Stumbled on a new marketing term this week (mid September 2014), Private Blog Networks (PBN’s).
I’ve been working on a network of websites for well over a decade to support my SEO business services (will soon be two decades), but never seen a website network/domain network called a Private Blog Network (PBN).
Looking through Google Analytics Keywords Tool for Private Blog Networks indicates it’s a new Internet marketing term, one of those silly marketing buzz words/phrase to sell old rope: another one is Web 2.0.
Did you know all Web 2.0 originally refers to (this is from 1999) is the move from using static HTML webpages to dynamically generated webpages, Web 2.0 is ancient. Today it’s been bastardised to include anything from social networking sites to video sharing sites: AKA the Web 2.0 term is marketing jargon that means nothing today, just a way for Internet marketers to sell us stuff.
When a marketing expert advises to use Web 2.0 Blogs to support your main money website, what they are actually saying is use dynamically generated Blogs to support your main website. That’s meaningless, today all major Blog platforms (WordPress, Blogger etc…) are dynamically generated.
Private Blog Network SEO Traffic
PBN looks like a trending marketing term in 2014.
Private Blog Network – 1,300 Monthly Traffic
Private Blog Network Service – 140 Monthly Traffic
Build Private Blog Network – 50 Monthly Traffic
Private Blog Network SEO – 40 Monthly Traffic
Building a Private Blog Network – 40 Monthly Traffic
Best Private Blog Network – 10 Monthly Traffic
Creating a Private Blog Network – NA Monthly Traffic
Assuming Internet marketers continue to promote these PBN terms to sell their products/services it’s likely to grow in popularity and be worth targeting for the relevant traffic.
Update April 2020: The traffic figures for Private Blog Network SERPs above are from September 2014, below are the same searches in April 2020.
Private Blog Network – 260 Monthly Traffic
Private Blog Network Service – 10 Monthly Traffic
Build Private Blog Network – 0 Monthly Traffic
Private Blog Network SEO – 90 Monthly Traffic
Building a Private Blog Network – 70 Monthly Traffic
Best Private Blog Network – 10 Monthly Traffic
Creating a Private Blog Network – 10 Monthly Traffic
Looks like the PBN Internet Marketing trend stopped growing, that’s the thing with fads, they tend to die out.
What’s a Private Blog Network
If you have built a network of websites to promote your important websites it’s what some are calling a private blog network. I’ve always referred to my network of sites (130 domains plus free supporting blogs) as my network of websites or network of domains not a PBN.
I don’t understand how it’s a Private Blog Network, how is it private and not all the websites are blogs?
Creating a Network of Websites or Building a Network of Domains doesn’t have the same buzz as saying I’ve Built the Best Private Blog Network etc… Maybe we could go one step further and use I’ve Created the Best Web 2.0 Private Blog Network SEO X-Plus :-)
This is what Internet marketers do to sell a product to the clueless newbies, rename something that’s mundane (it’s building not so important websites to promote your important money websites: it’s not rocket science) to make their products and services sound special and new.
Doesn’t mean there’s no value in a product/service, but always try to look past the car salesman trying to sell a secondhand car with the price tag of a brand new Ferrari.
Building a Private Blog Network
It’s really easy to build a network of websites to promote important websites, but even though it’s easy it can be expensive and time consuming. Really depends on how you build the network.
If you go with real domains (domains you own), you have to pay to register all the domains and pay for hosting, I own 130 domains and it’s not cheap registering and hosting them all.
To build a free PBN you can use free blogs like Blogger blogs, I even give away a Free AdSense/SEO Blogger Template. Since blogger is free to use your main cost is time, there’s not much point owning a network of say 100 BlogSpot blogs if you:
- A: Haven’t added unique content to each free blog.
- B: Generated backlinks to your free blogs.
It’s no use creating a free blog with copied content and using it to link to your important money websites and doing nothing to promote the free blogs. There’s no SEO value in links from websites that have no unique content and no backlinks.
Are Private Blog Networks Worthwhile?
You should be thinking to yourself: So let me get this right, to benefit from a private blog network I have to build loads of useful websites and build links to them all!
If you are having this thought, well done, you are absolutely correct.
PBNs are a LOT of effort to build just to add links to your money websites: remember most of us are doing this to make money online, not to create websites as a hobby. As I mentioned above I own a network of around 130 domains plus some free blogs, but I don’t (or no longer, since I used to) create websites just to link to other websites. I used to create websites just to link to my money websites, but realised if I’m going to have to go to the trouble of acquiring unique content and backlinks for them all I’m going to create more money sites not low quality sites just for promoting other websites.
Yes, most of my website network is built to make money directly and the SEO benefit of being able to link related parts of the network together is a bonus. Some of my older sites are so rubbish I’m slowly removing them from my network and concentrating on better quality websites like this one.
Private Blog Network Services
Whilst researching PBN’s I noticed a tendency for Private Blog Network Services to be selling products that revolved around buying expired and deleted domains for backlinks. Google does consider this attempting to game their search engine, it’s black hat SEO, so be careful.
This medium term is a waste of money. Many years ago (way over 5 years ago) Google changed it’s search engine algorithm to reset the backlinks and PageRank of expired/deleted/dropped domains. If a website expires today it will still show backlinks and PageRank (Update: Google no longer shares public PageRank data) for a short period of time, but this is temporary, Google resets the SEO value of domains that haven’t maintained registration between owners.
If you buy a domain that’s not expired the link benefit/rankings etc… is maintained by the domain, but if it’s expired, then medium term it’s all reset. I fell foul of this one when Google first started resetting the PR of expired domains: I’d bought a bunch of expired domains pretty much the month Google changed their algorithm, complete waste of money those domains were.
If you find an expired domain with a lot of click through traffic, that’s valuable, but if you are buying it for the backlinks/PR you are wasting good money long term.
PageRank Updates and Expired Domains
Note: consider as I write this (September 2014) Google hasn’t updated public PR this year. If you bought an expired domain 6 months ago and it says it’s still PR4, that doesn’t mean it’s actually PR4, PR hasn’t updated yet. If you’ve built no backlinks to the dropped domain it will likely drop to PR0 when Google updates PR. If you added links after buying an expired domain it will have whatever PR is deserves from your new links.
Update 2016: It’s years since Google updated public PR and Google no longer shows public PR. Google still uses PageRank (PR) in it’s search algorithm, but no longer provides a public PR number.