A Discussion on The Rise and Fall of PBNs in the late 2000s
As per the previous records, by the mid-2000s, the paid links industry saw a high rise. There were multiple service providers who emerged at that time offering diverse kinds of link-building strategies. Several link-building tools came into use. Such was the situation at that time. People used to spend huge amounts on buying links. In fact, buy quality backlinks became one of the major factors to grow the sites. Without any other factors like high-quality content or others, only paid links worked exceptionally well for ranking the sites.
Later, Google crackdown on this link buying system. While paid links became one such major factor to look at, another significant factor came into the limelight. By the late 2000s, a wide number of private blog networks or PBNs emerged.
What is PBN?
PBN is a network of blogs that are used to build links and manipulate the PageRank algorithm. Many a time, link-building professionals use these websites to link out in order to improve the rankings of one or more than one domain.
Was it helpful for link building?
PBN blogs emerged majorly for link-building purposes. It might help to build links and improve the rank of the websites a little bit. But, simply put, these websites were nothing but trash of poor-quality content. Or, sometimes, they were sites with no content. Anyways, these websites had very low traffic as they were not adding any value to people’s lives with their content.
Still, it was in the game for quite a long time. The major reason is that although the content had no quality, it worked well in link building as they had high PR. A handful of PBN links could rank an aged website so high that you can never imagine. Sometimes, the sites are used to reach the top of the search engine result.
There was no concern about whether the links are relevant or not. The backlinks with high PageRank could uplift the SERP game to a great extent. Thus, PBN blogs became one of the major factors to improve the SEO of a site.
But, then is it still valid?
It could be valid still if Google had not changed the algorithm. By 2012, Google released an algorithm update. It was the Penguin algorithm update. The major goal of the algorithm update was to dig deep into the link schemes. The algorithm worked to stop all of the manipulative link-building strategies.
Although Google didn’t directly target the PBN sites, the algorithm ruined them completely. Even the highly popular PBN sites were charged with penalties. All of the sites that got a high rank on search engines with the help of PBN sites, couldn’t maintain the rank. The ranks dropped drastically.
What happened after that?
The period from 2012 to 2016 was a time when Google worked on cracking down the link schemes. The first version of the Penguin algorithm was introduced in 2012. Later, throughout four long years, multiple updates to the algorithm were introduced. All of these happened only to find out the websites using link spam techniques and penalize them.
It was the story of PBN blogs which were often used to buy quality backlinks cheap. If you want to know more about it, let us know.