What's the name of this SEO technique (creating a non-branded info/media site for links)
I have seen multiple competitors use this technique for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) link building and am going to try it out for a couple clients, but want to know if it has a name in the industry?
Basically, let's say a company called British Bathrooms sell bathrooms online. Their industry is super competitive so to rank for their target terms organically, they need powerful links.
In order to avoid relying completely on third party sites for their links, they create a new, simple WordPress website and call it something like 'British Bathroom News'. On this very simple WordPress site, they publish 10-50 articles all about the British Bathroom industry.
They then link to their own site (amongst others) in the articles. Google see's these as high value links, and so they rank for their target terms easier.
I just wanted to know if this strategy has a name?
It's called a PBN – Private Blog Network.
Microsite rather than a PBN… PBN implies multiple sites doing this imo.
You see this with companies having lifestyle sites that focus on things customers can do with their products, like a baking/recipe site for a flour company.
Private Blog Network (PBN). They used to work really well, but less so now in my experience.
They're expensive to build and time consuming to maintain if they're going to be effective at all – which one site won't be.
Generally people who use this technique will run many sites like this, usually built off of expired domains. So the costs go up quite a bit.
You also have to be careful to cover your tracks as this kind of link building is not to Googles liking – but a lot of businesses are still using them of course. If you scale to the point these links are actually doing something, you run the risk of being penalized and losing all of it.
I have websites that outrank competitors who use Private Blog Networks (PBN)s without using them myself. They're really not worth it anymore.
If a PBN is done right it's practically impossible for Google to detect, so I kind of disagree on it not being worth it anymore. You just have to be VERY careful.
Yeah I agree its still possible to get value out of it, I just find it time and cost prohibitive compared to alternate strategies.
As others have said, they probably are running a private blog network. Done correctly, this can be effective. Done incorrectly… well, at best it's ineffective. At worst, it'll kill whatever page you're trying to rank.
It's a PBN.
If you are gonna do this for paying clients, please tell them the risks before you do it… If they are chill with it, have a blast, only works in a few verticals these days and the Private Blog Network (PBN) needs to be really really good i.e. legit websites with their own traffic.
Anyway, as I said, you should be transparent with your clients if you are doing something that could result in a manual action
Everyone writing a PBN probably did not read your whole post…
I don't know of a name for the strategy that consists of creating ONE media focused website that intends on being an authority source in X industry but it's not a PBN, ugh…
The closest to it would be people building affiliate marketing website? Except here you would really only shill one company's product. While I think it's more trustworthy to have a separate website/entity being the information/authority source and another being the shop, I've seen it done where the company selling products is both hosting their shop on their website but also providing informative content to their readers, comparing their products to other companies in the industry.
Example: btod.com . they are selling their own brand of electric height adjustable desk but are also writing guides about which are the best:
https://www.btod.com/blog/best-standing-desk . And it ranks, I've found this website while looking for standing desks comparisons when I was on the market for one.
While they are hosting everything on one website, I think it would seem more trustworthy to have both the blog and the shop in two separate websites, in which case you are looking at strategies people building affiliate websites are using :).
Another thing, I don't think you should do this as a linkbuilding exercise. This strategy is best used with the goal of warming up potential customers to the benefits of your products. Ten links from one website won't move the needle as much as five links from five different websites.
Thanks for the answer you understood me. I didn't mean a PBN.
As I read your whole post and this is my conclusion.
If they are creating a single blog then you can say blogging. And it is good in the perspective of Google as the blog site giving more information and fresh content to google.
Let me tell you my experience. One of my competitor is doing it. It is in online shopping niche. Created a website where they are talking about all the fashion stuff not about shopping and sometimes linking to their main site. They are ranking good in USA, UK region for most competitive keywords. So how actually they are doing it?
Here is my research –
They created a blog with 1000-2000 words of each post targeting long tail keywords in the niche which are not buyer intent but generating traffic. Their blog is ranking for those keywords and generating traffic around more than 1M. So the one link from that type of site is much more powerful and too in the same niche. They also place the banners in the sidebar to drive the users on their main site.
So here is some of the tips if you want to do
Write in-depth articles about the niche. The more you give information to Google the more weightage to your blog site. Link internally as well as links to the big authority informational sites in your niche nit just your site so it will not look spam.
And yes if you create more sites like that it is a Private Blog Network
Yes you explanation of the single blog site is exactly what I am seeing. One high value non branded blog site. Not a PBN of many crappy sites.
A PBN doesn't have to be lots of low quality sites. You could take one expired domain with good links and build lots of nice pages in it. This is much better than registering a new domain from scratch.
May I share my podcast about what you call PBN?
I prefer the old school term of Linkwheel or Private Links Network. Since I don't do blogs (reason why in the video) and I use this strategy before the term PBN was coined I hope you will allow me this semantic slide.
Controlling 1/4 to 1/3 or your backlinks is the most powerful SEO asset. Whatever Google propaganda followers say, backlinks are the strongest weapons in your arsenal.
However, linkbuilding has evolved. We don't do it like it's <year>. Funny thing is linkbuilding haters point out tactics no skilled SEO use today.
If you have big ambitions, you will need to go high level SEO and beyond. In my case, I take out of the equation any question mark in relation to the putting the appropriate strategy in motion to achieve the right goals. The only question mark left is: do you have the means – time and/or money – to achieve your goals.?
In my case, I believe to be part of the select few who are not afraid to use the whole spectrum of tools at our disposal. I build the strongest SEO layer, based on advanced Semantic SEO principles (I call it Topical Mesh) applied on page and for internal linking.
Then, I integrate this layer inside a high class global multimedia Content Marketing strategy. If you are interested in a topic I cover, you will come across my content when you open the Internet. Finally, I spice up the whole thing with a beautiful Linkwheel off-site. By not controlling part of your backlinks and not mastering your internal linking, you are wasting the most valuable assets at your disposal.
To go even deeper, I coined the term "Smell of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP)". Google is telling you many things, but nobody knows how to look When you know of to give Google what it wants, great things happen. Learn to give Google what it wants at the future tense instead of feeding an over saturated signal from the past Google is throwing up an identical signal and you shove more down the throat
Thanks for your very detailed reply. I have subbed to your channel just now and will watch it.
Yes I think you are right, in that, what is actually working (even in a white hat way) and what most SEO experts approve, are divergent quite a bit.
In this particular example, I have seen a competitor go from 0 to first place, for a very competitive keyword, using mostly the tactic in my first post (but the media site they created had about 50 articles). It seems very powerful, and I am seeing a lot of new sites do it.
Thanks for the follow
Check this out
https://detailed.com/google-control/ Beyond the homemade small scale networks, you have the big boys who dominate.
Google catches 90 Billions spammy backlinks per day. On the other hand, 16 companies built the most powerful « Private Blog Network (PBN) » and it's right in front of our eyes.
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Thinking to Start Making a Private Blog Network (PBN) that contains all Webs 2.0