PBNs are a network of websites used to create links to websites in order to manipulate search engine rankings. This scheme is similar to a link wheel or pyramid in that it contains several different websites, all of which are linked to each other or to a single central website. The links created through this singular moving exchange boost the central website’s authority, improving the website’s ranking — that is, until they are caught by Google and penalized for unethical techniques, and all those rankings disappear.

SEOs that use for link building typically use this tactic to have “complete control” over their link building efforts. These link networks consist of low-quality links designed to manipulate search engine rankings. The domains used for this technique would be sites that used to be real sites before but were either sold or left to expire.

A PBN is a very simple blog or an old website with an expired domain, but it still has great value as it receives thousands of historical links. Black hat SEOs who use this tactic tend to go to great lengths to prevent Google from identifying that their sites are part of a network or finding any footprint between them, including:

  • Hosting with different hosting providers
  • Registering the domains with different registrars
  • Using different domain extensions
  • Using different themes or layouts
  • Creating content that doesn’t link out to money sites in an attempt to disguise posts that do
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