dollars to build there is no way of knowing whether that investment will pay off in time. Unless you have a lot of money to throw around it just inst worth it to use black hat methods when you can get results using the proper methods.
There are simply too many uncertainties with private blog networks. How do you know you know how many links you need to build in order to get ranked? The fact that you cannot tell means that you cannot budget. Should the private blog network actually get you ranked you have no idea how much revenue you will make. Again, not the ideal way to run a business. In addition to that, as soon as you get ranked on the first page you will be noticed by the competition and they will do whatever they can to topple you. All these risks are simply not worth the building and maintaining of a private blog network.
Google updates have a way of taking everyone by surprise. What if they next algorithm eliminates backlinks as a way of ranking altogether? It can happen if Google sees private blog networks as a thing that need to be eliminated completely. Are you willing to spend the money and the time it takes only for Google to say that you cannot rely on back links any more?
The websites that exist in private blog networks are almost impossible to monetize. This means that you have spent money building websites that will most likely never make you any money. You obviously cannot use Adsense because Google will be on to you in a heart beat. Affiliates will be unwilling to work with you when they realize that you are building links this way. In other words, you are investing when there is no chance that you will ever recoup.
You will eventually pay a lost of money in domain hosting fees. Some people prefer to use one domain host for their site. Others prefer to host with different companies. Whatever your choice. You will run into unnecessary overheads that burden your business for no reason. When you consider that you will not be making money from the sites this is a cost that your business has to absorb.
There is simply too much work to be done. You may not mind working hard on your money sites they do, after all, bring you income. But imaging working on 20 or more websites that will not bring you any money. You have to do domain research, keyword research, put on a little content and so on. If you have a proper business to run that is time that could be used to improve it. Indeed, it is time that you can spend doing proper SEO for better ranking for your money sites.
Some people rent PBNs and while there is nothing wrong with this imagine how huge a risk you are taking with your money sites. In addition to that, you have set up yourself with a monthly overhead paying rental fee.
So what is the best way to go? There is no one size fits all when it comes to SEO. You have to do what works for you. That said, you have to always keep in mind that Google is the king and we are its subjects. It is always better to do what they tell you to do. Their attack on PBNs is real. They are wiping out sites. It can be very painful to lose your business this way. While PBNs seem acceptable to some internet marketers (even some very big businesses) they are a risk on your part depending on how much you are willing to lose should things not work out for you.