Private Blog Networks? Steer Clear!
Do you want to get penalized? This is how. Private Blog Networks are networks that create links that pass authority to a certain network with a motive of manipulating search engine rankings. They involve several websites all leading to one central website. This scheme has now been pointed out as a black hat tactic that should be avoided at all costs. And when detected, they lead to loss of rankings and manual penalty. Google has long been fighting PBNs and it’s getting smarter and it’s now harder for an SEO company in Chicago to pull off a PBN without being detected.
How To Identify Private Blog Networks
Nowadays, due to so many companies being caught and penalized, PBN networks have become more sophisticated and possibly even harder for a Chicago SEO expert to spot them. But when determining whether a site is part of PBN, consider the following:
Hosting – Are they on the same IP? You can use SpyOnWeb.com or similar tools to identify co-hosted sites.
Site design – Do the sites use similar color schemes, similar design, navigation, etc.
Similar themes – WordPress themes have theme name in the code, check the source code in your browser.
Site ownership – Check WHOIS database for the contact information. If they have same owners or hidden WHOIS data is a red flag.
Duplicate content – Copy paste a paragraph on google search and see if the content exists.
Backlink profiles – Check backlink profile in Ahrefs or Majestic to see how much interlinking is occurring between sites.
Images and videos – Duplication will very much occur since videos and images are costly to recreate. Use Google search to find similar pieces.
Nevertheless, owning several websites doesn’t mean you are a private blog network.
How To Protect Your Site From PBNs
Not even one SEO professional in Chicago will advise on taking up private blog networks for increasing traffic or link-building. However, that doesn’t mean you are safe enough to since you may be involved in a PBN without your knowledge. If you are outsourcing link building activities, or buying links on other sites, you may be in grave danger. Whenever you want to pursue link building, make sure you have adequate knowledge on the practices that Google considers to be link schemes, and let anyone building links on your site adhere strictly to the rules and regulations stipulated by Google. Let them also be transparent, since just because you’ve no knowledge about it, don’t think you’ll be spared the consequences.
Best Practices Always Get You Rewarded
Competitors using the PBNs may seem to be always ahead of you. Don’t worry. You could as well report them but even though you don’t, their black hat tactics will eventually catchup to them. And when they get busted, they will get penalized, demoted and deindexed. Your site will then have an advantage since you’ve been building a more robust link-building campaign.
A link should only be given if it provides value to the user and anything other than that may affect visibility on search engine result pages and even penalties. Save yourself and your company money, time and resources by staying away from PBNs.