Before you think about using a private blog network (PBN) to get your plumbing, electrical or air con website ranked in Google, you need to know more about the pros and cons of using them.
I’m hoping this blog post helps you make an informed decision.
I Don’t Recommend Or Use PBNs
First I’m going to start by saying that I’ve never used a private blog network for my own websites or customer websites and I don’t recommend using them for your home services business website either.
Also, I’m involved in a number of SEO masterclass groups. The subject of PBN’s comes up from time to time, and it’s nearly always dismissed as a risky, low ROI activity by people who have used them in the past.
What Are Backlinks?
As you may know, links from other websites to your website (backlinks) are amongst the most important elements in building trust with the search engines. Search engines like Google look at which websites are linking to each other – it’s like a popularity contest.
In this example, the paper has created outbound links to the Bondi Bowling Club, Rocker, Three Blue Ducks and Let’s Go Surfing. For each of these businesses the outbound link is a backlink from the Guardian
Backlinks were the first part of Google’s search engine ranking and it seems they still play a very important part in most search engine ranking factors.
And why it’s such an important search engine optimisation activity.
Can A PBN Increase Backlinks?
Can private block networks increase the links to your home services website? The short answer is yes they can.
It’s the reason why so many business owners and SEO companies use still them. And it’s the reason why certain search engine optimisation companies make loads of money. In my view at the expense of a client.
The Major Cons Of PBNs
So here are the cons you need to know about.
Google Penalises Unnatural Links
The first thing you need to understand is that Google does not like PBNs and goes out of their way to penalise people who use them.
Google has become more and more capable of finding what they call unnatural links.
So your entire search engine optimisation and potentially marketing strategy can become a disaster if Google catches you.
PBN’s Are Pretty Easy To Find
There’s a lot of characteristics of private blog networks and make them actually quite easy to spot. I’ve found several in the past just looking at the backlink profile of competitor websites of my pest control and plumbing clients.
And Google makes it pretty easy to report these should you wish to do so.
You Pay And You Will Probably Lose
So the risk is that as a business owner you pay for search engine optimisation company for the links. You’re effectively renting the links. You will have to pay them all the time – like advertising cost.
You could say “Well if they stop working I’ll just stop paying”.
But it’s not a simple as that.
Basically, if Google finds out, the minimum they will do is discount or ignore the links. This means your site sinks in the rankings to where it would have been with the links. And you’ll struggle to gain significant ground in search engine optimisation.
Not really a penalty.
But it could be worse, they can give your site a manual penalty and push it out of the search results altogether.
So in seconds, the money you have invested in the past could completely decimate your business. And don’t think it won’t happen, because Google has done that to plenty of other businesses in the past.
It won’t affect your SEO provider. They already have your money – all care, no responsibility.
Do SEO The Safe Way
With all the effort and money that goes into cheating Google through private blog networks, your business would be better off investing your money in acquiring real links from real websites and not having to worry about being penalised again.
There are many ways to rise through the Google rankings from content marketing, local SEO activity, and Social SEO. It’s just not worth the risk.
There are fast, safer and more cost-effective ways to build links and create an asset for your business that will last a lifetime. And being Google safe will put you in a better position to sell your business into the future as well.
One Last Tip
Understand Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
When you hire an SEO company, make sure you understand what they are going to do for your money, and specifically how they are going to go about getting links to your website from other websites. If you read, private blog network, a network of blogs we control, guest blogging, relationships with many site owners, slow drip of links to make them look natural etc…..start walking in the opposite direction.
And if your current SEO company is building backlinks to your site, ask to see the backlink profile so you can see the sites they are linking from. Better still go and look at links to your site in Google’s Search Console.