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This was one of the most asked questions we received in both 2015 and 2016, and as we go into 2017, I don’t expect it to slow down. The reason that people are curious about getting links from a private blog network service is that they’ve been advertised as being a powerful and easy way to improve organic search engine rankings. Additionally, many of the vendors that offer this type of link building service provide case studies and examples of organic keyword ranking and traffic improvements as a result of pursuing these kinds of backlinks.
Although this is some of the evidence that supports this type of backlink strategy, there is still quite a large percentage of SEO professionals that feel that investing in PBN (private blog network) backlinks is not a good idea. Either they recognize that it’s against the TOS (terms of service) of most search engines, or they’ve experienced negative results after using them.
With that being the case, you might be wondering what stance does the Nomvo team take when it comes to using a private blog network service for SEO:
– PBNs Can Work Well, But’s It’s A Risky & Temporary Strategy That Should Be Avoided.
That intro says it all, but I guess it comes down to the fact that it makes no sense to spend time creating and putting a website online only to use SEO strategies and tactics that would jeopardize all the work invested in such a site. Additionally, what used to be a valid approach where PRIVATELY own blogs were used to boost up a target website has become a business where people buy aged and expired domain names with backlinks to sell links to other website owners.
Whoever is willing to pay the associated fees for a link can have a link… I don’t know about you, but there is nothing private about that type of blog/website. Lol. That in itself should answer the question for people wondering which PBN service they should be using; NONE OF THEM!
In all honesty, the actual answer is… you should invest in PBN services that are truly private and will be 100% owned and controlled by you. Instead of paying for small business IT support and links on sites belonging to other people, consider investing in someone setting up a PBN for you, but even then… that is sprinkled with spam and is not a good use of time, resources, or your marketing budget.
With all of that said, our recommendation here at Nomvo.com is that PBN services should be avoided at all cost! Why do we say that?
Back in 2011, we created our own actual/real private blog network where we bought 100 domain names, put unique content on them, did on-going link building, and linked to many different websites in a number of ways. We took all the “necessary” precautions so as to make sure the sites were not connected in any way so that they wouldn’t be penalized, and after 3 years of that setup linking to about 7 different target websites… we compared the investment and work completed vs the positive results that came in… and there was no comparison.
We found that other types of link building and outreach drastically outperformed our PBN that was only used for our personal target websites. Yes, we saw some improvements, yes we were never penalized, and yes it was a nice experiment, fun, and exciting… but it was such a waste of time and money.
We understand the fact that paying 10, 20 or even 50 different websites to link to yours seems like an excellent way to improve backlink metrics associated with your domain name. At the same time, however, it’s also a quick way to get your website penalized by your target search engine as well as make all of the work you put into your site be a complete waste.
– Finally, What Logic Is There In Investing In An SEO Strategy That Search Engines Have Historically Been Fighting Against?
I want to take this opportunity to remind our readers again that so much of search engine optimization, both the on-page and off-page aspects, greatly depend and thrive on human logic. If you search Google for any of the most competitive keywords and look at the SEO strategy used by the top2-3 ranking websites in ANY industry… 99.9% of the time those sites used an approach that was white hat with a long-term view in mind.
Sure it might be expensive to compete with them, and sure it takes time and is an on-going process. But if you think for a moment about the amount of success and revenue you would generate if you ranked top3 for 50 of the keywords your target audience is using online to find your products and services… would the investment of time and money be worth it? ABSOLUTELY! How do I know? Because myself and countless others have been doing so successfully for over a decade with ZERO regrets.
It’s the reason that experienced and well-seasoned digital marketing professionals don’t flinch or cringe when there is an announcement of another Google or search engine update. Again, the logic and common sense needed to succeed in this aspect of digital marketing relate closely to a saying that some people have benefited from in their personal lives… “don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing”… meaning, if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
At this point I’m starting to feel like this is turning into a rant about doing ethical and logical SEO, rather than being influenced and seduced by some of the trends and shiny object syndrome that comes with our industry, so I’ll end by saying the following. If someone offers you a PBN service, tries to sell you on its benefits and how it’s safe, or they mention that it’s part of the on-going SEO services they offer… run in the opposite direction, FAST!.
Your website, brand, and long term success with organic traffic and keyword rankings depend on you making that decision. While there are some short term incremental benefits to using a private blog network service, remember that blogs that sell these types of links to the highest bidder are in no way “private” and frankly will do you much more harm than good… all the while making you pay a fee for it; which makes no sense whatsoever. OK, I’m done.
If you want to debate this or make a case for it, as always… feel free to leave a comment below, and we’d love to address your perspective. Nomvo!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
What is a private blog network?
How do I make my blog network private?
Do PBNs still work?
What are PBN backlinks?
Can you rank without backlinks?