The SEO Perspective: Are PBN Links Beneficial?7 min read

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The SEO Perspective Are PBN Links Beneficial

Get ready to enter Private Blog Networks (PBNs), a controversial strategy in the world of SEO.

Do they really work? And more importantly, are they worth the risk?

Let’s uncover whether they’re a hidden gem or a ticking time bomb for your online presence.


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Understanding Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

Definition and Function

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are a strategy used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for link building. They involve creating or acquiring a network of websites, often using expired domains with pre-existing authority and backlinks.

What is PBN?
What is PBN? Source:

These websites are designed to link back to a primary site, with the intention of boosting its search engine ranking.

By presenting these backlinks as coming from seemingly authoritative sources, PBNs aim to enhance the main site’s authority and visibility in search engine results.

Benefits of PBN Links

Using PBN links can offer several advantages:

Risks of Using PBNs

google discovers links pointing from pbn sites by taking into consideration if their domains share same IP address
Poor quality pbns share the same ip address

However, PBNs come with significant risks:

  • Manual Actions from Search Engines: PBNs can lead to penalties from search engines.
  • Low Trust Flow: Often, PBNs do not build genuine trust.
  • Constant Maintenance Required: They require ongoing investment in time and resources.

While PBNs might show short-term SEO improvements, they lack the longevity and safety of white-hat strategies such as link outreach and publishing quality content on external sites.

Link Building Strategy

An effective link-building strategy focuses on creating user connections through high-quality content.

This approach attracts natural links from external publishers, thereby building authority and trust.

White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO Techniques

white hat black hat

  • White Hat SEO: Emphasizes sustainable strategies, like quality content creation and natural link outreach, to build long-term authority and trust.
  • Black Hat SEO: Involves manipulative tactics like PBNs and link spam to quickly boost rankings, which carry a high risk of penalties and damage to a site’s reputation.

Sustainable Strategies Post-Crackdown

In light of crackdowns on PBNs, sustainable strategies include:

  • Focus on High-Quality Content: Producing valuable content that attracts natural links.
  • Genuine Link Outreach: Building links through authentic connections with external publishers.

These strategies help maintain SEO integrity and improve return on investment by reducing the risk of penalties.

Are PBN Links Good for SEO?

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) have been a controversial topic in the SEO community for years. Here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of using PBN links for SEO:

Pros of PBN Links

Anchor Text; Source:
  1. Control Over Links:
    • PBNs allow you to have complete control over the anchor text and the placement of links, which can be used to optimize for specific keywords.
  2. High-Quality Domains:
    • When set up correctly, PBNs can consist of high-quality, expired domains with strong backlink profiles, which can potentially pass on significant link juice.
  3. Immediate Results:
    • PBN links can produce quicker results compared to organic link-building methods, as you can create and place links as needed without waiting for external site approvals.

Cons of PBN Links

tweet by John Mueller on google's algorithms to detect PBN links
Tweet by John Mueller on google’s algorithms to detect PBN links
  1. Risk of Penalties:
    • Google explicitly disapproves of PBNs, viewing them as an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. If detected, your site can face severe penalties, including deindexing.
  2. High Maintenance Costs:
    • Maintaining a PBN requires significant resources. You need to purchase multiple domains, host them on different IPs, create unique content for each, and manage their upkeep to avoid footprints.

      are pbn backlinks good or bad? Depends on various factors. A Case study of using pbn to build backlinks. Source: LinkedIn - Staffan Ulmert
      Case study on pbn link building
  3. Footprint Issues:
    • Creating a footprint-free PBN is challenging. Any small mistake (like using the same IP address, hosting, or themes across sites) can lead to detection by search engines.
  4. Ethical Considerations:
    • Using PBNs is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Many consider it a black hat SEO technique, which can have long-term repercussions for your site’s credibility and reputation.

While PBN links can offer short-term gains and a degree of control, the associated risks and ethical concerns make them a questionable long-term strategy.

For sustainable SEO success, it’s generally advisable to focus on white hat techniques such as creating high-quality content, earning organic backlinks, and following best practices for on-page and technical SEO.

Alternatives to PBN Links

Expiring Domains and SEO

Expired domains can improve SEO through link building. However, integrating them involves focusing on:

  • Quality Content: Ensuring the content is valuable and relevant.
  • Relevant Anchor Texts: Maintaining the integrity of links.

method of finding broken link building opportunities by Brian Dean

Broken Link Replacement Strategy

Replacing broken links is an effective strategy:

  • Link Outreach: Contact external publishers to replace broken links with new ones.
  • Relevant Forums: Engage in forums to find link opportunities.

By replacing broken links with real backlinks from authoritative sources, websites can enhance their link profile and boost SEO performance.

Seeking SEO Services

Choosing the Right SEO Company

When selecting an SEO company, consider their approach to link building, content creation, and user connection:

Utilizing SEO Tools for Analysis

ahrefs main features

SEO tools like Ahrefs and Majestic help businesses analyze their website performance and link-building efforts. These tools can:

BacklinkManager: Monitoring Your PBN Links

BacklinkManager is an essential tool for managing and monitoring your backlinks effectively.

Real time reporting
Real time reporting in BacklinkManager

It simplifies the process and provides reliable insights to support your SEO strategy.

Pricing structure - BacklinkManager
Pricing structure – BacklinkManager

With BacklinkManager, you can maintain a robust link profile, enhancing your SEO efforts and avoiding the pitfalls of manual actions from search engines.


To sum up, while PBNs might offer short-term gains, investing in sustainable SEO strategies like quality content and natural link building ensures long-term success.

Avoiding risky tactics and using tools like BacklinkManager can help you achieve a strong, penalty-free link profile.


What are PBN links?

PBN links are links from a Private Blog Network, which is a group of websites created to build links to a main website. These links are considered manipulative and could result in penalties from search engines like Google. It is recommended to avoid using PBN links for SEO purposes.

How do PBN links impact SEO?

PBN links can negatively impact SEO as they are considered a black hat technique by search engines like Google. Using PBN links can result in penalties, decreased rankings, and potential removal from search engine results pages. It is recommended to focus on building high-quality, natural backlinks instead.

Are PBN links considered black hat SEO?

Yes, using Private Blog Network links is considered black hat SEO as they violate Google’s guidelines by manipulating search engine rankings. Instead, focus on building high-quality backlinks through genuine outreach and content creation to improve rankings.

What are the risks of using PBN links?

The risks of using PBN links include potential Google penalties for engaging in black hat SEO tactics, decreased trust and credibility with users, and loss of organic search rankings. It is important to focus on building high-quality, natural backlinks to avoid these risks.

How can one build high-quality PBN links?

One can build high-quality PBN links by choosing relevant and authoritative websites, creating valuable content, and ensuring natural link placements. Set up a network of niche-specific sites with unique IPs. Avoid overusing exact match anchors and update content regularly.