The news should have broken by now to most of you, PBN's are getting deindexed left right, and center. In fact, most of it has already happened. I waited to make this post until the big players had reported their findings. My experience with PBN's is very, very limited, so I couldn't give my 2 cents until I knew what the exact deal was.
There's always been a huge risk associated with using Private Blog Networks, but a huge reward also. Being able to get quality links from sites you control has always been the holy grail of SEO. Unfortunately, Google decided that enough was enough, and in a classic Google hammer slammer, wiped out many PBN's over the last week.
Rank Hero has been shut down completely and prompted Spencer to turn his back on PBN's for good. He's always said that it was going to be a short lived venture and now that the curtain has seemingly come down, he's happy to walk away. As for others, a change of tactic in how they build PBN's and more diversification is the strategy going forward.
Everyone will have their own opinion about whether or not to continue with PBN building, but for those who want to move onto something else (or want to diversify), what options are there?
You still need links to your site (Unless you're in the slow authority site game), but with the quick-fix of PBN building a lot more risky now, a step back is what's needed.
The old “safe” methods are still the best.
I said before that my experience with PBN building is very limited (I built about 10 links to niche sites with PBN's and was unaffected by the recent clamp down..woo), but my experience with link building in general is sound. I recommend you go back to basics a bit and try some of the good old fashioned methods.
Five Link Building Alternatives
Now we know that things like blog commenting aren't going to give you a whole lot of link juice. We know that article submission is basically a waste of time. There are still dozens of things you can do:
- Outreach – Ask for links, try to get your site put on resource pages or simply linked to from someone's site. Read this article.
- Skyscraper method – Produce the best piece of content possible on a given subject, and tell the world about it. Read this for more.
- Guest posting – It's only “dead” if you're spamming. Producing a quality guest post for a quality site is going to get you a good link.
- Link/Ego bait – Everybody loves an expert roundup post or a blog summary. These are great for attracting long-term links as well.
- Anything from Jon Cooper's list. He's written a fantastic list of safe link building tactics here. He's also produced an excellent guide.
For those who don't know PointBlankSEO, allow me to be the one to introduce it to you. As well as being a decent chap, Jon is also a fantastic link builder, and teaches excellent link building methods that are pure white-hat. The list I linked to above is wonderful, but if you really want to get into advanced strategies, give his eBook a purchase.
Spencer himself said that going forward he's going to be just following Jon's methods, so that should tell you a thing or two about the quality of the instruction.
Other Link Building Services
The main problem a lot of people have with the above methods is that they take time and are not a dead cert. You could reach out to 100 people and get 0 links as a result. Or you could get 50 and never need to build a link again.
This is where the attraction in fiverr links and other stuff like that comes from. It seems so easy to just outsource link building to others. Can it still be done successfully?
Yes it can.
There are some incredibly crappy link building services out there (I've reviewed one here), but there are also some really good ones. Experienced link builders who know how to build links for you without turning your backlink profile into a spam fest.
I've been testing some of them over the last few weeks (I honestly wanted a way of building quality ‘pillow links' instead of relying on PBN's) and have had positive results so far. We're not talking about Page 4 to Page 1 with 2 links like PBN's could do, but we're talking about getting a site moving.
The key is that the links are built specifically for your site, rather than you tapping into an existing network. Talk about being off the grid.
I will be doing a post on this in the future when I've got more solid results to share with you and I'll likely be rolling it out as a service, but for now if you want to know more, get in touch here and I'll hook you up.
What do you think about PBN's and the future of backlink building now? Are you going to go down the purely white-hat 100% no linking method, or do you want to find other ways of getting your niche sites ranking?
Whether you're a one-site person or a portfolio builder, there is always room for optimism.