What Are PBN Backlinks? Why should you avoid to use them?

Link Building
On November 14, 2022

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Backlinks are considered a “vote of confidence” from another website. Getting more backlinks from authoritative websites can help your website rank higher on SERPs

But not all backlinks are created equal. PBN Backlinks are black-hat backlinks that you should avoid if you don’t want to get penalized by Google and other search engines. 

We’ll discuss What Are PBN Backlinks and whether you should get these backlinks or not – read on to learn more!


What is a PBN Website?

PBN is an abbreviation that stands for “Private Blog Network.” The purpose behind creating a PBN is to pass on link authority to a single website. For example, a person can create 20 websites that link back to one website they want to rank higher on SERPs


If you are trying to rank your website higher on SERPs, you might create and manage ten or twenty other sites in the same niche and get backlinks from those websites to your main website in hopes of getting noticed by search engine bots. 

Here are some of the characteristics of PBN websites:

  • Duplicate content
  • Duplicate site design
  • Duplicate hosting and ownership

What Are PBN Backlinks?

PBNs are created and maintained with the sole purpose of doing Link spam. Building PBN Backlinks revolves around creating backlinks to a website to make it rank higher on SERPs. In short, people who want fast results through SEO might switch to PBN Backlinks to achieve their SEO goals. 

To SEO newbies, it seems like PBN and PBN Backlinks have nothing wrong with them. But the reason PBNs are discouraged by white-hat SEO experts is that PBNs go against the guidelines labeled “Google Search Essentials.” 



The “Link spam” section of Google Search Essentials discourages using any backlinking tactics that try to manipulate the search algorithm. Google can take down any website for its SERPs if the website is found to be using any blacklisted backlinking strategies. 

A term called “footprint” is used by black-hat SEOs, describing how a PBN backlink is not traceable by search engine bots. Since the early days of Google and other search engines, no person can claim to know everything about search engine algorithms. 

The constant improvement of Googlebot and other search engine crawlers shows that search engines are now stronger than ever at tracing the “footprint” of a PBN backlink. It’s better to follow the guidelines of Google instead of hiding footprints of backlinks that can hurt your website. 

Why Do People Build PBN Backlinks?

PBN Backlinks are not good for any website at all. However, some black-hat SEO sellers still provide PBN Backlinks that people are willing to buy. What’s the motive that drives people to buy these links even when they know What Are PBN Backlinks?

There are three reasons why people end up buying PBN backlinks. 

  • Lack of Knowledge

According to a study, around 57% of businesses operating in North America still don’t have a proper SEO strategy. 

This study shows how many business owners don’t know what SEO is and how it can boost their business. The lack of knowledge of SMBs about SEO gives spammers an easy chance to sell black-hat SEO services. 

People who don’t know What Are PBN Backlinks might end up getting scammed. Google’s penalty on PBN Backlinks can destroy the credibility and lower the SERP rankings of a website. This is why business owners should only rely on credible knowledge sources to learn how to implement SEO strategies. 

  • The greed for Getting Fast Results

In general, it takes a lot of time and effort to build high-quality backlinks that can help a website rank higher in the long run. 

People who don’t own any legit companies or want to trick the search algorithm rely on PBN Backlinks to increase the backlinks to their website in a short amount of time.

People read it over and over again that link building is the backbone of SEO strategy. Those who cannot wait for a year or so to get authoritative backlinks through organic strategies like blogger outreach end up in the trap of “trying” PBN Backlinks to see what results they get. 

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness is another reason why some SEOs go after PBN backlinks. These backlinks are generated through link farms, which is why they can be bought cheaply. Many newbie marketers fall for this low-hanging fruit and get their websites banned by search engines. 

SEO spammers can still make money out of PBN Backlinks even if they don’t charge a lot. Spammers build PBN Backlinks from the same link farms to all their clients. Doing so allows them to stay profitable while their clients get penalized by Google in the process. 

  • The ambiguity of Technical Terms 

People new to the SEO world are not the only ones scammers can fool. Some black-hat SEO sellers use jargon like “footprints” to show that the PBN Backlinks they build cannot cause a penalty by Google. 



Business owners who only have a basic understanding of SEO might get confused by such terms. As a result, they end up buying PBN Backlinks without knowing What Are PBN Backlinks in the first place. 

Scammers who have been “scamming” people for a long time also use terms like “in-house blogging network” or “privately managed sites” to boast that they know what they sell. 

If you have only a basic understanding of SEO and digital marketing, you should avoid relying on a seller that uses terms that are hardly used by SEO pros. 

Should You Build PBN Links?

Now to the million-dollar question, should you buy cheap backlinks from PBNs or not? 

The simple answer to this question is “No.” You must acquire high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites if you plan to run your business legitimately online. Getting PBN Backlinks is only an option for scammers. 

If you’re wondering, here are three possible cases when you might consider buying PBN backlinks. 

  • You Want to Get Quick Results 

PBN Backlinks can help your website rank higher on SERPs. As PBN Backlinks are niche-specific and curated carefully, they might trick the Googlebot into thinking that you have acquired backlinks through organic methods. 


But it usually takes less than six months for Googlebot to identify if a website uses black-hat methods like PBN Backlinks to rank higher.

Once identified, your site will instantly be removed from SERPs. In extreme cases, Google might penalize and remove your website from its index data. The reward of using PBN Backlinks is not more fascinating than the results it brings. 

This is why you should know What Are PBN Backlinks and avoid using them at all costs. 

  • You Want to Test PBN Backlinks

This one is an amazing use case for advanced SEO experts. If you have some free time to test if PBN Backlinks can bring anything good to your business, you can consider buying PBN backlinks. 

Black-Hat SEO sellers can usually build many PBN Backlinks within a week. You can get several “quality” (pun intended) PBN Backlinks for under $1,000, which is not a big amount if you want to test the results of PBN backlinks. 

With that said, remember that you should never get PBN Backlinks for your main business website. Trying any strategy banned by Google and other search engines can harm your business website and get it penalized. 

You should buy PBN Backlinks for any secondary or throwaway website that can be tested without any risks. Ensure that the website you’re buying PBN Backlinks for isn’t connected to your main website; otherwise, the penalty might even affect your main website. 

  • You Want to Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio

This case scenario is also for advanced SEO experts only. If you have a secondary website that has acquired backlinks over the years through organic strategies, you might try diversifying its backlink portfolio by getting PBN backlinks. 


Doing so can prove to be highly risky for your website. However, if your website has been live for years, it’s hard to say if 3-5 PBN Backlinks can cause instant penalties by Google. 

It’s better not to buy any PBN Backlinks for your website, even if it’s old enough, unless you want to document your experience and help people learn PBN Backlinks

How to Identify PBN Links?

Knowing how to quickly identify a PBN backlink from an authoritative backlink can save you a lot of trouble. Here are some pointers that will make it easier for you to learn How to avoid PBN Backlinks and save your website from Google’s penalty

1. Search Bot Crawling 

The biggest benefit of building backlinks from authoritative websites is that these websites are held in high esteem by search bots. A backlink from a trusted website can also build your authority in a specific niche and help you rank higher on SERPs. 

But this is not the case with PBN backlinks. 

When inquired, Black-Hat SEO sellers say that Google and other bots do not index their private blogs. They essentially block the Googlebot from crawling their website. 

It’s best not to buy backlinks from someone who confirms Google does not crawl their websites. 

2. Exact Match Anchors

You can use “Exact match anchors” when building backlinks through an organic approach. 

For example, if you are building backlinks to a category page of your website, you can use Exact Match Anchors without fearing any penalty. 

Example of an Anchor Text

<a href=””>The New York Times</a>

Black-hat SEO sellers clearly state they cannot build backlinks for exact match anchors. This is why you’ll hardly find PBN Backlinks with the same phrase and pointing to a single page. 

3. Drip Feed Backlinks

There’s no “Drip feed” concept when building backlinks through an organic approach. However, when you come across PBN backlink sellers, you will find them using this term repeatedly. 

The “Drip Feed Backlinks” approach means backlinks will be created from PBN Backlinks one after the other. Doing so is an attempt to hide the “footprint” of backlinks and to secure the website that gets PBN Backlinks from penalty. 

The sad truth is that anything like this never works. No “Drip feed backlink” approach can beat the credibility and effectiveness of an organic backlinking strategy. It’s better to avoid the Risks of Private Blog Networks Backlinks and keep your business website safe. 

4. PBN Backlink Rentals 

Some Black-Hat SEO sellers also “rent out” the backlinks. Your website will get a backlink from PBN for a specified time, and the link will be removed after that. Everything sounds bad about this approach, right? 

5. Quick Turnaround

SEO PBN Backlinks can be created in a short amount of time. As a spammer doesn’t have to go through the tedious approach of blogger outreach, they can churn out tons of PBN Backlinks within a month. You should be wary of any SEO seller who claims they can build 100s of links for your website in a short span.


PBN Backlinks can never be valuable if you run a legit business. Instead of hoping to get quick results by building tons of useless backlinks, you should focus your time and energy on building authoritative backlinks. You can hire a legit link building service if you don’t have time to manually outreach to bloggers and implement other trusted link building strategies. 

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