Private blog networks (PBN) have long been a popular way for website owners to increase their rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). A PBN is a collection of websites that are linked together and used to link back to a main website, improving its visibility and authority. But do they still work in 2023?
The short answer is yes, but creating and maintaining an effective PBN requires more work than it did previously. Search engines like Google have become more adept at spotting manipulative link-building practices, so while they are still an important part of SEO campaigns, they must be handled with care if you want them to be effective.
But what makes up an effective PBN? Here is a checklist of the things you should consider when creating one:
Quality Domains – The first step is finding quality domains for your network. Look for expired domains with good domain authority scores as well as ones that are relevant to your niche or industry. You will also need to check the backlink profile of each domain, making sure that there aren’t too many spammy links that could potentially lead to penalties from search engines.
Hosting – Find hosting services that not only offer reliable service but also provide some level of anonymity so that all sites look different and don’t appear suspicious to search engine crawlers. Shared hosting plans can provide this since multiple unrelated businesses tend to use the same IP address.
Registering Domains – When registering domains for your network, make sure you use different registrars and mix up whois information so it looks natural. It also helps if you register each domain using a different credit card or payment method from time-to-time again just in case someone checks the registration details on all your sites and finds similarities between them.
Link Architecture – When creating the link architecture for your network, try not to make it too obvious or overdo it on the linking patterns – having too heavy of a footprint could raise red flags with search engines so vary patterns such as outbound links going in both directions, linking innerpages and mixing up anchor text etc.
Content Creation – Make sure that each site within the network has unique content related to its niche which gives visitors a reason to stay on the site and click through any external links present like those linking back to the main website you want ranked higher in SERPs.