Yes, PBNs are as worth the money and effort it takes to get them right. However, it’s a complete waste of time to build PBNs the “quick and dirty” way. Cutting corners will just mean you end up with a worthless PBN. 

And, you don’t have to take our word for it. The demand for PBN hosting hasn’t gotten any smaller and still remains the flagship product of most SEO hosting companies

So let’s see what a PBN can do for you and what you should avoid when building one. 

How Does a PBN Work?

A PBN, or private blog network, is a collection of websites created and maintained often by one person, who also controls the content on them. Owning a PBN allows you to make editorial decisions and place links without having to involve anyone else in the process. 

The sites on a PBN typically don’t have a huge amount of content and mainly serve as a staging point for backlinks. That said, private blog networks are evolving and many people choose to make full fleshed-out sites part of their network. 

In short, a PBN serves to create backlinks and boost the performance of other sites. 

What Are the Benefits of a PBN?

The biggest benefit you’ll get from a PBN is backlinks, plain and simple. You’ll use a PBN mainly to create links that appear natural to your money site. 

It’s the main reason why anyone builds a PBN. And you can use PBNs to create high-quality links to numerous sites, all under your control. 

Within the context of backlinks, here’s what you can expect from a PBN:

  • Link speed: organic link building can take years and is often unsuccessful. Linkable content only works with buy-in from third-party website owners, so it can be hit and miss, whereas a PBN is fast, effective, and user-controlled.
  • Customized anchors: anchor texts used behind a backlink matter because they are one of the many pieces of data Google uses to understand the context behind the link. 
  • Backlinks for difficult niches. Getting backlinks for some industries is difficult because webmasters might not want their sites to be associated with that activity. In that case, a PBN might be the only reliable way to generate backlinks. 
  • Full control of links. If you get a link from a site, the webmaster of that site can remove it at any point. With a PBN, you control the links so there’s no danger of that. 

And, outside link building, a PBN is a valuable asset. If you’re the owner of an operational PBN, you usually won’t have to look too hard to find someone interested in purchasing it. 

What Are the Risks of PBNs?

As we have intimated, the biggest potential pitfall of a PBN is that it isn’t structured properly or unnatural and captures the attention of search engines. 

If the PBN is identified, you’re at risk of having it removed from the search index. If that happens, links from it become essentially worthless. 

How to Use a PBN Successfully

The first step is to build a PBN the right way. And although that should go without saying, it’s often the biggest barrier to success for people who are new to PBNs.

What constitutes the “right” way has been changing through the years but having hosted tens of thousands of PBN sites has taught us a thing or two about avoiding obvious mistakes. 

You can learn all about how to set up a PBN from the comprehensive content on our blog. But here are some things to avoid. 

Don’t get cheap SEO hosting. That basically means working with someone like us who can provide a blend of C, B, and A-Block IP hosting, high-quality hosting and DNS providers, and understands the core requirements for a PBN to last.

Don’t underestimate the investment. A good PBN will set you back at least $500 for the least you can do to make a difference for your money sites. 

Don’t confuse private and public. If you end up having a bigger PBN than you need, don’t rush to capitalize on it by selling links indiscriminately. It’s not like you can’t sell links on your PBN but you should be careful about vetting who you sell them to and at what rate. 

Final Thoughts

Private blog networks will probably continue to be an important ranking strategy for as long as links remain one of the top ranking signals. 

PBNs are not only worth it, but they’re also necessary to compete in some instances and industries. Not using them is simply not an option if you want to succeed in a space where all your competitors are. 

The myth that Google can easily spot a PBN is untrue–but only if you build it correctly and work with legitimate hosting providers.