Bringing your website or content to the top of the search results page doesn’t happen overnight. For Google to consider you trustworthy, you must work hard and prove that you are a high-quality platform. One of the things you should do is get backlinks from authoritative sites. 

However, there are also PBN backlinks that websites sometimes take advantage of, yet they should be avoided if you do not want to risk being penalized. You may have heard of PBNs or Private Blog Networks without knowing exactly what they involve. Well, if you’re going to avoid them, you must understand the reasons too.

In this post, we will take a look at PBNs and find out why you should avoid black-hat link farms.

What Exactly Is a PBN?

A PBN or Private Blog Network is a type of website that puts links in content without thinking about its readers. The only goal of these sites is to simply manipulate search results by linking to a principal domain in order to build backlinks. When picking up on external links that point to other platforms, the links will serve as votes, meaning that sites are able to rank higher after a while. 

Now, since this may seem like a shortcut to ranking high on Google, it is very tempting for many website owners. But do you really think that Google will go easy on you if it notices you using this tactic? 

Why Do So Many People Consider PBNs?

When you want to boost your Google ranking, you might have to opt for backlinks. It’s one of the main factors considered by the search engine when ranking different platforms, therefore it’s essential for SEO.

But everyone who has been working in the SEO niche for a while is aware that getting backlinks is not exactly a piece of cake. It takes time and hard work, and some clients want to get their results faster. After all, waiting for a year to get high-quality backlinks can be frustrating, and some are looking for instant success. So, PBNs seem to be the answer for them. 

Others use PBNs simply because they do not know that much about SEO. Many businesses in America still lack a good SEO strategy, either because they do not know how to use it or because they don’t know what a good impact it can have. Then, when they eventually start incorporating SEO out of pure desire to grow in the industry, they may use PBNs instead of more trustworthy sources – often, this ends with them getting scammed and then penalized by Google. 

Not to mention that PBNs represent a much cheaper alternative, which is why so many sites go for them in the first place. Link farms are used to generate backlinks, therefore the links come for lower prices. Businesses, especially newer ones, see this opportunity and don’t hesitate to seize it. So, they end up getting banned by search engines like Google. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Black-Hat Link Farms?

Despite Private Blog Networks making it easier to be one of the top results on Google, it can lead to great consequences when the search engine eventually detects that you’ve used this method. 

Sometimes, Google may simply ignore these links. This doesn’t sound too bad, but it can get frustrating when you thought you were getting positive results only for them to get ignored by the search engine later. In other words, you waste your time putting your hope in them. 

PGBs can also lead to penalties from Google. This is probably the worst-case scenario, especially considering penalties would show up in the Search Console. In order to reverse them, you would need a reconsideration request. 

Besides, if someone checks your backlink profile with a link audit tool, they will instantly see the number of low-quality links. Because of these links, some audits will not be accurate. 

How to Avoid Black-Hat Link Farms

Now you’re aware of the consequences that PBNs can have on your website, and you’re determined to avoid them. How do you do this? Here are some tips that should help you out:

  • Don’t Accept Off-Topic Content

People are sometimes desperate to build a good reputation, so they will purchase old off-topic domains and change them completely in order to help with link-building. It’s very likely to stumble upon such platforms, in which case you should immediately become suspicious and do some research to find out if you’re dealing with a PBN.

For instance, you may discover a website where the domain appears to be about caring for babies, but when you check it out, there are numerous articles on real estate with links to real estate experts. If the domain and the content are completely unrelated, then you should take this as a warning sign. Make sure to stay away from such sites as they are most likely PBNs. 

  • Pay Attention to the Content

If a site is meant to offer a shortcut to a better Google ranking, what makes you think it would make efforts to create high-quality content? More often than not, you will notice that the content of these sites is written very poorly, or it’s copied from another platform. 

Surely, it will take some time to research this aspect, but it’s worth it if you want to avoid Google penalties.

  • Stay Away from Sites with Invisible Site Ownership Details

Trustworthy websites are transparent in terms of their site ownership. However, when a platform hides its ownership details, chances are that it’s used to create backlinks or build a PBN, which is why those behind the site are trying to conceal such information. This should be your sign that you shouldn’t work with such a website.

  • Work with Reputable Firms Only

If you want your link-building strategy to pay off, make sure you only work with reputable link-building agencies. When you find one of these agencies, ask them as many questions as possible, and always check for examples of platforms they have worked with before.

Final Thoughts

Establishing a good SEO strategy might be difficult, but taking the shortcut will never pay off. So, avoiding PBNs and black-hat link farms is in your best interest if you want to prevent Google penalties. We hope our tips have helped you stay away from suspicious SEO tactics.