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Why You Should Never Buy PBN Backlinks? The Truth About Private Blog Networks

Why You Should Never Buy PBN Backlinks

People working in SEO know the importance of link building. And how difficult it is to build quality backlinks. 

But people are always tempted to try shortcuts for quick results. But those results are often short-lived. 

In this article, we will talk about Private Blog Networks and PBN backlinks and why you should avoid them. 

So, let’s get started…

What Are Private Blog Networks (PBNs)?

A Private Blog Network (PBN) is a group of websites created just to provide backlinks to one main website, called the “money site.”

These websites aim to boost the money site’s search engine rankings.

What Are PBN Backlinks?

Private network blog

PBN backlinks are links from websites within a Private Blog Network that point to one main site. The goal is to trick search engines into thinking that the main site is popular and trustworthy.

These websites are mostly owned by a single person or an organization. They do not provide much value to the readers, as their sole purpose is to pass authority to the “money site”.

SEOs often buy expired domains that have some authority. Then, they create thin content for those websites and add links for their clients.

Creating new websites also works, but then SEOs have to put a lot of work into increasing their authority. So, buying expired domains is favorable for them.

Google’s Take On PBNs

Using Private blog networks(PBNs) is a black hat technique because it breaks Google’s rules. Google has clear spam policies and Webmaster Guidelines that all websites must follow. These guidelines say links should be earned naturally, not manipulated.

Using PBN backlinks is like trying to trick Google into thinking your site is more popular and trustworthy than it really is. This violates Google’s link spam policies, which aim to keep search results fair and relevant.

Risks of Using PBN Backlinks

Maybe Google won’t penalize you for a single PBN backlink. Or, you might be doing it cautiously, but as soon as you are caught on Google’s radar, you will face severe consequences.

So, it is better to be safe than sorry. Here are the drawbacks of using PBN backlinks:

1. Ignored Links

Google’s algorithms are very advanced, and they tend to ignore links that seem unnatural. If it identifies your PBN links, it might ignore them completely. This means all the time, money, and effort you spent on building PBNs could be wasted, as these links won’t help your rankings.

2. Manual Penalties

Sometimes, Google takes strict action. A human reviewer might issue a manual penalty. You’ll get a warning in Google Search Console about “unnatural links.” This can lead to your site being demoted or even removed from search results. Fixing this requires cleaning up your backlink profile and requesting reconsideration from Google.

3. Long-Term Damage

PBNs might give you a quick boost, but they can hurt you in the long run. If Google penalizes your site, recovering can be very hard. It can damage your website’s reputation forever. It’s like getting a bad mark on your report card that never goes away.

4. Maintenance Hassles

If you are running your own PBN, that is not easy. You have to constantly update content, manage many domains, and make sure everything looks natural. This takes a lot of time, effort, and money. Imagine trying to keep ten different plates spinning at once—it’s exhausting!

How to Spot PBN Backlinks


Keeping an eye on your website’s backlinks and running regular backlink audits can help you spot PBN backlinks. Here is what to look for:

1. Common Hosting IP Addresses

PBN sites often share the same IP address. Use tools like Reverse IP Lookup to check if multiple sites are hosted on the same server.

2. Similar Design and Content

PBN sites might have a similar look and feel, with low-quality or spun content. If several sites look almost identical and have the same writing style, they might be part of a PBN.

3. Low Traffic and Engagement

PBN sites usually have low traffic and engagement. Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to check the traffic metrics of these sites. If a site has many backlinks but little to no traffic, it could be part of a PBN.

4. Over-Optimized Anchor Text

If you notice a site with too many keyword-rich anchors pointing to the same target site, it’s a red flag. Natural links usually have a mix of anchor texts.

money anchor- semrush backlink audit

5. Sudden Spike in Links

A sudden increase in backlinks from multiple sites can indicate a PBN. This is especially true if the sites are low-quality and the links appeared quickly.

What to Do If Your Website Has PBN Backlinks

If you found some PBN backlinks pointing to your website, you don’t need to worry. Google’s algorithms are smart and often ignore such links. But if you think these links might affect your rankings, here’s what you can do to be safe:

  1. Identify the Links: Use tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to find the PBN backlinks.
  2. Contact Webmasters: Reach out to the owners of the PBN sites and politely ask them to remove the links.
  3. Use the Disavow Tool: If the links can’t be removed, use Google’s Disavow Tool to tell Google to ignore them. Be careful with this step—it can impact your rankings.
  4. Build Quality Links: Focus on creating great content and earning natural, high-quality backlinks. This will improve your site’s authority and reputation.
  5. Stay Informed: Keep learning about SEO best practices to avoid risky tactics like PBNs in the future.

Remember, it’s better to focus on long-term strategies that build your site’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Why Some People Still Use PBNs

There are two major factors that compel people to build PBN backlinks. First, they apparently promise quick results. Second, they might be unaware of this tactic and unknowingly build those links.

Here are a few factors why people still use PBNs:

1. Quick Results

PBNs can give fast ranking boosts. This is tempting for people who want immediate results. They don’t want to wait months for organic growth.

2. Control Over Links

With PBNs, you control where the links go and what the anchor text says. This level of control can be very attractive for some SEO strategies.

3. Earning Links Is Hard

Building quality backlinks is tough. You have to reach out to bloggers, website owners, and journalists. And you need to constantly send follow-up emails. You hope they like your content enough to link to it. This process is slow and unpredictable.

4. Manipulating Anchor Text

With PBNs, you can choose the exact words (anchor text) that link to your site. This helps Google understand your page better. For example, “best protein powder” is a more useful anchor text than “click here.”

5. Perceived Cost-Effectiveness

Building a PBN might seem cheaper than spending money on content creation and outreach. But remember, the hidden costs and risks often outweigh these benefits. The time and money spent on PBNs can end up wasted if Google ignores or penalizes those links.


So, the answer to this question, “Should you buy PBN backlinks?” is “DEFINITELY NOT”!

Using PBN backlinks might seem like a quick fix, but they come with big risks. Google is smart and can penalize your site, making it hard to recover. It’s better to focus on ethical SEO practices that will help your site grow in the long run.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Spot PBN Backlinks: Look for common IP addresses, similar design, and low traffic.
  • Remove PBN Links: Contact webmasters, use the disavow tool, and build quality links.
  • Use Safe SEO Techniques: Focus on content marketing, outreach, guest posting, broken link building, and resource link building.

Remember, building a strong online presence takes time, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you need help with your link-building strategy, reach out to Outreach Monks. We specialize in safe, effective link-building techniques that boost your rankings without the risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can using PBN backlinks cause sudden drops in my search rankings?

Yes, if Google detects PBN links, it can penalize your site, causing sudden ranking drops.

What steps should I take if I suspect a penalty from PBN backlinks?

Conduct a backlink audit, remove or disavow the bad links, and submit a reconsideration request to Google.

How do PBN backlinks differ from guest post links?

PBN backlinks are from controlled networks, while guest post links are from genuine outreach and collaboration.

Can I safely transition away from using PBN links?

Yes, by gradually replacing PBN links with high-quality, natural backlinks.

Are there telltale signs of a PBN link in my backlink profile?

Look for patterns like low-quality content, identical site layouts, and an unusually high number of links from similar IP addresses.