When done right, PBNs offer a powerful and cost-effective alternative to other link-building strategies. But it’s essential to understand how search engines identify and penalize PBNs before you start building one.

It’s easy to make mistakes that can hurt your PBN or even cause it to get deindexed by Google. Here are the top 3 factors you should optimize to minimize the risk of footprints and avoid penalties.

Identify Your Target Keywords

Since backlinks first became a ranking factor, PBNs (Private Blog Networks) have been used to influence search engine rankings. These networks comprise a group of websites linked to one another to simulate natural quality backlinks.

You’ll want to create a brain dump of keywords relevant to your topic buckets. This can be done using a tool like the HubSpot Keyword Insights Report, or you can ask your customer-facing colleagues what terms their customers use to research products and services.

It’s important to note that even if you successfully build a private blog network, Google may still penalize it because of unnatural links. This means that all the time and money you invested in building and maintaining it would be well-spent.

Create a Strategy

Private blog networks, or PBNs, are a controversial SEO strategy that can be highly effective when used correctly. They can provide high-quality backlinks that significantly improve a website’s domain authority and rankings in search engines.

The first step in creating a successful PBN is to create a strategy. This should include a clear plan for each blog’s use and the topics covered. It is also essential to choose a reliable hosting provider for your network.

Avoid hosting providers that call themselves SEO hosting, as they tend to leave traces behind that search engines can see. Instead, look for PBN hosting services that offer different server locations and IPs for each site. This will make it much harder for search engines to detect and penalize your network.

Collect Sites

When people talk about PBNs, they usually describe a set of websites that, when paid for, all give your website backlinks. Search engines use these to determine how trustworthy your website is.

The sites in a PBN typically have different topics but share a common theme, like automotive repair, basketball tutorials, or video game reviews. This helps them look more natural.

Google is very clear about not recommending PBNs for link building and can issue harsh penalties if caught using them. So, instead of risking that, you should use aboveboard links strategies that don’t involve manipulating Google search results. These include outreach, becoming a source, and broken link building. They also take more time than a PBN but are worth the effort.

Create Content

While it’s true that PBNs can help improve SEO, it is essential to remember that they are not necessarily a “natural” link-building tactic. Google can detect backlinks from PBNs that aren’t natural and will ignore them or penalize them accordingly.

To avoid getting penalized, using a footprint-free PBN hosting provider is essential. These hosts offer one-click blog installs, automatic maintenance, and free site migrations. Additionally, they also provide a variety of IP addresses and servers for additional redundancy.

It’s essential to create relevant and valuable content for your target audience. This will help you rank higher in search engines and drive more traffic to your site. You can produce quality content or work with a content marketing agency.


Private Blog Networks (abbreviated PBN) are groups of sites that link to one another to increase search engine rankings. They are usually built on expired domains with high Trust Flow and Domain Authority (DA).

Using this method can help boost SEO for a money-making website quickly. However, these results only last for a while because Google recognizes these backlinks as unnatural and low-quality and can give the site a manual penalty.

To avoid getting penalized, you should use good PBN automation software to create a network that looks like individual blogs and is more challenging for search engines to find and punish. Also, use only ethical link-building methods, such as guest posts and outreach. This way, you can be confident that your PBN will remain safe and effective long.