Are you Buying PBN Links? How to Spot this Bad SEO Tactic

Mon Sep 19 2022

Are you Buying PBN Links? How to Spot this Bad SEO Tactic

If you're someone who is developing your website, is creating a blog, or wants to increase your brand awareness by improving search result rankings, you might be tempted to buy into affordable PBN links. However, buying PBN links might do more harm than good, and it could be difficult to recover from a penalty issued to you by Google.

Fortunately, here are some quick ways to identify whether or not you're participating in buying PBN links. Say no to these fraudulent websites, and instead develop link building the right way for sustained success!

What are PBN Links?

A PBN is also known as a private blog network. Similar to link farming, these blogs might seem like they are authoritative sites, and some of them might even achieve passing through Google's search algorithm and appear at the top of many search results. However, these blog networks are a clique of fraudulent sites that only serve to increase the search result rankings of bought backlinks.

PBNs might do outreach efforts and masquerade as marketing websites. However, their goal is not to build a legitimate link building campaign. Instead, their only goal is to take your funds in exchange for linking to your site.

Why Would People Buy PBN Links Cheap? How Would You Purchase PBN Links?

Many people might want to find niche PBN links so their content ranks higher through a practice known as link building. Link building is the practice of having web pages link back to your website to improve your trustworthiness, or to serve as a vote of confidence. For example, if you see a study that has been referenced in other studies, chances are this is a trustworthy publication that holds valuable information.

Google thinks the same about blogs that have backlinks from other sites. The more domains link to your web page, the more likely Google is to view your site as trustworthy and boost your search result rankings.

In addition, it's incredibly time-consuming and difficult to link and build on your own. Link building involves researching the best websites to link to your page. It also involves staying on top of your competitors and making sure they don't outrank you on search results.

If you do manage to have an authoritative site backlink to your page, they might not use the correct anchor text when doing so. If you ask them to use the correct anchor text, meaning the text that leads to your site, this might be seen as untrustworthy. You have to hope that the website managers understand the importance of the anchor text to improve results rankings. 

Instead of putting "click here," they should use a descriptive phrase such as, "Best drinking glassware." Unfortunately, this is not your choice if you link build naturally. However, PBNs offer to give anchor texts of your choosing.

Dangers of Buying PBN Links

While this all sounds good and well, and even if you know how to build pbn links, there is a danger to partnering with PBNs. These PBNs are not authoritative sites, and instead only serve as spam. If Google detects that a link from a PBN is unnatural or even spam, it will do one of two things:

  • Ignore your site. While this doesn't seem like it's good or bad, this is a negative for your site. If you're paying to have your link on this PBN, then having Google ignore your link is, at best, a waste of money. At worse, you might be getting conned into thinking that a marketing agency has your best interests in mind when really, all they are doing is damaging your webpage (and your wallet).
  • Put a penalty on your site. If Google determines that your site is being spammed through PBN links, then it will issue a penalty. Buying PBN links not only poses a risk to your site, but it can also cost you in terms of lost time and content. For example, if you have paid a team of writers and developers to create content, but now have a penalty on your site, all of this time and effort will be lost due to buying PBN links.

Can You Buy High Quality and Relevant PBN Links?

Unfortunately, even among the best PBN links, there is no such thing as a high-quality PBN. While some companies might try to sell themselves as authoritative, the best thing to do is avoid buying PBN links completely. Doing so will prevent a penalty from being put on your website.

If you practice good link building methods and buy backlinks from quality sources, this can give you a much better search result ranking that is achieved naturally. When all is said and done, no one can take this away from you, including Google!

Written by Andrew Sperl

As Vice President and a Partner at Vazoola, Andrew has his hands in all aspects of the business from sales to marketing to employee development and much more. He has passion for all aspects of building and growing a business, and has devoted himself to becoming an expert on off-page SEO.

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