The development of the internet and technology have triggered many other innovations as well. Now that people have access to information, getting updates and finding new hobbies is something done easier. All people who have access to it, use the internet for finding new information, reading qualitative content, making purchases, and so on. But because the internet is a vast place, many scammers and hackers make room in this online universe.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak which then transformed into a global pandemic, many people started spending more time online. And many businesses opened online shops and social media business pages to promote their brands and products. And so, the competition is fierce in many domains.
Selling your products and services is done easier if you rank higher in the results of search engines. Of course, Google is the most popular search engine and also the most used, but there are many others as well. Some businesses, brands, or people can trick search engines and appear higher in ranks. How? Through PBNs. But what are these PBNs and how do you find the PBN of a competitor? Find out below.
What Is a PBN?
To better understand what PBN is, we need to shed more light on the algorithms of search engines. So, when you search for something on Google, you get a list of results. There are many things that Google takes into account when it gives you that order of results.
And one of these things is the backlink, which we will explore here. If a website offers interesting and well-researched content, it increases its chances of being cited by other websites that recommend it. This online citation is called a backlink. You can add backlinks on some words that will redirect the reader or visitor to a specific website you recommend.
If many websites backlink to the same website, the higher the latter one will rank in search engine results. Because Google understands that the website is offering the content people are looking for when they type specific keywords.
But what is the connection between backlinks and a PBN? Well, a PBN is a Private Blog Network and this is something many websites have. In fact, some of your competitors are surely doing it. A PBN or Private Blog Network is a network of websites and blogs that all backlink to the primary website, one of your competitors.
The trick is that this network is mostly made of expired domains purchased by the competitor. There you will find short and brief articles that have at least five backlinks to the same website, the primary one. Usually, a PBN is made of at least five expired domains. And if each of them would backlink to your website five times, it will surely rank higher.
Of course, this is not something that will go on forever. Google and other search engines keep an eye on these and when they identify the PBN, the ranking of the website is deleted. But until then, it will rank higher and people will buy from them only because they are among the first results. And the traffic on the website will also improve.
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
In the world of marketing, there is this categorization that is made between marketers and marketing techniques. There are white hat marketers and black hat ones. The online world and search engines have developed tremendously during the last few years. So, to rank higher when people search for something related to your niche, you need to have good SEO. This means using the keywords people search for on your website, having interesting titles and meta-descriptions, and using backlinks. The latter is exploited by black hat marketers.
White hat SEO and marketing is the one that follows the rules. It is the one that generates organic traffic, which usually is difficult to obtain and takes time. Black hat marketers build their shortcuts and they use or create unorthodox ways of generating traffic, such as PBNs.
The reasons why competitors use PBNs are obvious. They can fool Google and other search engines that offer authoritative content and are themselves an authority in their domain. When you have so many websites linking to you which you own, it is easier to choose the right keywords and number of backlinks, and thus generate traffic to the original website. Which, in turn, creates an inauthentic brand or entity online.
How to Find a Competitor’s PBN
>Having a private blog network (PBN) and thus controlling the authority you give to your website is considered a black hat SEO tactic, and thus not approved by the domain. The ones who do this are focused on the financial incentives of getting their website to rank higher in search engine results. They do not care about the consumer who may wrongly choose their services and products because many other websites say they are good. So, it is important to keep an eye on your competitors and learn how to find their PBNs.
Here are some tips and tricks and things to keep an eye on if you want to find a competitor’s PBN. You can also apply these tricks to identify if a specific website is part of a larger PBN.
Hosting - you need to keep an eye on the hosting of each website. You can easily identify the IP of each website. If you think that some websites are part of a PBN, check their IPs. And if they are the same, this should leave some question marks.
Ownership of the website - there are many tools online that could help you access more information about who owns a specific website. Like this, you can easily see if blogs are part of a larger network owned by the same people.
Website Design - experts say that those who have a PBN, have a lot of blogs and websites to manage. This means that their time is limited, so they do not invest much in having eye-candy web designs. Instead, their blogs look rather dull and plain, with no interesting elements.
Profile links - if many websites link to the same website in their profile, this means that they may be part of a larger link scheme.
Obsolete Content - keep an eye on the content posted on these blogs too. Many of them just recycle old topics but the value of it is not high. If the content is shady and usually extracted from videos or photos, then it may be a blog used only for backlinks.
As technology develops, so do the techniques used to catch the attention of prospective visitors and customers. But many people try to find shortcuts and fool search engines and hence consumers. They trick them into believing they are an authority in their domain, caring for the financial incentives that come with it.
Many of these businesses use a PBN or a private blog network that backlinks to their website to make it rank higher in search engine results. This is a black hat SEO technique and an insincere way of improving your brand awareness.
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