On Backlinks, PBNs, Ranking, & Manipulating Google's Search Algorithm
There was a bit of a "lively" discussion yesterday and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts, give you some background, and explain why you'll never beat Google at what they do best.
Let's clear up some confusion first.
Backlinks are absolutely still a relevant metric in Google's search algorithm.
That is just one metric out of HUNDREDS.
Backlinks do play a role, but the problem begins when people spend the entirety of their time focusing on building backlinks only. Strictly building links to a site is an outdated method of SEO.
This is why we saw Google release Penguin in 2012. Backlinks became such an easy way to manipulate your own rankings. You could buy 5,000 backlinks for $5 and shoot your site up to the top of the rankings. Google caught on and penalized tens of thousands of sites. Entire businesses disappeared out of the search results due to people trying to beat Google at their own game.
At that point, backlinks were given less of a role in Google's main algorithm.
Enter Private Blog Networks...
With backlinks still playing a factor, networks began to pop up still allowing you to buy backlinks, but in a way that looks natural. The main goal of a PBN is to make it look like you have a lot of organic backlinks pointing to your site from high-quality, authoritative sites.
And honestly, right now, it works to some extent.
RIGHT NOW is the key phrase of that sentence.
At the end of the day, you're attempting to manipulate Google's search algorithm. Google is the number one tech company in the world that built a company fast approaching a trillion dollar valuation.
How long do you think they will be fooled by simple link wheels?
By participating in PBNs, you are essentially gambling with the future of your site and your business. I don't think a private blog network is going to outsmart them forever, especially when they've made it abundantly clear that they are not happy that people are using them and have made examples out of "guaranteed" PBNs in the past.
Where is your focus?
Seriously, take a look at yourself and your business. Where are you spending most of your time? Are you creating new content for your websites every single day? Or are you busy worrying about your WA rank or what's happening on Facebook?
How often are you adding content? Are you writing more on Twitter? Are you adding more blogs here at WA than on to your own website?
You can't reasonably expect to build a business by adding 3 new articles to a site per month. You wouldn't show up to a job on the 1st, 14th, and 22nd of each month and expect a full-time salary (and not to get fired). Do not treat your own sites any differently.
My Own Key Ranking Metrics
My entire business was built around one philosophy:
Write content that I myself would want to read.
You will never succeed if your main focus is outside of your own site. You could have the strongest backlink profile in the world, but if your content is thin, it won't mean anything.
- Keep the main focus on creating content for your website.
- Engage with your readers.
- Reach out to other communities.
- Build a strong social network.
That's all there is to it.
There is nothing manipulative about that strategy. Those are the four key focuses that have built me a six-figure+ business online. So I have a little faith that they work.