SEO is constantly changing.
Tactics that might’ve worked yesterday might be frowned upon today and something that might get you penalized.
A tactic that has been extremely popular in 2013 and 2014 has been private blog networks. By private blog networks I mean networks of blogs (often based on WordPress) that you own and that you can place links on.
People find expired domains and then just set up blogs on these domains since they’ve already got decent link power.
Of course this was something Google didn’t like and eventually they started going after people pursuing this strategy.
In mid September the Niche Pursuits guys had their network and some money sites penalized. Simuntaneously the guys over at No Hat Digital also got penalized.
These guys are definitely not the only ones getting their networks penalized, there are a ton of penalization threads in various Black Hat-forums.
So I’m guessing you’re wondering – should I completely stay away from Private Blog Networks (PBNs)?
While the recent developments definitely suggest to step away from PBNs, some people are even suggesting that they’re going to double-down on their PBNs while others believe that Google is just working on a scaremongering tactic.
I’m personally leaning towards scaling down my PBN efforts, but that’s just because I don’t generally like risk.
If you’re risk averse, I’d suggest to stay away and focus your SEO efforts elsewhere. If you have a bit of a risk appetite, give it a shot, but make sure to cover up your footprints.
If PBNs are dead – what should I focus on then?
What seems to be a bit of a trend right now is to go White Hat and work on Authority Projects.
Sebastian (the guy that got wiped by Google) is working on his authority project Smartlend and Spencer & Perrin from Niche Pursuits are also focusing on authority projects and real business models.
I myself has also started working on an authority project. I’ll probably write a bit about it here on the blog soon – so stay tuned :-)!