Are Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Good For SEO?
Private Blog networks (PBNs) have proven to be one of the most important and popular link building tactics over the last couple of years.
They are usually expired domains that you can register and re-create so that you can use the website to post links to the site that you would like to rank.
This is a way of cheating Google’s algorithm which ranks pieces of content that get the most legitimate links as this suggest that the piece of content is valuable.
The question that you as an SEO marketer should ask yourself is whether PBNs are worth your money and time. This article will tackle the advantages that come with using PBNs.
Reasons Why You Should Use PBNs
So many people are using private blog networks because they offer amazing advantages. The following are three main reasons why they do:
Compared to other link building tactics such as GSA or outreach, PBNs give you as a SEO marketer a lot of control when creating them and also in future.
You have total control over what content surrounds the link, you choose what other links to add to the post and most importantly you choose the anchor text of the link.
This can be very powerful to an SEO who is operating on a portfolio of websites that wish to test different methods of link building.
When you have this level of control you will also be able to make changes after the fact. If you are penalized or you simply just want to test changes to your link profile, you can easily log into you PBN and just remove the link.
Since PBNs are created from expired domains which have real trust in the eyes of Google and often have strong backlink profile they are considered to be very powerful.
When you create a new website, links from a private blog network can help to boost authority to your site and also help you to rank.
Getting such strong backlinks is a bit difficult through outreach and especially so for a new website or a thin site.
This is often a problem faced by small local businesses that do not want to go through the process of creating content that is useful in link building.
Using PBNs allows them to leave their websites as they are and still build powerful links that would have otherwise been impossible for them to acquire.
No Outreach Needed
One of the biggest benefits that PBNs have to offer is the fact that you don’t have to go through the effort of forming relationships with bloggers and actually convince them to let you guest post or feature your content.
Content marketing is extremely effective but it is often time-consuming especially if you are an amateur SEO and local business owner.
Though having relationships with bloggers and influencers in the industry is important using PBNs will help to save you a lot of time on outreach. This makes PBNs the best tool for those lazy SEOs out there.
ROI Of Private Blog Networks
In business, all that matters is your return on investment. Your main aim as a business is to make more than you actually invested. It is a great benefit that figuring out the ROI of using PBNs is very simple.
All you have to do is to compare the cost of the PBNs you are using against the potential revenue that comes from the ranking of the keyword and then you factor in time for ranking and also the chance of not ranking.
You have a key phrase: “classy shoes”
This phrase gets about 700 searches each month
The page ranking first has 72 referring domains
In this example, we will assume that for you to rank first you will need at least 72 referring domains to your page.
If we assume that the average cost of one website in your PBN is $145, then the total cost of your PBN will be $10440 which is actually a big number.
In this case, for your PBN to generate a positive ROI, you will need to earn $10440 in profit from ranking first.
In our example, the Lifetime Value of a single client will be $5000 and the profit margin for each customer is 20% if the time you rank is only 5 years or less.
This translates to each customer bringing in a profit of $1000. This means that for your website to have a positive ROI you will need to get over 11 customers from ranking first.
This possible if at #1 you get around 40% of the 700 searches which translates to about 280 visitors per month. All you have to do is convert 0.36% of these visitors per month to make a positive ROI within one year.
Most businesses are actually more complicated than our example above but the example should show you how to go about calculating the ROI for your business.
The general idea is for you to figure out your LTV of one customer and compare that to the cost of your PBN and the amount of traffic that your keyword will drive.
The example, however, has not factored in the risk of PBNs.
The Ultimate PBN Strategy
If you choose to use PBNs you should ensure that they are only a part of your overall SEO strategy.
A mistake that has become very common with so many SEOs is using private blog networks as their only SEO strategy.
If used correctly, PBNs can be a great and powerful link building tactic for you or your client.
It is a good idea to diversify your link profile as this will help to reduce the chances of you getting penalized even if you use some PBN links.
Using PBN links is not a black and white affair where you either only use PBN links or you use none at all. You should find a balance that works for your business.
When your entire backlink profile comes from PBNs then you risk standing out but if only like 10% of your links come from PBNs then this risk lowers significantly.
You can use traditional marketing and outreach methods to create great links from magazines and industry leaders and then use PBNs to create links to commercial pages.
It can be quite difficult to get editorial links to commercial pages and that is why most SEOs choose to use PBNs exclusively for ranking their product pages that are difficult to build links to.
Before you can make the decision of whether to use private blog networks or not it is important that you look at both the advantages and disadvantages of this link building strategy.
Always keep in mind that the main aim of marketing is your ROI. If you believe the ROI you get from private blog networks counterbalance the risks then you should probably use them. If that is not the case just kindly stick to the traditional methods of building links.
I hope that you found the information we provided about the advantages of PBNs to be helpful and that it’s what you were looking for.