Whether you’ve heard of private blog networks(PBNs) or not before, you may not be sure what they are or why they are used. A PBN is a network of websites that is used to build links (and ultimately pass authority) to a single website for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings. This can be similar to a link or link pyramid, as it involves several different websites all linking to another or to a central website.
These schemes were common and used quite a lot years ago, but now, PBNs are now considered a pure black hat tactic. This means you should avoid it at all costs, as they can lead to a loss in rankings, or even worse, a manual penalty. PBNs typically provide little to no long-term value to the websites they are linking to.
A major opponent of PBNs is Google, who has been fighting them for quite a long time now. Businesses who are caught up in this shady tactic have been made an example of over the years. One case example was the J.C. Penney link scheme that was exposed back in 2011 by The New York Times. As Google improves itself and develops better technology to combat link spam techniques, it has become tougher for black hat SEOs to pull off a PBN successfully
In an article written by Kevin Rowe, he explains how to identify them, why you should steer clear of them, and even talks about how to protect your site from PBNs,