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What are PBN Sites?

     
10:09 am on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What are PBN sites and how to detect them? From so many days I have been struggling to find out the PBN sites but couldn't not. And is it worth getting a link from PBN sites?
10:21 am on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Bad SEO technique that will get your site penalised.
1:08 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In September 2014 Google came down hard on most all Private Blogging Networks (PBN), deindexing most of them. They amount to a link scheme that is against Google's rules.
5:39 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google didn't stop them. Private Blog Networks are surprisingly resilient as is the general commerce in links.

Some people will have you believe that it's all burn. But it's not. It would be self-deception and an unfounded assumption to assert that PBNs aren't powering rankings for some affiliate sites.

I am not recommending PBNs so don't take this as an endorsement. I'm only pointing out that they are still working. Google isn't as good at catching spam as you may think. Heck, I even spotted an old fashioned cloaked website a week ago, cloaking content stolen from an article I had written about two weeks earlier.

So, one, Google failed to rank my content and two Google selected a cloaked site on a non-standard domain name. Evidence of a dysfunctional search engine that's losing the spam battle?
8:10 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is a sad state of affairs that the "crooks" would rather invest their time against the machine than to just go about doing regular business and use their "smarts" in a legitimate manner. Sigh.
12:47 pm on Feb 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster, that is interesting. Is it that some get caught others do not? Also true of link schemes in general?

I see evidence of Google losing the battle against spam in my own searches both directly (low quality results) and indirectly (too many big sites which I put down to Google regarding them as a lower spam risk).
4:39 pm on Feb 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's true of link schemes in general. Penguin does a great job labeling and filtering out spammy link schemes, including PBNs.

But PBNs do tend to squeak through, rank, then eventually drop.

Is it Google's freshness/topicality thing that's giving them a break? Maybe.

Are the links merely powering a crawl and indexing and the PBNs are ranking based on their content (and not links)? Maybe.

It's hard to say with certainty the exact bugs that allow a PBN to rank. I'm just saying that the reality is that they do rank.

PBNs Are Not Crooks. Google is Not Law
And I would not call them crooks because they don't play by Google's rules. Google's rules are not law. Don't get emotional or personal about it because the TRUTH and REALITY of what is happening around you becomes colored by your filters and you begin to view a distortion and not reality.

PBNs are ranking sites with paid links then monetizing with affiliate links. It's a business model. You might not like that they don't follow Google's rules, but Google's rules are not laws so PBNs aren't crooks.

And again, I do not promote PBNs. I'm just explaining that there is this thing out there, it's real and it's happening.

Not everyone is a winner with PBNs. I think there is a fair amount of exaggeration about their efficacy. Entrepreneurs selling shovels and all that.
4:56 pm on Feb 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster, thanks for the answer, it is very interesting.

It's hard to say with certainty the exact bugs that allow a PBN to rank. I'm just saying that the reality is that they do rank.


Given the complexity of Google's systems and the use of machine learning, I doubt Google know what the bugs are.
2:25 pm on Feb 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In the end it's just a recently made up term for 'sites that you control that you use to link out to other sites', which is pretty much what people have been doing for 20+ years, albeit Google are better nowadays at joining the dots and patterns.

The trick is just to make the sites unique enough, generally they're "not going to work" if they're not unique enough. A lot of people build them out from expired or auctioned domains, some would say that either/both are devalued and/or domain age (from WHOIS or otherwise) is a factor.
2:32 pm on Feb 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A lot of people build them out from expired or auctioned domains...


Yes, there's a fair bit of that. And for a low fee there's an app that scrapes Archive.org and re-builds the site for you with all the content that used to be on it.
1:24 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In the end it's just a recently made up term for 'sites that you control that you use to link out to other sites', which is pretty much what people have been doing for 20+ years,


Slightly narrower? In that they are blogs for a start. A lot of them are built on expired domains. I am sure there are other pattern?

And for a low fee there's an app that scrapes Archive.org and re-builds the site for you with all the content that used to be on it.


That is clever. Blatant copyright violation and plagiarism, but clever.
2:58 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Blatant copyright violation and plagiarism,


Yeah. I don't know if it's due to na´vetÚ or they just don't care. I think some are totally unaware. There's a gold rush mentality to it, like the money is there for the taking if you just follow a certain recipe and use certain tools.

Then reality sets in that the black hat stuff isn't that easy. It's at this point where some of them begin to wonder who's telling the truth about SEO.
1:36 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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From what I saw from the people selling it the odds of being sued for copyright violation for stuff that has been taken down and is unused is very small. Most expired domains are going to have relatively low value stuff.
 

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