Are Private Blog Network Good or Bad (whitehat vs blackhat)?

Search Engine rules are changing annually and to kick off the year for every SEOs out there, the undying question still lays bare for everyone: Are PBNs good or bad? 2022 has just begun so let’s check if these private blog networks are acceptable or not.

Have you ever wondered how the website links are on the front page of the result page every time you do a query on a search engine? Of course, you have to consider that the web has billions of pages and domains scattered all around the globe.

One of the factors that define Website rankings is how many reliable links are pointing it. In layman’s understanding, how many people are pointing to you as the answer whenever someone asks about something.

For the sake of understanding, we want to start the gist of it as something that is easy to digest. As mentioned above, there are lots of web pages and domains competing over the top spots on results pages.

For one, being on the search engine results pages, also called SERP, means that a website is capturing the majority of the clicks a user will do whenever they do a search.

For brands, this means that they are getting the most of the exposure. For e-commerce sites, this means sales. For a website hobbyist, this means more advertisements for his page. The bottom line is simple. Profit.

Website development has become a very lucrative business as the Internet Boom happened all across the globe. Before the Y2K craze, the world is kind of afraid about the notion of the internet. 2 decades forward, everybody’s in this vast virtual world.

In the world of the free market, competition is ever-present and thus, every site owners and developers have to devise plans, techniques, and all sorts of ways for them to win over the top spot.

Is PBN White Hat?

With the rising competition, search engine developers have begun implementing Webmaster’s Guides with Google’s being the most prominent. Why so?

Just as we’ve mentioned, website owners at the beginning of the race have focused their eyes only on one thing and that is the profit. This profit comes from a number of advertisements that will be placed on their sites as they have the most visitors.

However, it some caused some disinformation, misinformation, and has rendered the use of the search engine useless as valuable information becomes overwhelmed with those very enterprising individuals.

The webmaster guides have laid the foundation for fair use of search engines and their algorithm. This algorithm is now being utilized by developers to optimize their own sites with the goal of outwitting their competitors.

This technique is called Search Engine Optimization. The people who are doing this are often called SEOs, or sometimes, SEO hackers which have three (3) major types – the Whitehats, Black Hats, and the Gray Hats.

White hats are those who are optimizing their sites in accordance with the guide which usually takes time but is worry-free.

Black Hats are those who do the illegal moves specified in the guide to gain upper hand in a faster way but have drastic consequences when caught.

Gray Hats are those who are utilizing the “gray areas” of the rules.

Is PBN a White Hat? Let’s dig deeper into how the algorithm works.


These are external links that are pointing to your website through anchor texts and are usually optimized with the proper use of keywords and phrases. SEO geeks do a lot of research with this to make plenty of link juices.

The number of backlinks signifies that you are the most pointed page across the internet when it comes to the niche that you’re in. But this doesn’t end here.

Whatever people might say today or in the future, content is always king.

Search engine webmaster guides have programmed their algorithm with intelligent bots that can understand the content. These crawlers can identify whether the content is good or bad.

So, let’s say your website has a lot of backlinks, but they are coming from either spammy pages or penalized domains, your backlinks are more of a disaster than of help. Well, why would the bots trust your page if it is being pointed out by untrusted sources anyways?

So this is how backlink works. Your backlinks should be coming from reputable sources like those domains ending with .edu, .org, and .gov.

Private Blog Network

It was 1999 and SEOs by that time started to maximize the loophole of the Inktomi search engine that is heavily dependent on link popularity.

These link farms are a group of domains that are usually owned by a single proprietor with the purpose of linking them to one another creating a backlink for one another to boost webpage popularity.

This was the predecessor of PBNs or the private blog network.

PBNs are made by buying old or expired domains recreating them and the pages that are used to being in that domain to gain the backlink value of the purchased old domains.

Google Webmaster Guide has started penalizing the utilization of a PBN recently. This made it harder for SEOs to achieve a quick way of making their sites to the top.

Our Answer

Definitely, it’s not. And to some, it’s considered a black hat. But to us, PBN is a gray hat technique with much value when executed correctly.

Are PBN links bad?

Well, PBN links only become a bad one when the source is either spammy in nature or is coming from a page where the domain it belongs to is penalized. Black hat SEO techniques are the usual culprit on why domains get penalized.

The aim of a get-to-the-top-quick scheme of these Black Hat SEOs has put a lot of main money sites in jeopardy as they are gambling on the High Risk-High Reward game that more often than not, fails.

When you’re PBN link is coming from a source that has been tiered or link-layered, it will not be considered a bad link. Besides, the content will still play a vital role if your link is going north or going sour.

You can determine whether a PBN link is good or bad by some of these few factors:

Low DA/PA Score

DA/PA scores are metrics developed by Moz that predict how likely would your site be a rank in the SERP for a query that is also your niche. This is calculated based on several factors across your domain.

You can always do a backlink audit using tools that are available online. It is easy to spot a bad backlink especially when the Domain Authority/Page Authority score of the source is below 50.

This score could signify lots of things including poor inbound links, poor backend development, and poor content that will be explained below.

Poor Content

Pages are being visited by real users when the page contains valuable information that can be consumed, a purchase-worthy item is present, or when the webpage is eye-catching.

When you do a check on your backlinks, you may want to try visiting the source page and checking the content. You can start by assessing how the source page looks like. Does it look like a legit website or it really looks like a project made by a kid just for the purpose of it being a link farm?

After that, you might want to take a read at what’s written on the page. Plagiarised, Spun and highly repetitive words are common on poor spammy contents. If you wouldn’t waste time reading it, these automated robot crawlers more likely wouldn’t too.

Are PBN Backlinks Good?

Yes, it is. Utilizing PBN for your main money site offers a lot of savings on your time and money provided that it was planned carefully and executed properly.

White Hat techniques applied in building PBN make a good private blog network. The timeframe of 3 – 5 months waiting for the result will be worth it compared to having to spend thousands of dollars on old domains only to get your whole PBN detected and get your website penalized.

The world is fast-paced and thus, as a website owner, you would like to keep up with how the business revolves. Having PBN backlinks to your main site ultimately places it on the first page of the SERP. Just Make sure to avoid bad sources.

Some of the factors that you might find on good PBN backlinks are:

Healthy DA/PA Score

Good PBN backlinks have healthy Domain Authority and Page Authority scores ranging from 50 – 80. This goes to show that the link pointing to you had their domain with a good reputation before it expired and was let go by the previous owner.

No PBN Footprints

PBN footprints are commonly left by amateurs when building a PBN. This involves the full-stack development of your blog network. For example, site crawlers can easily track private blogs when the domains are hosted on a single web host server as well as when domain names are found in the same DNS.

When the domain doesn’t present a layout, a logo has a poor user experience, it could be a possible footprint that might blow the cover of your PBN. We have a quick guide on how to fix serious PBN footprints here.

Why PBN is Bad?

The webmaster’s guide is the one that defines the rule of engagement and there’s nothing more we can do with that other than comply with it or make good use of the gray areas on it.

PBN becomes bad when you start to build your own without proper know-how or without seeking help. It’s more expensive to get your whole domain penalized than hiring an expert to build the PBN for you.

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