A Private Blog Network (PBN) is a network of multiple websites created to provide a sense of authority to your money website through backlinking. A PBN falls under the category of grey hat SEO techniques which aren’t really allowed by search engines to use. However, as long as you don’t get caught, you have chances for great success. The best way to protect your PBN from getting discovered is by avoiding or eliminating footprints which help search engines keep track of your actions.
The term footprint means something similar or repetitive which all of your websites have in common. The more footprints you leave, the more likely you’ll trigger the search engines to suspect the credibility of your website. If Google’s algorithm detects your PBN, all of your websites will be further reviewed manually and deindexed – if you don’t pass the review. This could lead to being penalized and gaining a bad SEO reputation.
- How to Avoid Getting Detected?
- #1. Duplicated SOA Records
- #2. Blocking Crawlers and Spiders
- #3. Irrelevant Content
- #4. Excessive Use of CDNs or No Use at All
- #5. Using Cheap Web Hosts Only
- #6. Using SEO Hosting
- #7. Hosting Several Websites on the Same IP Address
- #8. Using WordPress Only
- #9. No Logos on Your Websites
- #10. Sticking to a Certain Word Count
- #11. Using the Same Templates
- #12. No Authors
How to Avoid Getting Detected?
In order to protect your PBN, the best thing you can do is create websites that behave as similar to “real websites” as possible. In other words, you have to create your PBN to look as natural as possible. This will make it blend it with the other legitimate sites.
If there is a reason for your website to stand out, or leave footprints, you’re in big trouble. If there is a connection between your websites Google will inspect your sites very closely. It’s your responsibility to create websites that look as real as possible (for all purposes, they will be, although they’ve been created to link to your money site), just so the person who manually checks your sites doesn’t send a bill for you to pay.
Here are the footprints which you should avoid because they might raise a red flag in an inspection by a search engine:
#1. Duplicated SOA Records
SOA (Start of Authority) Records are visible inside your cPanel. The SOA records contain valuable information concerning the domain name, including the IP address, the DNS and the email address. When you choose a web hosting provider, you should go for one which uses default SOA records for each DNS provider, never leaking the IP address through the SOA record. You can find out more about Private Blog Networks here. The websites they host on Amazon get an Amazon default SOA record, the websites on Cloudflare get a Cloudflare default SOA record, etc.
#2. Blocking Crawlers and Spiders
If you block crawlers or spiders this will mean that you have something to hide. Therefore, avoiding such actions will keep you on the safe side instead of being marked as suspicious. So, beware what you put into your robots.txt file.
#3. Irrelevant Content
The content which you’re going to provide on your websites within the PBN has to be original, unique and relevant to the niche you choose. If you have a PBN with a lot of general content that links to your money site, search engines will get suspicious. It’s natural for search engines to “see” content which is linked to other content from the same niche industry. The linked content between different industries doesn’t happen that often and that’s what you should avoid it in your PBN as well. Therefore, all of your websites should be niche-specific ones.
#4. Excessive Use of CDNs or No Use at All
If you use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for all of your websites, it’ll be suspicious. But, if you don’t use a CDN for any of your websites of your PBN you’re leaving a footprint as well. A Content Delivery Network is a network of edge servers connected to one origin server. Its purpose is to deliver the content to the end-users as fast as possible. The goal is to provide the best user experience. A CDN will mask your IP addresses and can be an amazing tool in your arsenal, however, you should be careful and not overdo it.
#5. Using Cheap Web Hosts Only
In order to mask your PBN, it’s best to choose a different web hosting provider for each one of your websites. However, many website owners want to cut down the costs which come with web hosting. They most often choose cheap web hosts for all of their websites. This also leaves a footprint and should be avoided.
#6. Using SEO Hosting
If you’re using SEO hosting, then you’ll fall under the same category with other PBNs. Google usually tracks SEO hosting providers and will go after all of the websites which are hosted by them. So, if you thought that you can get a cheap and effective service, you should think again.
#7. Hosting Several Websites on the Same IP Address
This is definitely a method that will immediately get your PBN detected. Shared hosting and hosting two or more websites on the same IP address will get your PBN in trouble.
#8. Using WordPress Only
If you use WordPress for creating all of your websites within your PBN, you’re leaving a footprint which makes your network easy to detect. Try to use different CMS platforms as much as your resources allow it.
#9. No Logos on Your Websites
There simply isn’t a business that doesn’t have a logo. No business would be careless enough to not invest in high-quality logo creation – because logos are essential for branding. For that reason, you should also invest in custom-built logos for at least some of your PBN websites. For the others, you can use one of the several free online logo creators available out there to save some money. The key thing here is that all your PBN websites need to have a logo – and that you should avoid leaving a pattern with how your logos look. Make them as different from each other as possible!
#10. Sticking to a Certain Word Count
If all of the content on your PBN websites is around 500 words, you’re leaving an obvious footprint. Every post you create should be a different length. All of your websites should host posts of varying length – posts of 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 words.
#11. Using the Same Templates
If you use the same templates and the same type of design for the creation of your websites, the same style of writing, and the same pattern, you’ll be leaving a major footprint, and it’ll be obvious that your websites are part of a PBN.
#12. No Authors
Every authority website has authors who work for that website, and their name, facebook and LinkedIn profiles are usually featured beneath the articles they write. You should keep this the norm for every website of your PBN as well.
To sum up, there are many precautions you can take in order to avoid leaving footprints and keeping your PBN protected. The most important thing to do is to avoid repeating anything on your websites, but make them look like they are totally different and belong to different owners. Also, treat every website which is part of your PBN as you’d treat your money site. Because, in the end, it’s your PBN which is bringing you money, right? So, don’t hesitate to invest in it.