Website Income

Risk vs Reward of Using Private Blog Networks – How to Not Let Fear Take Over

Private Blog Networks are dead! If you link to your site from a PBN Google will find you and punish you. The SEO sky is falling.

In today’s post I am going to share my thoughts on the risk vs reward decision we all need to make using PBN’s.

Plus I share how I like to think through my online business decisions using data and not let fear guide my actions.

Here are a few headlines in Google…


Death of PBN's Announced

Death of PBN’s Announced!

Very scary stuff!

“PBN massacre” “dead” “penalize” “bad for SEO” “Completely De-Indexed”

Based on these headlines it would probably make sense to run, hide and never use PBN’s ever again!

But…why is that image blacked out?

Could it be possible that every one of those articles was written over 2 years ago calling the death of PBN’s?

The Death of PBN's Was 2 Years Ago? Glad I Didn't Listen Then!

2012 Was The Death of PBN’s ???

It is very clear that long after this “Private Blog Network Massacre” they have continued to work.


The Google Attack on PBN’s Recently Was Very Real and Very Painful

To everyone that has been impacted by the latest PBN attack(myself included) it sucks! I feel your pain.

Building up a site and seeing it wiped out is incredibly painful. Investing money into a PBN and seeing all the sites de-indexed is incredibly frustrating.

This update was not unexpected, not the first and won’t be the last time Google goes after PBN’s.

The decision we all have to make is…is the benefit of using a PBN worth the risk?

For some the answer may be yes, for many the answer will be no.


Risk-Reward of Using PBN Analysis

How do you make a decision on if the use of a PBN is worth the risk? Here is how I have thought through the very valid question…

Whenever evaluating a decision that involves risk (as all business decisions due) one way to think through it is to try and determine the risk and reward along with the probability of both the positive and negative outcome.

For this decision…using a PBN or not using a PBN I will use the data I have from my 5 site PBN customers.

4 pieces of data are required…

  1. Size of the Risk
    • How big an impact will it be if a site is hit – For the purposes of this comparison I have assumed 80% traffic drop. I believe this is a fair assumption since it is 80% off the inflated numbers the PBN helped drive. (80% traffic penalty will be assumed)
  2. Probability of Risk Being Realized
    • A lot of factors go into this but based on the recent update 8 clients money sites were impacted beyond the typical small movement out of the 81 sites I have tracking set up for. For my money sites I had 0 f my $100+ earning sites but 1 promising site wiped out. Basically 1 out of 20 sites was lost with the rest moving in both directions balancing out. (10% probability of a penalty being applied will be assumed)
  3. Benefit of Using a Private Blog Network
    • The benefit of using a private blog network is increased rankings/increased earnings. Based on some (ROUGH) measuring the sites that used a small, relevant very private PBN saw a 40% increase in rankings. A 40% increase in rankings will result in a larger increase in earnings (source). (45% increase in earnings will be assumed)
  4. Probability of Realizing Benefit
    • Nothing in life is guaranteed! However, based on the PBN clients I measured  (again ROUGH) 75% saw an increase (source). (75%  probability of seeing increase in traffic will be assumed)
Risk vs Reward of PBN's

Risk vs Reward of PBN’s

DISCLAIMER – The data above is NOT perfect. It is the best data I have from making over 800 5 site PBN packages for customers and is basis I will be using when making my decisions. My intention is to show you how I am thinking through when it is a good idea to use a PBN and when it is not! Your decisions will need to be your own.

The bottom line is that on average if I used a PBN for many sites I would expect to see well over a 22% increase in earnings across all sites after all the negative impacts were realized.


Has My Site Building Procedure Changed?

No, I still believe a niche relevant PBN offers great upside with limited downside to sites especially early on. I also still strongly believe that building a very useful site focused on solving a problem and building real links are musts for long—term successful sites.

  1. Problem and Niche Identification
  2. Keyword Research
  3. Buy Money Site Domain
  4. Create Quality Content
  5. Build Authority Website
  6. Buy Expired Domain and 301 Redirect
  7. Monetize Site With Targeted CPA Offers
  8. Build Niche Relevant Private Blog Network
  9. Promote With Blog Commenting
  10. Promote With Guest Posting
  11. Create Niche Dominating Round Up Post
  12. Add Some High Powered Links


About the Author Jon

I am a 36 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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