Private blog networks (PBNs) are the go-to link-building tactic for gray hat SEOs.
But the question is:
Are they worth building from an ROI (Return on Investment) and a ROT (Return on Time) perspective?
I’ll answer these questions and more, but first, a fast story:
I want to love using private blog networks.
But let’s be honest:
I didn’t just love using private blog networks… I used to be hooked on them.
would nerd out all day about:
- how to grow my network
- to find the right expired domains
- how to build PBNs
- to make PBN links stronger
And even the way to reduce footprints.
And if I wasn’t doing that, I used to be defending the utilization of personal blog networks on forums.
I was all in…
…Until I got nailed by Google.
Not only did nummero get nailed for using private blog networks, but so did several of my clients.
Before that happened, I assumed I had complete “control” of my SEO because I used to be on top of my backlinks.
It’s crazy how wrong I used to be.
But sometimes you would like a rough moment to vary your ways.
What I noticed about private blog networks…
- Private blog networks are expensive to create
One of the most important cons is the cost of developing and maintaining a network. If you’re using auctions, it’s going to cost you anywhere between $40-$400 for an honest domain. If you’re using domain vendors, the value is going to be similar.
As you’ll imagine, this will add up.
After you secure your new domain, you’ve got to buy private WHOIS, get hosting, and add content.
So, let’s say you secured a website for $100.
- Domain = $100
- Private Whois = $5
- Hosting = $12
- Article = $5 (a good PBN will have quite one article)
- = $112 for ONE site.
Do you think the value is high?
Let me tell you about the time investment.
- the entire process of building PBNs may be a waste of your time
This was true back in 2014, but it’s even more true now. I can’t believe the number of discussions I see on Facebook groups and forums. The lengths that some people are getting to make PBNs effective are astounding…
With all that effort, you’ll get REAL backlinks from REAL websites and never got to worry about getting penalized again.
Think about the process:
First, you’ve got to seek out domains that deserve purchasing.
95% of the domains are trash. And that’s being generous.
For my agency, especially, we used expired domains if they met our Topical Trust Flow requirement. That made our research even tougher, but it had been often far more rewarding.
Let’s say you’re trying to create a network of 10 websites. It’s going to take you anywhere between 6-12 hours to seek out ten qualified domains. A “qualified” domain should have a Trust Flow of a minimum of 15 and a website Authority of 15.
A lower metric domain is suitable if it’s relevant to Topical Trust Flow Topics.
Now that you’ve secured 10 domains, you now need to set them up. it’ll take you 2-4 hours to seek out web hosts and obtain the sites ready for development.
You then need to develop the location by creating all the required pages, finding themes, writing/outsourcing content, installing plugins, and making the location look normal. If you would like to be extra safe, you’ll also want to make social accounts for every site.
This process could take 1-2 hours per site.
This equates to about 36 hours invested for a network of 10 websites.
This also doesn’t take into consideration any sort of hosting or hacking issues you’ll encounter. Cheap web hosts often leave businesses with no warning and have horrible uptime.
Dealing with these issues is often a significant time killer.
Now, of course, you’ll outsource the bulk of those steps. But once you outsource, you increase your expenses. Higher expenses will extend how long it takes you to urge an ROI.
This brings me to my next point:
Does using private blog networks have an honest ROI (Return on Investment) and decay (Return on Time)?
The ROI of Using PBNs
Since both you and I understand the worth of cash, let’s start there.
For this instance, I’m getting to use the keyword phrase: “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer”.
Here are some quick numbers about this keyword:
It gets around 1,000 searches per month
The average linking root domains for competitors on the primary page is 135
What this data shows is that you’ll need approximately 135 expired domains to rank for this keyword. This isn’t a particular science. it’s going to take more and it’s going to take less. you furthermore may need to confine mind the standard of the domains.
Here are other numbers you would like to understand to predict ROI:
- Average SERP CTR ~ 3% – 30% (higher CTR for higher rankings)
- Prospect to steer (PTL) Conversion ~ 5%
- Average Inbound cause New Customer (ILC) Conversion ~ 21%
- Approximate cost for developing one network site = ~ $112
- Approximate time spent developing one network site = ~ 1 hour
These are generous calculations, but it gives you a thought of the ROI potential of using PBNs. The Lifetime Value (LTV) of a private injury client is high.
There aren’t many niches that will have an LTV this extreme, which suggests it’ll take longer to urge a positive ROI.
The month #1 – #3 calculations are supported, ranking on the primary page for “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer”. confine mind that this is often a competitive niche.
So you likely wouldn’t reach the primary page for about 6-12 months (if you’re good). meaning you’ll be within the hole until you get there.
Different Ways to take a position $28k Into SEO
You can do tons in SEO with $28,000 +. I remember once I was starting and everyone I had was a Mastercard with a $500 limit.
Back then, I assumed this was tons of capital to take a position in SEO. I used to be ready to achieve tons with $500, but I also invested tons of equity.
So if you don’t have the capital, you’ve got to form up for it with equity, as Mark Cuban would say. thereupon said, there are two ways to take a position in SEO outside of personal blog networks:
Content-driven SEO strategies will stand the test of your time. Not only are content-driven strategies safer, but they’re the foremost scalable link acquisition model. If you had $28k to spend, you ought to invest 80% of it into creating link-worthy content assets. In short, meaning creating valuable SEO content that’s better than industry standards.
It’s rare for an SEO campaign to succeed without backlinks. But since you aren’t using PBNs, you want to specialize in acquiring real backlinks. “Real” backlinks come from websites with traffic and powerful editorial standards. There are 3 ways to urge real backlinks:
- Through promoting your content via outreach
- publishing guest posts
- buying placement (risky)
Now that you simply know the ROI of using PBNs, let’s mention something important:
PBNs are a waste of your time for developing your skills as an entrepreneur.
- Knowing the way to manipulate an inquiry engine isn’t an evergreen skill
So,Google can make all of your PBN building skills obsolete overnight. It doesn’t matter if you spent years learning the way to build the right PBN. All Google has got to do is change its algorithm and reduce the dominance of backlinks as a ranking factor.
You go from an SEO expert to performing at McDonald’s overnight. All because you focused on improving a skill that isn’t evergreen.
So, what are you able to do instead?
Focus on building evergreen SEO skills like learning:
- How to create content that folks want to link to
- To improve user experience (so you drive more sales for your business)
- How to build relationships (that will accelerate your business’s growth)
- How to outreach for quality backlinks (from real websites)
- Using private blog networks puts your business on a shaky foundation
I remember getting a pit in my stomach whenever I examine a replacement Google update. I might run to my computer to see my rank tracker form sure I didn’t get nailed.
Let’s face it.
No matter how well you develop your network, you’re always getting to be in danger of two things:
- A) your sites get de indexed and B) your site lands a manual penalty for “Unnatural Inbound Links”.
In seconds, both your cash and time investment are often worth nothing.
You could have invested all that point and money into something more evergreen.
I’ve been hatin’ hard on PBNs during this article, but they aren’t all that bad.
3 Reasons Why you ought to Use a personal Blog Networks
Now that I’ve scared the living daylights out of you, let me explain the pros of employing a private blog network.
Having control of SEO is powerful. With a network, you’ll dictate the anchor text, and the links, and test like hell to ascertain what works. No other link-building strategy allows you such freedom.
So,Let’s say in the worst-case scenario, you are doing a manual penalty. Since you’ve got control, you’ll remove the links and therefore the penalty will (likely) be lifted.
Keep in mind
Getting a manual action removed is impossible if you built automated links or bought links on sites you didn’t own.
- Instant Authority
Private blog networks are powerful because you’re leveraging the authority of an aged, trusted website. It’s challenging to urge these sorts of links through outreach.
- No Outreach/Relationship Building
You won’t need to spend any time reaching out or building relationships if you employ PBNs. While this isn’t an honest thing, it can prevent time.
Marketing is all about ROI. If you think you’ll get a return on investment using only PBN links, then roll in the hay.
For most people, it’s best to require the safe route and use more evergreen tactics.