Building a private blog network is one of the smartest SEO investments you can make. It gives you complete control over your backlinks and lets Google know your website is a quality asset.
There seems to be some worry going around on SEO forums about private blog networks going against Google’s guidelines.
My initial response is No. Private Blog Networks have worked since the beginning of the web and do not go against Google Webmaster guidelines. I’ll run down each banned practice by Google to prove that Private blog networks are 100% safe if you build them the right way.
Techniques to Avoid According to Google
Let’s see if blog networks break any of these guides:
Automatically generated content
No. All of your network’s content should be 100% unique content. Avoid using spun content that sounds unnatural. Edit articles from Ezinearticles or hire a cheap writer to avoid this.
Participating in link schemes
No. Only if you keep your network private and avoid selling links.
Google identifies a link scheme as:
“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
Google explains further that link schemes include:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
- Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
It’s important to keep your network private and never sell links to it. If you want to sell links, then build another separate network and only rent it out to clients.
Never just sell “links”. Instead, sell CONTENT and also link to a few other authority websites (Wikipedia) within the content. This will satisfy Google and help any visitors who access the webpage.
No. Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. All your content should be a mix of articles, videos and images to keep your content rich and useful.
No. Redirecting is the act of sending a visitor to a different URL than the one they initially requested. Don’t include any weird scripts in your private blog network. Keep everything simple.
Hidden text or links
No. Use a readable font and keep things simple to avoid this error.
No. Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. Your content should read easily and contain enough decent information to inform the visitor.
No. Avoid using content scraping plugins that steal content for your domains in your PBN. If you use article directories, then add an introductory paragraph to each article to make it unique.
Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
No. Your private blog network is built for mainly content and SEO purposes. If you want to make affiliate commissions, then link to your money site and send Googlebot and human visitors there. The only reason to sell affiliate products in your blog network is if you want to create an authority site on each domain. If so, then do it!
Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
No. But be careful with this one. Avoid copying and pasting lots of related keywords in the content. Keywords should follow naturally within content. Switch up between exact and longtail keywords to improve SEO. Never spam your content with various keywords.
Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
No. Distributing content or software on your website that behaves in a way other than what a user expected is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Avoid adding any automatic download script to sites in your PBN. If you discover a virus on your website, scan your server to see where the infected file is located. I use ManageWP‘s security scan feature to monitor all the domains in my private blog network and keep them free from viruses.
Abusing rich snippets markup
No. It’s ok to use rich snippets if you are providing useful content. Don’t use fake reviews or avatars just to increase clicks.
Sending automated queries to Google
No. Your PBN only needs WordPress so avoid adding extra scripts to the server. If you overload Google with unnecessary queries, then your website could get banned. Keep things simple.
PBN’s Are Safe If You Build Them Correctly
Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.