Over the past 1 to 2 years, private blog networks, otherwise known as PBN’s, have taken off in popularity. Just like with past link building tactics, the creators of so-called private blog networks assure everyone that the network is completely secure. Even those who run their own blog networks from start to finish still leave footprints.
In other words, private blog networks have become mainstream enough for Google to care, and enough footprints are left were Google is able to do something about it. Well, last week, they struck. Private blog networks are being hit hard and Google is not stopping. The new goal for Google is to ultimately destroy blog networks and make sure they never make a comeback. As of now, they are succeeding, and they are just getting started in this battle.
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What Are Private Blog Networks (PBN’s)
So, what exactly are private blog networks? A PBN is a larger number of websites or blogs owned by the same individual for the sole purpose of ranking a single website. So, for example, someone with a blog network would register 5 to 100 or more websites for the sole purpose of linking those sites to a “money site”.
Back in the old days people would purchase links from “link networks”. However, Google was able to root out those link networks and penalized sites who would use link networks. In response, people simply began building their own network of websites for the sole purpose of linking to one or more of their own money sites. This way, the link network wouldn’t be public, it would be private. Private blog networks seem good in theory, but it clearly is not working.
Google Is Currently Crushing PBN’s
As of mid-September of 2014, Google has really started to bring the hammer down on private blog networks. There is a big increase in chatter through different online forums and blogs indicating a major crackdown by Google. This crackdown isn’t nearly as widespread as the panda / penguin updates because it is only targeting private blog networks. However, for those using private blog networks, it is just as devastating. Those who did not diversify have either lost their entire business, or they have lost a significant portion of it. It appears that this Google crackdown is just beginning. If you own a private blog network and have not been hit by this crackdown yet, I highly suggest that you get prepared because Google is still rolling out this update and it will likely be ongoing.
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How Is Google Finding Out About Private Blog Networks?
How is Google finding these blog networks? That is still up for debate. Some say Google is targeting expired domain names, which many private blog network sites are built on. Others claim Google is cracking down on the Whois Data associated with websites. Others claim they are going after low-quality hosts.
The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t really matter how Google is finding out about these private blog networks. People must realize that Google is a domain registrar themselves. As an official domain registrar, Google has access to information that most private companies and even other search engines don’t have access to.
Even those who are “very careful” about not having any footprints on their private blog network still leave footprints. The real question is, will Google go through all of the trouble to find your blog and penalize your business.
The answer is, absolutely. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Sure, you might still be able to get away with it for a little while. But eventually, Google is going to find it. It looks like private blog networks have reached the end of their usefulness. On this website and in this affiliate marketing course I always preach that you should treat your affiliate marketing business just as that. A business. Building a private blog network is temporary and is no way to build a long term business.
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What Is The Future Of Private Blog Networks?
It’s not looking good. Private blog networks will still probably be around for a little while longer and some private blog networks may continue to be massively successful. There is no question that private blog networks have worked in the past and some will slip through Google’s fingers into the future.
In addition, there likely will be some ways to develop private blog networks that do get by Google. The trade-off, however, is that these private blog networks will take so much work, time, and effort, that you might as well simply focus on building a great website that attracts good links naturally over time. Just as Google wants.
Want to know little secret? To date, I have never used any link building tactics in any of my websites. For example, DogFoodInsider.com is one of my websites that receives over 2000 visitors per day and still climbing. I never have to worry about the next Google algorithm change because I don’t try to trick Google. I never build links and I only build quality information-based websites and it has worked out for several years. Not only that, but when people start to complain about a Google algorithm change, I am quietly celebrating behind my computer screen and my increased traffic stats. I don’t mind seeing spammy websites getting penalized because it helps mine rise through the ranks.
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With So Many Google Changes, How Can We Grow Our Businesses Long-Term?
I actually wrote an article about this recently. We have come to a time where keeping things natural simply makes the most sense. Most off-line businesses take many months or even years before they become profitable. So if we are to believe that affiliate marketing or Internet marketing in general is a legitimate business then why would we expect success any sooner.
Is it still possible to make a great living online? Absolutely! Probably more than ever. Those of us who have been building legitimate websites without using spam or unnatural link tactics are now reaping the rewards more than ever. Those who spam the Internet are the ones who are seeing their businesses get destroyed. Unfortunately, when Google pushes through these updates, sometimes good businesses that do not spam or use unnatural link tactics end up getting penalized. That is why we all need to continue diversifying our traffic sources through social media and other means.
And that, my friends, is how we grow our businesses online into the future. We create authority websites around niche topics and regain our traffic from a diverse array of sources. And most importantly, we make the Internet a better place by providing high-quality content that people actually receive benefit from instead of creating low quality content just for the sake of our own selfish marketing purposes.
A lot of people will be complaining about Google as this update continues to affect more and more people. But the way I see it, anyway Google can help out the good guys and those who don’t use unnatural spam tactics is a good thing.
The future might be bleak for private blog networks but the future is very bright for those of us running legitimate businesses without spamming the Internet.