Building a Web 2.0 Private Blog Network (PBN) – Still Worth It?
The content in one of my blog niches is highly educational, but there is almost few IN ARTICLE backlinks even for the Wikipedia pages. So, almost all the blogs in my niche is lacking quality backlinks.
But my competitors still manage to have manual backlinks from many different resources (I've checked using Ahrefs ). So, my website is struggling to rank on Google. As per content quality, I'm in TOP 2-3, but most of my pages are in the second page.
I tried few methods,
Guest posting: I've contacted almost all the sites, related to my website. Only few have even replied to my email and some of them even ask for money for it. However, I wrote few guest posts. But I stopped doing it for two reasons. First is, since I need more than 10-20 backlinks per article, it seems like not enough. The second thing is, it's really exhausting for me to write guest posts.
Skyscraper Technique: This one seems better for me. But as I said earlier, when I looking at my competitors backlink profiles, those are not from good contents. Most of their backlinks are from sites, which seems to have spinned articles.
TLD PBN (Top-level domain Private Blog Network) Method: Building an unique blog network costs a lot, according to my calculations. Even if I made an one, all those blogs need to renew each year, and I need hosting for each of them. So, if I couldn't renew them, I'll loose many backlinks, and it can negatively affect my rankings in the future.
So, I decided to build a Web 2.0 Blog Network
Since it has NO renew fees, web 2.0 seems nice for my project. But when I searching on internet and on Reddit, I couldn't find any trustworthy resources posted in <year> that confirms it's effectiveness.
• Is web 2.0 PBN still works in <year>? What are the SEO disadvantages compared to Top Level DOmain (TLD) PBNs?
• What are the techniques you used to give some authority to web 2.0 network.
• And, what are the other SEO techniques that I can used to build more backlinks.
If you are going to just make an auto blog with crappy content, then I wouldn't waste my time.
However, if you take the time to build them out like legit sites with relevant content, images, contact info, etc; they are worth it in my opinion.
Make sure each site has a twitter acct and other social media settings, along with some solid foundational links.
Host each Private Blog Network (PBN) site with a different hosting company, with domains registered at different companies, etc.
The problem is, my competitors have still mange to rank using spin articles of their own blog networks. Now, it's difficult for me to out rank them.
Trust me, I understand and I am not against using PBN links, but only do it if you are going to build them out correctly.
It will cost to start, but maintaining them will be cheap with the only maintenance cost being time for keeping up content and hosting/domain renewals.
Also, make sure that you vary your sites between static and different Content Management System (cms) platforms/plugins, etc.
You were on the right track. You mentioned "when looking at my competitors backlink profiles". My professional req would be for you to put together a list of all of your primary competitors back links and see how many back links you can also acquire on the sites hosting those back links. Part of a successful SEO strategy includes "leveling the playing field". If you acquire back links from the same sites as your competitors, you knock out much of the advantage your competitors have over your site and will subsequently increase your rankings.
However, I don't recommend that site owners start their own PBNs. That's a specialized strategy that includes a lot of moving parts. Doing it incorrectly could end up with Google discounting all the links on the sites you created, negating all the work you have done on your PBN.
Rather than that i'd recommend that you focus on compiling a list of the top 100 sites that are returned by Google per keyword and keyword variation and focus on trying to get back links on as many as you can. Yes, it seems like tedious work requiring documentation and attention. There is software that can help you with such a task. It might be best to get an experienced SEO to assist you with such a tactic. You can contact me privately if you'd like to know more about the software/platforms that can help you with this.
As I said, I contacted almost all the good blogs related to my niche. And the I contact all of them time to time and only few gave me the opportunity to write guest posts. Are you talking about a software like GSA ranker?
GSA:SER is ok but difficult to use effectively. Hopefully if you are using that software you are familiar with Mathew Woodward's site. The software I'm talking is software like LinkAssistant and OutreachNinja.
I'm a freelance link builder so hopefully I can give you some solid advice here:
You should not be adding in 10-20 links into your article. Stick with one link only to your target page and have two or three other links pointing to relevant and authoritative sources that provide value to the reader. 10-20 links is just outright spam. You don't need a link pointing to every page of your site in every guest post, just one.
Guest posting is super time consuming, I recommend you hire a link builder to do this for you. Your priority should be on your business. If you really do want quality links and want to do the work I recommend signing up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO), you'll receive journalist requests and providing you are a genuine expert in your niche you'll win yourself a small handful of great links each month if you're consistent.
You also mentioned that you're running out of sites. What niche are you in? Would recommend broadening out to accept sites of similar but not exact relevance. This is very common in link building:
Example: You own a locksmith supply website. You run out of locksmith specific sites to contact for a guest post. You should broaden out to sites related to DIY, home, security and construction based sites. If you have an article about how to become a locksmith, then an career website may be relevant if you create a relevant article to go with it.
I recommend getting yourself a months subscription of Ahrefs and use content explorer to find articles similar to what you have on your site. It's time-consuming and in most cases you'll end up paying for a link. A great technique but spammed to death so sites by default charge a fee. Only outreach to sites that you deem as quality, if it looks spammy then skip that site.
Private Blog Networks (PBN)s/Web 2.0s:
I straight-up avoid these. What's the point of wasting your time building these for them to potentially harm your site? Stick to relevant, authoritative links in your niche or as closely related as you can, build a natural link profile and you'll do just fine. From the sounds of it building a PBN/web 2.0 would be too much work for you anyways.
What I recommend for you do:
Build a solid link building plan. Work out how many links you need by reviewing the competition in regards to Traffic/ Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) of each link and link type (guest posts, Help a Reporter Out (HARO), directories, other). You'll then know how many links you need to "levelling the playing field" as u/steffanlv put it.
From there, hire a link builder to build guest posts/skyscraper links from authoritative sites that are related to your niche in some way where possible. Create a HARO account and pitch to journalists when you see a suitable pitch.
Rinse and repeat. Link building is hard, it requires a solid link plan and consistent work. Hope it works out well for you u/richardwl! :)
Yeah I second jamie's reply! I know a couple SEO users that are seeing success from HARO and guest posts. Once you have excellent industry knowledge it's a lot easier than it seems to get the ball rolling.
Exactly! One of my link clients uses HARO for himself, he's an expert in his niche which is pretty specific and acquires about 1 in 5 pitches. It's definitely a numbers game but he's built links on some great sites!
The links you build off of Web 2.0 sites are going to be weak AF. You would get the same benefit from building links off of brand new domains. Also, with Web 2.0 sites you never own them. They could be taken away from you at any moment, they could decide to make all their external links nofollow one day (several have done this in the past), or they could just shutdown.
If you are going to put in the effort of building a network, I would rather build something that I own and control.
Yes, it is not always cheap to do this, but if you aren't making enough money to pay for domain renewals and cheap hosting for the network, you are doing something drastically wrong.
As for your outreach failures, you really shouldn't be reaching out to sites in your niche. They are likely competing with you. Why in the world would they want to link to you?
Web 2.0s are fine to add some link diversity and it may provide a very small benefit, but overall they are nearly useless now a days. They are free and easy to make, so sure go ahead and make some but don't expect to see much movement in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). High quality PBNs are a good way to get a quick boost but you need to carefully pick which Private Blog Network (PBN) you use. I've seen some really crappy ones that leave a footprint and put you at risk of a Google penalty. I've also seen some very high quality PBNs that are virtually impossible to differentiate from a real site and they pass on some real link juice to your site.
Using a PBN is a great systematic way to build links. PBNs alone is not the best strategy but, especially for people with multiple sites and sites in niches where it is difficult to build links, they can be the answer to systematically getting links and ranking.
Tiered Backlinking: Money Site > Guest Posts > Private Blog Network (PBN) > Web 2.0