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PBNs in 2021+ … a really bad idea?!

T-RANKS » PBN Setup » PBNs in 2021+ … a really bad idea?!

Making money on the internet isn’t that hard. Or rather, the actual work is difficult but the concept isn’t that hard to understand. The objective is to create a website that ranks well in Google’s algorithm.

The better the rank, the more traffic the website will attract, the more money you will make. The equation is simple enough. However, its execution takes work, and this is where PBNs come into play.

To some people, PBNs are an internet entrepreneur’s best friend, the most effective tool for not only ranking websites but also protecting your online investments.

To others, PBNs are the devil, a weak strategy that lulls desperate webmasters into a false sense of security only to destroy everything they have worked so hard to build.

pbn building frustration

People cannot agree on the viability of PBNs. They were all the rage in the early 2010s. Back then, they were categorized as Link Networks. So many people made so much money using the loopholes that PBNs exploited in Google’s algorithms.

But then the search engine struck back and so many giants of the industry fell.

That should have marked the end of PBNs as a ranking resource.

But then they re-emerged and evolved…

Today, PBNs are a fairly common means of earning a living from the internet. Some webmasters will argue that they have attained a level of stability that search engines can’t shake.

And yet, there is a level of uncertainty that surrounds PBNs, one that can never fade regardless of all the countermeasures PBN administrators take to secure their investments.

PBNs probably have so much more to give; they could thrive for years and even decades to come.

But the internet is such a fickle landscape and it would only take a single alteration in Google’s algorithms to bring PBNs to a startling halt.

What You Should First Know

Before you can determine whether or not PBNs have a future in 2019, you must first ensure that you understand what the concept entails.

A Private Blog Network (PBN) is, at its core, simply a collection of websites with authoritative links. You use these websites to link back to your money sites, creating so called PBN links, with the objective of building their visibility, ranking, and profitability.

You must balance quality with quantity. A half a dozen websites with high-quality links are far better than a hundred websites with low-quality links. In fact, low-quality links will harm your money site by attracting the wrong kind of attention and possibly even getting you penalized by Google.

You can either build your own links within a PBN you own or you can rent links from PBNs owned by other people.

If you decide to build your own PBN, you are not necessarily expected to craft every single one of the individual websites in the Network from scratch, not when you can simply purchase expired domains with authoritative links that you can still use to your advantage.

The expired domains market is a lucrative one because expired domains simplify the process of acquiring and deploying authoritative backlinks.

Every website you purchase will require a host and unique content. You must also take into account the structure of your network, specifically the number of money sites, the number of niche markets, when you will link, etc.

Creating a network takes a lot of thought. Your hosting choices, in particular, will determine how long you survive because they will affect the footprint you create online. You must invest in resources that can prevent Google from tracking the online activities of all your new websites to a single source.

Back in the early 2010s, you could boost the rankings of your keywords with ease by using services like Linkvana and Linkamotion, earning tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

At that particular point in time, Link Networks like Linkvana thrived because people only used them as a crutch, a temporary helping hand through which they could acquire the stable footing they needed to survive via the deployment of organic SEO techniques.

buildmyrank closed its doors forver

Over time, though, Link Networks became an obsession, with innumerable internet entrepreneurs relying solely on the likes of Build My Rank and Authority Link Network to keep their online empires running.

And you couldn’t really blame them for this change in tactics. The Networks were delivering on their promises several times over, even in the absence of other link building strategies.

But this drew more attention to the Link Networks of the early 2010s than their creators had anticipated. And it didn’t help that most such networks were operated by amateurs who made little effort to hide their footprints.

google penguin sign

Image source: here

Once Google caught on, they targeted the biggest names in the industry with weapons like the Penguin Update, bringing entire Networks to ruin literally overnight. A significant number of internet entrepreneurs abandoned the ranking business altogether.

But a few survived. They rebuilt and either abandoned PBNs or dug in even deeper, changing their tactics and finding new ways to deploy their networks without eliciting the attention of search engine’s algorithms.

What Makes PBNs so Dangerous

People who oppose PBNs argue that the concept could kill your entire business. But why is this? Isn’t backlinking a legitimate way to build the ranking of your money site in the eyes of Google?

Well, yes, backlinks are perfectly legal. But the same cannot be said for PBNs. With search engines, if you want to rank higher, generally speaking you need to have as many authoritative websites as possible linking back to your money site.

A PBN allows you to link back to your own money site using other websites that you created and control.

control panel

PBN gives you control

But search engines don’t and cannot know this.

A professional PBN will trick the search engine into believing that every single one of a dozen or more websites in your network linking back to your money site is actually separate entities owned by different people.

In other words, you are basically giving your own money site a vote of confidence several times over but also pretending that those votes belong to other people.

Technically speaking, this tactic isn’t illegal. No one will arrest you if you are caught. But PBNs do not follow the rules of search engines and their algorithms and that is why they are so deadly.

These rules are called Webmaster Guidelines.

If search engines discover that your money sites are being propped up by PBNs, it will most likely receive some soft of manual penalty (usually Pure Spam or Unnatural Links to your site) all your PBN units will get de-indexed and you will most likely lose a lucrative source of income.

For this reason, some people are very hesitant to even flirt with the idea of PBNs.

Search engines can destroy in a moment what took you months and even years to build.

Why PBNs Might Soon Die Out

death of pbns

Yes, PBNs have their downsides, but they are also profitable, especially for people that know what they are doing.

So why are some voices so vehemently opposed to them?

Well, everything in life has a dark side, and PBNs are so different. In fact, some people believe that the obstacles stacked against PBNs are so immense that they cannot hope to survive.

These include the following:

1) Money

You’ve probably heard people say that you have to spend money to make money. Well, that is very true today.

To build a solid Private Blog Network, you have to buy expired domains.

Now, you probably don’t expect that task to present much of a challenge because there are more expired domains on the market than most people could ever hope to buy.

And that is true. However, to build a high quality PBN, it isn’t enough to simply buy up every expired domain name you can find.

Rather, you have to ensure that the domain names you purchase have strong profiles with authoritative links. That wasn’t much of a problem years ago when PBNs were an unproven concept.

Today, however, people are savvy.

They understand the worth of an expired domain with a strong profile. So if you want to populate your network with reputable domains, expect to spend several hundred dollars at a time, if not more.

You can’t afford to throw your money at cheap domains. Any domain name that costs you little or nothing will actually hurt the integrity of your network in the long run.

In order to provide your PBN the unshakable foundation it requires to withstand annoying algorithmic updates, prepare to empty your pockets.

That isn’t even taking into account the hosting fees or the cost of producing content on a regular basis for every single one of your websites.

Unique articles are not cheap. Gone are the days when you could throw a PBN together over the course of a few days using little more than a credit card.

The cost of creating PBNs keeps growing with each passing day, and time might soon come when the returns are simply not worth the investment.

2) Time

The financial cost of creating a PBN is the first consideration that occurs to most people. The second is the time factor. Creating PBNs is very time-consuming work.

Remember, you have to make every single website in your network look like it is an independent entity.

That means spending days, weeks, and months creating unique designs, selecting hosting packages, producing unique content and maneuvering the complexities of SEO with regards to every single website in your network.

And you have to do all of that without attracting any unwanted attention.

Most people struggle to run just one website.

To manage a successful PBN, you have to remain abreast of the operations of multiple websites at the same time.

That is hours of work every single day that might not even pay off. How many people are willing to put in so much work for such a risky venture? There can’t be that many.

Why PBNs Will Actually Survive & Thrive

pbns will thrive

It would be foolish to pronounce the death of PBNs here and now. While it is true that many burgeoning internet users would rather avoid the hassle and the risks associated with these networks, the concept is still profitable.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. First of all, you have to consider all the reasons that have made PBNs popular in the first place, factors that will continue to entice new internet entrepreneurs for years to come, such as:

1) Control

This is the primary attraction of Link networks. They give you complete control over the efficacy of your SEO techniques.

There are ways to build links organically, without relying on PBNs. But such methods are experimental at best. They cannot guarantee results. You simply play your part and then hope for the best.

But PBNs give you precise control over the deployment of your links, allowing you to identify which links are not working and enabling you to make alterations that will deliver the best results.

Once you have a solid PBN behind your money site, you can’t really fail. And that sort of defined profitability is difficult to beat. It is the reason people continue to risk so much of their time and money on PBNs.

2) Expired Domains

Without the presence of expired domains with authoritative links, the PBN arena would have died out a long time ago.

The fact that you can acquire legitimate names belonging to domains with tried and tested links means that you can essentially jump the queue, gaining immediate access to the sort of authority that would normally take years to accumulate.

This notion of securing instant authority makes PBNs a nearly unstoppable tool in the battle to beat search engine’s algorithms.

And expired domains with authoritative links are not even that difficult to find.

3) Relationships

The most difficult component of building links the organic way is the effort it takes to reach out and build relationships over the internet.

PBNs do not require relationship building. You can skip that step entirely to start profiting from your money site.

There are webmasters who avoid SEO simply because they do not know how to start reaching out to other online entities.

4) Subscriptions

Many of the people who oppose PBNs because of the time and money they require, presume that every individual has to build their own network in order to benefit from this scheme.

But that is no longer the case.

Rather than creating your own PBN, you can just as easily subscribe to a link network owned by someone else like T-RANKS or Rank Club.

In other words, for a competitive fee, they will do all the work to create the PBN, and then you will benefit from the authority of the links that their websites provide.

Despite the worries surrounding potential updates in search engine’s algorithms, subscriptions to PBNs are growing in popularity and prominence.

Internet users are realizing that it is easier to let other people carry the weight of setting up and protecting a PBN.

Private Blog network managers have also noted the strong demand for their services on the internet.

They know that if they can guarantee the quality of their networks and links, they can tap into an inexhaustible source of income fueled by webmasters that wish to benefit from the attributes of a PBN but are “too lazy” to make their own networks.

This is where the future of Blog Networks lies.

Money Site is the Culprit Not PBN

in shock

Now this is the greatest misconception when it comes to PBNs.

People think that once search engines discover their network, money site will suffer for it.

It’s the other way around!

Very rarely blog network is discovered first, it;s the money site.

What happens 90% of the time is that money site webmaster does something “stupid”.

This action triggers algorithm and gives money website a flag.

Money site is then reviews manually.

Discovery of PBN follows.

There are 3 primary reasons that might trigger manually review.

  • Aggressive anchor text
  • High link velocity
  • Only homepage links

1. Aggressive anchor text

It looks like people are stuck in 2005 when it comes to anchor text selection. I guess they didn’t get the memo about Penguin.

Keyword rich, aggressive anchor text profile might not only lead to triggering algorithmic over-optimization filter but also manual review.

Especially if you have only keyword rich anchor text.

2. High link velocity

Link velocity = pace at which you acquire backlinks.

Let’s say you have a small business websites and it took you over a year to acquire 50 legit link references.

But you are stuck at #8 and you see that a-hole Bob dominating top 3 positions.

You can’t have that! It’s time for change of leadership!

You get excited and point 50 PBN links to your website.

50 links over 12 months
then suddenly
50 links over a single month

This sudden change in link acquisition can bring a flag.

3. Only homepage links

What is characteristic for PBN units is that links come from homepages.

That is where the power and all the tasty link juice lies.

If all your backlinks come from homepages of well established websites, it will look fishy and bring unwanted attention.

All the things mentioned above have nothing to do with PBNs actually.

Any backlink source can cause this, however, PBNs are most commonly used for this.

If search engines de-indexes a PBN, all the people using its links will suffer.

Their money sites might not get a penalty but they will definitely lose link juice and therefore – rankings.

They have no reason to let the concept thrive. They have proven time and time again that they will penalize people who fail to diversify. Every update in their algorithm is designed to make it harder.

That’s why you must chose your PBN link providers very carefully.


Do PBNs have a future in 2019?

Well, the chances that Private Blog Networks will die out this year (or the next one for that matter) are low. No doubt, Google is working hard behind the scenes to dislodge the most successful of the bunch.

They are choosing manual approach to this. Killing the biggest players and causing massive panic.

But there is no reason to assume that 2019 will mark the end of PBNs.

That being said, PBNs are bound to destroy the financial prospects of anyone who keeps looking to them as their only means of earning a living.

PBNs should complement your link building strategy. They shouldn’t be your only tool for boosting the rankings of your money sites.

The key is to find a balance.

Make a genuine effort to reach out to other people on the internet.

Find blogs that will permit you to guest post.

Build relationships on social media.

Generate connections the old fashion way.

Keep your content fresh.

Give people a reason to visit your websites.

It takes time. You have to pay writers.

But these traditional methods of ranking have been tried and tested. They actually work. PBNs should only constitute a percentage of your overall strategy.

You obviously cannot ignore the fact that blog networks actually work. But you should never put all your eggs in one basket.

Make sure that the de-indexing of a PBN doesn’t automatically destroy everything you have built.

That way, you have a starting point from which you can rebuild if things go wrong.

This also goes without saying: restrict your dealings to professionals that know how to keep their PBNs off Google’s radar.

They are more expensive but they increase your chances of success.

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