Blackhat/PBN websites in serps?

15 replies
  • SEO
  • |
So I've been building small niche websites for the past year and I've had varying success. Up until now all of my SEO has been completely white hat, but as I think about expanding my reach I wanted to ask your thoughts on blackhat pbn sites ranking in the serps.

As I do keyword research for possible niches to enter I'm noticing a lot of the websites that are ranking for these terms are small sites with poor content. When I look at their backlink profile I can clearly see that they blatantly use a PBN. They don't even try to hide it, their links consist of high authority expired one-page websites that are overly keyword stuffed.

I had always thought that google wouldn't rank such obvious blackhat websites. As a whitehat guy it makes me wonder why I should bother playing it safe when these other sites so easily rank in the serps.

I wanted to ask you, with all the fuss that people make about penalties and blackhat techniques, do you think google even cares? Do I need to fight fire with fire If I want to have a shot at competing in these niches?
#blackhat or pbn #serps #websites
  • Profile picture of the author michaelkoehler92
    You need to ask yourself first if you want to create a website which will rank for longer or want something that can dropdown after any new update is rolled out.

    I am not against blackhat method as I do use that from time to time but it varies from project scope. Its since if I am looking to build a website and might flip it in future then those PBN links could def. lower the price I will receive after flipping but if the website has got links from whitehat method and that too from authority sources then it will have good impact over the buyer.

    So in the end its totally on you, PBNs are really powerful and can really give you a good boost in rankings just use them with caution since if you get caught your rankings will drop down hard.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10895912].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by michaelkoehler92 View Post

      You need to ask yourself first if you want to create a website which will rank for longer or want something that can dropdown after any new update is rolled out.

      I am not against blackhat method as I do use that from time to time but it varies from project scope. Its since if I am looking to build a website and might flip it in future then those PBN links could def. lower the price I will receive after flipping but if the website has got links from whitehat method and that too from authority sources then it will have good impact over the buyer.

      So in the end its totally on you, PBNs are really powerful and can really give you a good boost in rankings just use them with caution since if you get caught your rankings will drop down hard.
      I couldn't agree more. It all comes down to whether you are trying to build a quick hit website that may surge in the rankings for a period of time but eventually plummet in the rankings. Probably a very good strategy if you are selling a product with a limited time frame appeal like an iPhone 7.

      If you are trying to build a real business that sells "forever" products (bowling balls or golf clubs, for instance), I'd stay away from any type of link schemes.
      Signature
      StoreCoach.com - Learn How to Create Your Own Products & Brand - Buy & Sell Websites
      My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10896069].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author webby0031
        Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

        I couldn't agree more. It all comes down to whether you are trying to build a quick hit website that may surge in the rankings for a period of time but eventually plummet in the rankings. Probably a very good strategy if you are selling a product with a limited time frame appeal like an iPhone 7.

        If you are trying to build a real business that sells "forever" products (bowling balls or golf clubs, for instance), I'd stay away from any type of link schemes.
        This is absolutely ridiculous information. IF you follow what this guys says you will acheive ABSOLUTELY nothing. Without Link schemes you will not get anywhere ... and for your information I have been using link schemes for over 4 years and have not been penalised at all.

        I am bored of reading the same POOR advice that leads poeple to places where they will never make any money.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10896442].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
          Originally Posted by webby0031 View Post

          This is absolutely ridiculous information. IF you follow what this guys says you will acheive ABSOLUTELY nothing. Without Link schemes you will not get anywhere ... and for your information I have been using link schemes for over 4 years and have not been penalised at all.

          I am bored of reading the same POOR advice that leads poeple to places where they will never make any money.
          We've built more than 100 successful websites, have more than 50 generating very good money right now and have sold many for six figures. We have never used any type of link scheme, so telling people it is impossible to rank without them is not even close to accurate.

          It may be "boring" to you, but most legitimate companies are doing quite well online without employing any black hat techniques, link schemes or private blog networks.

          I've been featured on Fox News, in the New York Times and several other well known national publications and shows. Frankly, I'm kind of bored reading threads from people who claim to be experts but who hide behind fake names. You can read my resume here. Where's yours?
          Signature
          StoreCoach.com - Learn How to Create Your Own Products & Brand - Buy & Sell Websites
          My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10897130].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by webby0031 View Post

          This is absolutely ridiculous information. IF you follow what this guys says you will acheive ABSOLUTELY nothing. Without Link schemes you will not get anywhere.
          Now THAT is absolutely ridiculous information. Anyone who has studied some of the top competitive serps knows that's just nonsense. Many sites rank with no link schemes. Is it easy to do with some crappy affiliate site ? nope but with some good content marketing and valued content many sites do in fact rank. Black hatters are always in such denial that there is SEO outside of their own techniques.
          Signature

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10899916].message }}
    • Originally Posted by michaelkoehler92 View Post

      I am not against blackhat method as I do use that from time to time but it varies from project scope. Its since if I am looking to build a website and might flip it in future then those PBN links could def. lower the price I will receive after flipping but if the website has got links from whitehat method and that too from authority sources then it will have good impact over the buyer.
      My fear would be that a site owner hides his PBN while selling it at Flippa, I wouldn't buy a website without being able to log into Google Webmasters myself to verify.

      Perhaps that's common practice already?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10896381].message }}
  • Google does care and does deindex PBN sites.

    However it's not easy for them as there are so many on so many different hosting plan.

    SERoundTable regularly updates on their blog that Google found another network, in the past that were widely advertised services, nowadays it are more often foreign SEO companies that they go after, quick time table:

    - 2012: BMR, ALN + many more
    - 2013: SAPE, LinkFeed + others
    - 2014: Polish link network
    - 2015: Spanish & German link networks
    - 2016: Japanese link network

    That's only what SERoundTable reports on, in the meanwhile they are known to scan SEO hosting providers and each domain goes through a manual review, as a result PBN owners lost many domains.

    Most owners have become more clever, spreading their domains in a better way, making the sites look more legit, still that doesn't safe guard anyone entirely, Google still manages to deindex PBN sites, even decent looking ones on shared hosting plans.

    What you could do is the following:

    1) Put the suspect PBN domains in a spreadsheet
    2) Check if they are all indexed
    3) Wait six months, check again if they're still indexed

    The most likely result of such test will be that 10-30% isn't indexed anymore, not that it matters as a PBN site is easily replaced, so yes Google is fighting PBN's but it's an endless fight they'll never win unless they come up with new techniques to detect them. However, time has proven that's not so easy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10896376].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    Firstly, you need to know the meaning of white hat. White hat is a complete adhere to the rules of SEO and merely just optimising your meta tags. If you lift a finger to build backlinks then you are not into white hat.

    What you are probably doing is BlackHat while Grey Hat is the extreme form of BlackHat.

    Most of us are into BlackHat and go about it in different ways. I don't think emulating what your competitors are doing is a bad thing so long as it's works for you too.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10896478].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      Firstly, you need to know the meaning of white hat. White hat is a complete adhere to the rules of SEO and merely just optimising your meta tags. If you lift a finger to build backlinks then you are not into white hat.
      That's not true though, Google don't mind you creating links to your site as long as the links aren't intended to manipulate the serps or page rank.

      A listing on yell is not black hat for example.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10897421].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      Firstly, you need to know the meaning of white hat. White hat is a complete adhere to the rules of SEO and merely just optimising your meta tags. If you lift a finger to build backlinks then you are not into white hat.

      davejarvys is right. This is not true. Google is not against someone creating links to their own site. Hell, Google+ has a spot for you to list your website to link to it.

      They have also mentioned directories in the past like Dmoz. They have no problem if you submit your own website there.

      There are a lot of other examples too.

      To say that any link you create yourself is blackhat is wrong.
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10897731].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        davejarvys is right. This is not true. Google is not against someone creating links to their own site. Hell, Google+ has a spot for you to list your website to link to it.

        They have also mentioned directories in the past like Dmoz. They have no problem if you submit your own website there.

        There are a lot of other examples too.

        To say that any link you create yourself is blackhat is wrong.
        I leave this to you as well.
        Google consider link building spamming of its network irrespective of us being guilty otherwise the war against spam wouldn't have cost them a fortune.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10899771].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

          I leave this to you as well.
          Google consider link building spamming of its network irrespective of us being guilty otherwise the war against spam wouldn't have cost them a fortune.
          Link building and spamming are two completely different things.
          Signature
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10899908].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

          I leave this to you as well.
          Google consider link building spamming of its network irrespective of us being guilty otherwise the war against spam wouldn't have cost them a fortune.
          ,
          many professional directories are perfectly acceptable
          Your chamber of commerce sites are perfectly acceptable
          Being included in state and city resource listing is perfectly acceptable
          links from your clients, partners, suppliers is perfectly acceptable

          none of those are spamming.

          If you want to see the kind of links Google finds perfect acceptable check law sites
          Signature

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10899924].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10900015].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by hipeopo02 View Post

      Haha Mike Anthony is back with a new sig. Now you are looking for cold callers to push your SEO service? LOL
      Your inability to read is only outdone by your lack of any SEO knowledge. You and Webby should start a teen negative SEO agency....lol
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10900297].message }}

Trending Topics