Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy?

As many of us are aware, building backlinks to our blog or website, can be time consuming and down right tedious. Just check the Warrior Forum, Digital Point, WickedFire, etc., and you will see loads and loads of “outstanding” link building tactics that will supposedly propel your site to the tops of Google. If you see the words “private network”, you should know that they are not for you. In this article I want to walk you through about private networks and why they are bad backlink building tactics.

For starters private networks are not for long term results, and can really waste a lot of your time and money (even damage your website). Your ROI is certainly not as good (with private networks) as building quality backlinks from “trusted” and authority websites. They are a short term solution with long term penalties. They should be avoided at all causes, because in the long run the turtle eventually wins the race. So if you are thinking about dabbling into this shady backlink building strategy DON’T DO IT!

Reasons To Avoid Private Networks

Google Has Declared War On Them. Get caught in one of these backlink building schemes and your site could suffer detrimental effects. Sites that use private networks primarily as their major source of backlinks can completely vanish from top Google rankings, as seen from recent events.

ROI Is Horrible. I know I have already said this, but your ROI is pretty much nonexistent with these linking schemes. Whenever these sites that are in this networks start to get deindexed your site drops in ranking as a result from this. Do you really want to have your sites traffic rely on a bunch of spam blogs?

Expensive. Talk about spending lots of money with these networks. Generally, you are going to spend 50-150 per month just for access to these sites. On top of the monthly renewal fee you are going to be paying more and more for each post. It can really add up and I have seen people spend several thousand dollars each and every month. I have talked with a number of SEO companies and some of their SEO strategies include private networks; can you believe that! You could spend your marketing money on building so much more quality content on your site and perhaps even a couple quality directory listings like Yahoo and

Popular Private Networks – Under Fire

BuildMyRank – One of the most popular ones that was recently sniffed out by Google and shut down just last week. They had a network of nearly 3,000 sites and there network is currently in the deindexing phase.

Authoritylinknetwork – Also got the axe with thousands of sites in their network there was an easy footprint in which Google easily identified and started shutting down. Have heard that pretty much there entire network has been deindexed. This would deem all your backlinks and time wasted if you used them.

Rather than listing them all just know that if you see the words private network I would just stay away from them.

Private networks are not hard to spot by Google or by anyone doing keyword research on there competitors to see where there backlinks are coming from. In fact, chances are if you see a blog that has a generic theme with loads of categories pretty much targeting every single niche and all the articles on the website are of low quality, and have 2 outbound links linking to another site it would be a fair assessment to call that site a spam blog that belongs to a private network. Think about it the site offers no real value to readers online and is only there to build links to others sites.

What To Do If You Have Been Using These Networks?

If you have been using these networks now is the time to learn from your mistakes. Stop using them right away! People are fearing that their site is going to get deindexed as a result from participating in these private networks. This is really not realistic because your site will not get deindexed even if 100% of your links comes from these private networks. In fact, Google will just devalue your backlinks. So it would be like starting all over from square one again. Not to mention it could come from competitors trying to nuke or ruin your site or just an unethical SEO company taking the lazy way of doing SEO.

high quality sitesThe simple answer for rebounding from a slap from the deindexing of these private networks is to build stronger backlinks from authority websites and following Google’s website quality guidelines. Depending on the amount of links you build from these private networks is going to determine how many good links you are going to need to build to pull yourself out of the doghouse.

Matt Cutts has even publicly said that private networks are being targeted by Google and they are making every effort to track down these networks and devalue your links from them. It just doesn’t seem to make any sense to participate with these networks if you are in it for the long term. Google employs a team of geniuses and they are always one step ahead of “blackhatters”.

Still not convinced that private networks are bad news? Hop over to any of the internet marketing forums and you will see that networks are being hit left and right and webmasters sites are dropping like crazy. Furthermore, people are receiving messages in their GWMT about “unnatural link building“.

I would like to hear anyone’s thoughts, horror stories on using private blog networks; please feel free to leave a comment down below.

Garen Arnold

Garen Arnold is on a mission to review all the top web hosting companies. You can check out this Hostgator review if you are interested in a quality web hosting service.

35 thoughts on “Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy?

  • Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy? via @ditesco

  • Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy? via @ditesco

  • The latest Panda hit website who bought links from BuildMyRank. You explained the article in very detail and I found it really interesting to read it. Can you tell me, if I get a 1 PR link which has only 1 OBL and other is from PR 4 which has about 50 OBL links, which one is more likely to increase my domain authority?

  • I also agree that buying backlinks, from those low level forum profile backlinks is the worst thing we can do to our website and SEO ranking.

    • Buying backlinks will actually hurt your SEO for one simple reason – Google is against it. They will set your website back in ranking and penalize you for it – it’s cheating the system.

  • This is some great information. I’m not using private networks, but knowing to stay away is very useful. Your links have to look natural to Google, or they’ll burn you hard. The best way to do that is to naturally build them yourself, in my opinion.

    How much will these backlinks be devalued, though? Are they suddenly worth half, nothing, or some other value?

    • I believe they will be completely devalued when found out about. True they might not be deindexed in Yahoo and Bing, but from Google your traffic will go away quickly.

  • Honestly, PR isn’t the most important thing when determining the power of a link. There are so many more factors that just PR. For instance, if the PR1 was more relevant and had thousands of unique IP’s linking to it from quality sites it would be much stronger. Also, say the PR4 had a one link from a PR6 with 2 or 3 OBL’s to it and wasn’t even remotely related I wouldn’t see it helping you much in the search engines.

  • Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy? @ditesco

  • I am not familiar with the sites that were hit. I would imagine the more popular the site happens to be the more likely it might be to hit or penalized. I bet some less popular similar types of sites or programs are sweating it a little right now, and hoping they aren’t next.

    • Hey Ray,

      Yeah tons and tons of private blog networks are getting hit right now. The bigger ones will be cut out first like BMR, but Google has declared war on them.

  • Thanks a lot for the great post. You’re a life saver. Or rather a site savor. I just started doing SEO (like a few months by now) and I was seriously considering enrolling in some private network, but now i can see what sort of … bad thing (for lack of a better word) it actually is.

    • Just make sure you mix it up a lot. Anchors, types of links, ect. Nothing is worse than getting paid for doing SEO and then getting a site in some major trouble!

  • Hi.

    Nice way to share here.Its help to rapidly increase website raking on search engines. So the main purpose is increase ranking,SEO,pupolarity.
    keep going.

  • Thanks for the post. As a matter of fact, I was sure that Google would do it sooner or later because it is really easy to track it down because such services leave really obvious footprints. Finally white hat SEOs will not be misled by such services. I consider it good news. What do you think guys? 🙂

    • Yep good news indeed! Well not for the blackhatters. Keep doing things right and Google will reward you over time.

  • Garen, thanks for the nice information. Blog networks used to be popular a few weeks ago and now suddenly it is a no-no. I’m so glad that the Google’s changes could trash down all the irrelevant sites that were trying to game the system. But some genuine sites were hit too!

    • True, but this has to do with there link profile. Sites with a better profile and less “spam blog” links weren’t affected as much.

  • Thanks this post was intriguing and helpful, and what about the backlinks which come blogger, hubpages, are they also counted private?

    • Those are web 2.0 properties. Not private networks at all. They are good as long as the link you have from that site doesn’t get deleted.

  • Good post. Although these networks may be marketed as “private” they are actually public blog networks. Private networks are much smaller. They do offer short term and in some cases long term benefits and a “private blog network” is much harder to track down than a public one. Not impossible but much harder as there are thousands of them operating all over the web with limited clients or built soley for the webmasters own link promotion.

    • True, but it is easy to identify the footprint. If every post on the page has 2 OBL to a site it’s a private blog, which is just made to manipulate the search engines. I believe Google will just really start devaluing these types of links. The “public” ones just have a huge bullseye on them right now.

  • Hi Garen, I know that no one wants to take the time to build links naturally which takes time and hard work, but it should don’t you think? I mean it’s not fair that people can set up a site, buy into a private network and start out ranking sites with quality content that have been building links for years. I’m glad that Google is de-indexing these guys. Yay for the big G!

    • Hey Illeane, yes it should take work and building relationships with people in traditional business and both “internet” business are the same. There are SO MANY ways to spam for backlinks. Google has even hinted that just have quality content with less “SEO” is going to be the future. This is to combat the spammers and reward sites that actually add value to people.

  • I fully agree here. Buying into blog networks is a horrible strategy and one that is costly in many forms. There are some technical advantages over network link building and if done right and done with quality, can prove to be very beneficial. And are you kidding me, directory listings and yahoo directory listings. For that kind of money, you can put together a site with just as much juice/authority as you would for a directory listing there for half the cost. Cmon peeps 😉

  • Private Blog Networks – Worst Backlink Building Strategy? via @DiTesco

  • I have to disagree with this post.
    If a private blog network is done properly and not using any spammy articles or an easily tracked down footprint then they can be very effective. I know people running them and it is incredible how good the results are. I’m talking about small private networks where the quality control of what’s going into the network is very strict, and it works.
    Some of the things to consider when you decide to own/join one:
    1) Don’t just post your spun articles to it, use article syndication as well and post articles from sites like These articles are not some spammy things and they add authority external links from your website making it look more natural. And make your own content a quality one.
    2) Keyword variations – all the big blog network used to have a smilar system: couple of hundred words – keyword1, another couple of hundred words – keyword1, and another couple of hundred words – keyword1. How spammy is this? So you need to vary your keywords, using different variations (dog training example): dog training, dogs, training a dog, click here, best website, puppy training and so on. This is vital these days. Blog networks got hammered cause they had pretty much the same keyword all over the place and it’s so easy to identify a blog network this way.
    3) Keyword amount – don’t just have 3 links to your money site in every post, this is a clear footprint. Have 1, or 2 or 3, but I’d recommend to stay with max 2 in most cases.
    4) Images – add some images to your posts, again not into every one, but let’s say only use them in about 50% of the time, sometimes aligned left, some other times right.
    5) Have your backlinks to your money site mainly from relevant websites. So your dog training site should get backlinks mainly from dog/pet related websites.
    There are other things but the main 3 things are VARIATION, VARIATION and VARIATION.
    Thanks and have fun 🙂

  • Great information in here, I at on point ran a very nice quality controlled private network and still have it technically. But as I have built more “Brick and Mortar” Clients I have had to take a very white hat and safe approach thus re learning the basics of link building and link diversity. Black hat is fun and all, and can produce temporary results, but with the new update, and future updates to come the future is in white and well grey hat.

    It is okay to use some tools guys, for example if you do everything manually at least save you the time and get a form filler so you don’t have to type 100 form all day. Use scrapers to find relevant sites and so on.

    But if you do build a private a network, building a private network with web 2.0 properties rather than web site would be the better option in my opinion, less costly, and much much harder to track.

    Even a small web 2.0 network of 15 sites, would produce great results in serps if the links point to your site.

    I just woke up… LOL

  • Nice article to share with us. Quality backlinks are supportive to increase link popularity, increase search engine ranking and page rank of a website.When we get backlinks then it’s very crucial to make quality backlinks.because only quality backlinks can help us to improve search engine ranking. keep going.It will help out.

  • WOW…Great post Ditesco,
    I have been debating if I should try one of these private networks. I have been doing some research on it and decided to take the long way and build it naturally. I found your blog through Ms. Ileane’s Blog(BasicBloggingTips).
    I am glad I came across this post. Now my heart is settled. lol. Anyway do by any chance have a blue print of your linking strategy?

    • Hi Fred. Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you, taking the “long” way sometimes is the wisest move. It may not have an immediate impact on things, but once it does, it stays for a long time. I speak from experience when I see some of my first page rankings, with posts that are years over and yet they are still there. There is no shortcut to link building and “quick” and “automated” strategies, although may exists, are generally not the best way to go. I don’t really have a blueprint per se, but do have a good resource page for SEO, which I recommend.

      If you are really looking for some “practical” tips on how to build links, I just got my hands on Richards link building guide, which I recommend. One of the reasons I like this guide is because it does not tell you what to do, but rather how to do. You do have to invest a ridiculous $12, but it could just shed a few (or a lot) of information that you may be aware about. I like it, and despite having some strategies of my own, I did learn about some other “gems”. Please don’t think of this as trying to push you into something.., it is a good guide and has some good actionable tips. OH, it is an affiliate link, btw 🙂

      • Thank you for the link and also the guide Ditesco. I appreciate this. Just bought the guide. For that price I will buy it
        Thanks again. Plus I trust almost anyone with high respected reputation.

        • Hi Fred. You are welcome. Thanks for buying the guide. Go through each step, one step at a time and master the techniques, specially those that are free. Done properly, they work and work well. Good luck and do let me know how it goes for you.

  • Private Blog Network is dead after panda update!
    They are really dead, some of them are even closed they service

    The popular method rightnow is wiki backllink service pointing to your site combined with web 2.0+comment in tier 2 to support those wiki backlink

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