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The future of PBNs

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Unreliable Witness, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    All the chatter of yet another update targeting PBNs got me thinking about how easy it would be for G to identify them if it wanted to do so, and therefore what the future for them might be.

    Lots of sales threads here talk about low footprints. There are some huge ones in the networks I have seen. It isn't individual things necessarily, but rather combinations that create a footprint.

    If I was G, I'd start by looking for sites that block all crawlers. I haven't come across any good reasons to block every crawler (you could argue that you might to prevent server overload by persistent Chinese robots - but how many sites really do this for every crawler?).

    I'd then further narrow down those sites to those that also have general niches - ones that talk about protein supplements on one page and accountants in Idaho the next. There are plenty of legitimate general sites, but I bet you could correlate the topics that PBNs target vs those that non-PBNs do.

    It would be even more obvious to look for the above where the domain had changed ownership before lots of content being added.

    I'd then look for each post on a site having 300 to 500 words of content that use non-brand or URL anchor text. Every post would have one link (or maybe two - one would point to Wikipedia). There are few sellers on the marketplace who offer 800 to 1200 words of content.

    Of course there would be false positives, but if you then looked at the link profiles of the sites to which a suspicious site pointed, and saw other similar sites, you could probably deduce that a PBN network was being used.

    The point is, it wouldn't be hard for Google to identify PBNs if it really wanted to do so. I think that the executives at G probably have no will to wipe out all PBNs at the moment because use of them is so prolific - particularly by brands that claim to be squeaky clean. It can, however, reduce the use of them.

    So what is the future? I think PBNs will become ever more like real sites where you can guest post now. The cost will have to increase to pay for the creation of longer and additional content. Instead of $15 a post, the highest quality ones might cost $60 or more per post.

    That means sites that exist on low income - Amazon affiliate commission and advertising income - won't be able to afford to use them. That plays to G's strategy of making sure brands rank higher without needing to kill use of PBNs entirely.

    There will always be sites that don't try to pretend that they aren't PBNs, but all G has to do is to increase indexing time so that these can be identified before a page is indexed. That is partly what I reckon is happening now with indexing - a longer time allows a more thorough check of quality.

    A longer indexing time also changes the value of keeping posts on a home page for a short number of weeks - if the page is only indexed after 6 weeks, then a promise by a seller to keep it on the home page for 4 is worthless. A PBN seller who is successful at selling (i.e. who has many clients) will have difficulty indexing the posts before they move from the home page and lose a lot of power.

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. daserpent

    daserpent Power Member

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    Good points. You just made G's work a lot easier ;)

    But, i agree with higher cost of content part. And G is now more focusing on content relevance and authority, than the backlinks alone.

    And with the rise of the Snippets, SEO is becoming ever more so useless for many (that don't understand how snippets work).
     
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  3. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The difference is people who go for links for these types of 'PBN' sites "I'd then further narrow down those sites to those that also have general niches - ones that talk about protein supplements on one page and accountants in Idaho the next. " are asking to get hammered. Same with the standard 500 word posts etc.

    Good PBNs have diversity, different platforms, themes, etc etc.

    I agree though that at the end of the day those with $xxxxx a month will thrive and grow, where those looking to spend $20 will struggle.

    @Nargil made a great post earlier about the pricing of domans for PBns etc.
     
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  4. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    I almost referenced @Nargil. It was a great post. Diversity comes at a price. The cost of content will be higher, so if you build a network, you'll want to use as few domains as possible. The better ones will increase in price as demand increases.
     
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  5. seosuccessor

    seosuccessor Junior Member

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    Why did you post this, so Google could see it? Lol.
     
  6. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    I reckon G hires pretty smart people. If I could work this out, they already will have done. As I said, PBN evolution will work in their favour in the end.
     
  7. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thank you for the mentions guys, I really appreciate it.

    I will chime here too if you don't mind.

    The first footprint that 90% of the PBNs do is full articles on homepage. I swear that 95% of the websites that have full articles on homepage are either PBNs or mommy blogs. By using this primarily filter you have majority of the PBNs already covered. And there are many more. As you said, sites blocking crawlers for example. Sites redirecting dead inner pages to homepage etc. Sites that have been dropped for a longer time period. If they can work with niche relevancy, then multiniche sites.

    I mean, honestly, if Google really wanted to, most PBN users would be fucked hard already.

    So apparently, they don't want to. Why? I honestly think that there is some "beyond-reasonable-doubt" policy. They can't manual-action-rape the site unless it's an absolutely blatant PBN. OR they have counted the ROI they would have if they dedicated more manpower for manual reviews or to adjusting the algorithms for finding PBNs and they decided to fuck that, it's not worth it. Either one or the other. Let's just hope it stays this way.

    And about amazon sites not being profitable, I will have to disagree here. Even if you spend $5K to rank a site that makes $500, which, unless you are utterly retarded shouldn't happen even in the next few years, the ROI will be there in 10 months. If you are building long term stuff there is. And even then you can, relatively effortlessly, sell the website for 20x the monthly profit from the last 3 months, so for $10K give or take. I mean, yeh, throwing 5K to something that will make around 15K in its entire lifetime isn't amazing, but this is the borderline worst case scenario.

    Still, the focus is being shifted to more of a authority site approach and content marketing lately.
     
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  8. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yeh, because Google employees are orangutans and not some of the smartest motherfuckers on Earth. :)
     
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  9. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    There is nothing in this thread that Google doesn't know already.
     
  10. Jason Bradbury

    Jason Bradbury Power Member

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    Either way
     
  11. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    Your chimes are more than welcome. :)

    I'm always amazed that someone will pay 20x the last three months of profit for a site that isn't based on a business model that can be controlled. The site selling the products only has to change the affiliate terms to reduce payout and that newly purchased site makes a whole lot less. But that isn't what I wanted to mention.

    I almost wrote a post a few months ago about scaling a site, managing cashflow. Most people who get into IM want to get rich quickly. The truth is that nowadays you need to have $5k to burn to be able to make that $500 a month, or you need time and hard work. If you are going for the cheap but slow option, you also have to factor in the cost of waiting - of putting work into a site that might not make a return for a year. Some of the successful IM journeys on here are long. If you need money fast, SEO is not the way to make it. The longer it takes, the more that individuals without the cash will not be able to afford to do it because living costs need to be paid.
     
  12. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I read "chinese" instead if "chimes"... work makes me retarded.

    Well people still pay for it no problem. One of my good friends just sold an Amazon site for 6 figures. People see potential, they buy. Who are we to judge.

    And yes, that's how it is. SEO requires patience and if you need money fast... well... ask your sister to register on Chaturbate. People who are desperate or in need of fast money with minimum experience should not enter SEO at all. You can't do SEO without a comfortable budget. And you know what the strongest weapon in SEO is? Patience.
     
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  13. Mr Cracker

    Mr Cracker Regular Member

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    My thoughts:

    1. Don't write such long winded questions.

    2. Google don't really care enough to invest that much time and resources into finding PBN's. Like you said they could do it if they wanted, but they haven't.

    Each time I read threads on here like this it makes me happy, it reminds me there's less users investing into my potential domains.

    Happy days.
     
  14. daserpent

    daserpent Power Member

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    Google can kill ALL the PBNs at once if, they just reset the domain link metrics as soon as it drops. No manual reviews needed.
     
  15. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    That would cause so much colateral that it's not worth it for a few people who barely make any scratch into Google's income.

    We would be done 5 times over if they wanted to.
     
  16. I know SEO

    I know SEO Marketplace Mod Moderator

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    I'm surprised google hasn't played around with the idea of devaluing links over time, but then again they may have...

    Something like 20% of the internet is deleted each month (source - Rand Fishkin tweet so not perfect...).

    The turn over of data on the internet is huge and ever changing... so why are some PBN domains holding on to power with links they built 15-20 years ago?

    Links built in an entirely different landscape should not still be relevant.

    If links lost XX% of power each year since they have been discovered a lot of powerful expired domains would no longer be powerful... kind of killing a huge portion of PBNs.
     
  17. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't think this would be manageable. The main question that Google asks (well besides "how to get more money") is, "Would it improve user experience?" And I can't see how would this help honestly. It would be wild wild west. Plus, making links to take longer to be effective and at the same time devaluing old backlinks would absolutely rape SEO as a "discipline" entirely. Google would simply be too random and small niches dominated by regular and real small sites would be taken over by unrelated content from authority sites. Nah I don't know.
     
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  18. Fear2403

    Fear2403 Power Member

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    lol.how about auction domain =))
     
  19. mechleader

    mechleader Registered Member

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    User experience is determined by the results not how they got there. If a site was the legitimate best resource on the net for a keyword why would google care if it got there by pbn? I think google would be a lot more focused on getting rid of sites that game the system to put up flimsy sites to selfishly take advantage of traffic volumes over the traffic's best interests. PBN isnt an indicator of page quality like chinese spam links are.
     
  20. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The only problem is, that it doesn't work like that. You have a commercial benefit by tricking the algorithm. The fact that you provide the best stuff doesn't mean anything. And "Best stuff" is very subjective.