Private Blog Network

PBN is the most powerful weapon for SEO on Google

PBN aka Private Blog Network, Public Blog Network

Also called Link wheel or Private Link Network. So what’s the deal with PBNs today?

If in 2020, you still believe that following Google guidelines will bring you results; let me break it for you: for 99% of the people; the website owners, the SEOs; it won’t work.

It will work if you are part of the top 1% of the best of the pyramid of content producers. If you know what to do, if you understand marketing well, if you’re creative, if you do the job, yes, it works.
However, I’m not a Teletubbies SEO, so I’m not going to tell you that if you do an awesome website for the user, the results will automatically follow. I’m here for you to get results and I give you the means to achieve that.

You’re a responsible adult. I’m giving out the information, and you do whatever you want with it at your own risk. Just don’t be an ass hat. Don’t put anyone at risk; your employees, your company or your business if you don’t know what you’re doing.

How to build a Private Blog Network?

You got two ways to do that: the right way and the horrible way.

But really, it’s a learning process. When I started, all my sites got blacklisted, my first websites; done by hand. I was buying bad content for a couple of dozen websites I just made, and they got blacklisted out of the index. When you were entering the URL, it wouldn’t show up.

What can we do to avoid that? Integrate the Google penalty into the business model. It becomes part of the business model.

As anything you can’t control at 100%. And it’s a long term game. There’s a lot of similarities with the game of poker. A lot of SEOs play poker. They like that game because luck is just one part of the strategy. And if you play long term, you can build the career of a professional poker player.

You also can build the career of a very successful SEO who is not following those goddamn Google guidelines

To be the best at what you can will never be enough. Creating good content is only one part of the process. Then you have to publish the content and then you go to promote the content. Content marketing is a whole process.

Check out my post about the strategy I called Topical Mesh.

I talk about how to integrate a strong semantic layer inside a content marketing strategy. 

That’s what I do today, and also I endorse private links networks.

PBNs are trendy those days. Everybody is talking about PBN.

But before we dive into PBNs, let me tell you about another way to get links: go dig and find a footprint of spots, places on the Internet where it’s interesting to put the backlink.

On my first SEO news from Tuesday, I talk about the Pandemic links thread I found on Black Hat World. They planted some links on pandemic related websites.

Be in control of your backlinks

Today, we’re going to take control of one part of your backlinks, and we’re going to try to do it the best, safest way possible.

And even in the worst-case scenario, when you get that message in your search console, PBNs are still the best solution.

I’ll tell you in a moment how to get out of a manual penalty in a week or less.

Those days, when people are doing a website for a PBN, there’s no finesse, no granularity, no variation.

But if you have only one word to focus on, it’s variation. You got to simulate what goes on naturally, you can’t have one huge footprint.

If you copy an URL on Majestic, you will see it right away. Every single website is the same, and I don’t even need to click on the links. Just by looking at the expired domains, I know what I’m going to find behind: a crappy blog with a few very crappy posts and most likely just one backlink towards the homepage of the Money Site.

Maybe sometimes, if you’re lucky, you will have a few outbound links to try to dilute the signal. Or you’re going to have links towards the other websites of the network. It’s flat. People don’t try to do things. They don’t use their imagination, and they don’t use the most common sense, and they don’t know the number one rule of link building:

When you get a link; you have to link the link

So what do people do? They buy expired domains. They put up some blog or crappy automated content. So you got the money site of the center, and then you get one link on the wheel; one circle of links concentrated around the money site. No variation. And I’m not saying it could not work, but it’s so evident that it smells from miles away.

I mean, if I simply have to open Majestic and not even click on the links, that’s a crappy blog network.

Do not forget that Google can see things that you don’t see. I’ll show you how to hide your footprints later.

You can do a crappy PBN if you’re dropshipping and don’t care about the website.

But if that website is important to you and if people’s lives, jobs, incomes, depend on it; you get to be a little more careful.

How to “link the link”

You have to link your PBN; not the sites between them; you have to build links towards all those websites.

Even if I agree that the purpose of buying an expired domain is to save time and or money, it’s necessary to rebuild links to that expired domain. If you don’t link the link, you already have a big hole in your strategy. If you build private blog networks, you have to stay private. You got to own those websites. You’ve got to control them. Go on to Fiverr or BlackHatWorld and buy a blast. And You can use that to link the link.

To go a little bit further, let’s say you buy the gold service for one of your links. Well, then you can also buy the silver or the bronze service to blast the blast. Don’t go overboard, though, don’t blast hundreds of links. We’re going to see how to work on concentric circles.

How do I build safe backlinks?

If you want to stay on the safe side, keep all the backlinks anchor-text free, no keywords, no optimization; and then use the internal linking with exact match anchor text.

Exact match in the anchor text because a link is a link. Once again, you can watch the video about the Topical Mesh where I explained the strategy, and I’m going to go on all year long with 50 videos to explain in detail how to work out what I call the topical mesh. It’s about Semantic SEO; it’s a Content Marketing strategy with a secure SEO layer.

You need to follow that semantic proximity concept: who is in relation to what and why on the page, around the page, inside the website and around the site. That’s the Topical Mesh.

To start with, you take a piece of paper or an online mind mapping tool (I use Mindmeister).

At the center of your mindmap, you put your website, and you’re going to work out 52 branches coming out of the site, with 52 topics. That’s the first exercise, and I want you to do those 52 little bubbles. It would be best if you had topics in relation to your main topic. So you dive into semantic associations between your topic, what’s on-site and what’s around the website.

That’s the first exercise, the first step to build your perfect Topical Mesh. Build the 52 topics associated with your website. And you got to be creative. For example, if I want to talk about Semantic SEO, a topic associated would be algorithms. And then, beyond that, you have Page Rank, Salton Cosynus, tf-idf, n-grams, etc.

So first, start with the topics, then start to be creative about what type of website you’re going to build.

What kind of website for my private link network?

My problem with PBN comes with the B of PBN, which means Blog. I don’t do blogs. I don’t do any website that requires management.

Be simple. Be more creative.

I like project websites. I like five pages websites.

For example, you could build a website about Somalia. You have a project or a mobile app; a plan to save the world; you want to develop a bicycle.

Well, you have a project, whatever it is, just an idea. And this idea as to be topically related to your leading site. And even if you want to go into more complicated websites, stay simple; no blogs, no forums, none of that.

Let’s say that you want to do a sharing social type of platform. Well, what I would do is building a website where people share photos.

So now you’re going to find a way to find photos free of rights. Pictures you can use since you don’t steal content nor transform any content. But that’s a different story.

Put out a random number of users that you’re going to build. Don’t try to create a real web social website. Let’s say you have 17 users who are going to share a random number of images, and that’s it. It was just an idea of a social media platform. You have the right to put out a site with a great idea, and it didn’t work. But it looks legit.

I wouldn’t do a forum, but why not do a Yahoo Answers like? Get a bunch of users that you build. And your users are going to answer all these questions, but you do it yourself. And that’s it.

You could do a directory. Directories are not dead. You will integrate 150 websites into a directory, rewriting the titles and the description; that’s not a lot of work. That’s easy to do.

Imagine all those types of websites that you can build to be something different than just blogs and crappy blogs.

Those websites are going to bring a little more finesse. That’s going to bring a lot more granularity and not look so obvious. In bonus, you won’t pollute the web with crap.

The best is not to have just a private link that works around your website. The best is, of course, to have some legit links, to do press relations, to do content marketing, too. Why not a few directories? You need a lot of links, and the portion of the links you’ve got to control could go from 1/4 to 1/3. But I would not go beyond 1/3 of the total number of referring domains. I’ll get backlinks, how many, we don’t care. We care about the number of referring domains. I would not go beyond 1/3. You could go 100%, but you leave it up as far as the risk. As long as you’re aware of the risk and the potential damage ball, you could go all the way.

The proof is on the screen. Do you rank on that? Does it work on this? Yes, it works. Is it risky? Yes. Like everything else. But again, if you follow Google guidelines, if you produce great content and wait for links to appear; good luck.


Let’s talk about frequency. In the old days, we could send thousands of links per minute. We didn’t care. Now it’s different. That’s why I think you need to take advantage of internal linking, here you are sitting on the hidden treasures.

That’s a key element. And if you get that mindset, you also got to understand why around the website it’s the same principle.

So, since you don’t have such limitations inside your site, you can publish thousands and dozens of thousands of pages without any risk. Without exact match anchor text, no problem. On the offside, on the backlink side; since Penguin, we can’t have such a high frequency and high volume of links.

Nowadays, a very aggressive strategy would be one link every other 2 or 3 days. One link a day, that’s 30 links per month, that’s already a lot of links.

I remember seeing somewhere that the average link is around 30 domains. So not that much, but you’re not ordinary.

Do you want to rank on very competitive keywords? We’re going to go on the safe side; building one link a week with our private link network. It should be 1/3 of your link building strategy. We’re going to work on one a week, 52 per year.

That’s why I made you work out 52 bubbles; 52 topics.

Try to be more creative and try to simulate what goes on in nature; it’s not the same everywhere.

Well, I will stop here for this already long-ass blog post, and it’s just the first part! Please, do this primary research, the mindmap, the 52 topics, go back to the video or the podcast, around 30mn, for the next step!

Let me know if you have any question. Thank you.

Listen to the podcast

Watch the video

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