Personally, I don’t believe that you should build a blog network and start publicly selling links. Maybe I am just too paranoid but unless you make everything possible to cover your tracks you shouldn’t brag about how you are cheating Google. At least not online.
Low quality blog networks are not hard to figure out, really.
Let me tell you about my experience with such a network. It dates back to pre-KontentMachine times, around two years ago.
So these guys were selling links on several forums. People were giving testimonials how awesome they were and how their network helped them get first page rankings. This is when I decided to try it out.
To be honest, I was amazed at the results of just a dozen of links. I saw great improvements in the rankings and thought I found the Holy Grail of link building.
The network grew extremely popular and at that time these guys were giving link reports. As you can guess, the hit followed shortly after.
Back to the low-quality blog networks. When I investigated the websites they were putting my links on I was amazed at how similar they looked. The only difference was in the background color, the position of the sidebar and, of course, the content. Other than that it wasn’t too hard to find several common elements (a.k.a. footprints) and find them all out.
It was a heavy blow, customers started posting negative reviews in the sellers’ threads. Websites were dropping hard in the SERPs, mine included.
The owners tried to save the network by:
- Stopping the link reports
- Adding new blogs or at least that’s what they told us.
- Claiming that everything was OK and only a few of the blogs were hit. Which wasn’t true, of course.
- Sometimes acting arrogantly towards their clients. A BIG no-no!
Finally, their sales thread was closed and I don’t know if they managed to recover. I am looking at their website right now and they are still using testimonials from the times before the network was hit.
What I am saying is that you should be really careful if you are trusting blog networks selling links. You don’t know where you links will be placed (only after you examine your backlinks) and you don’t know if the websites in the network share common footprints or not.
The truth is that building your own private blog network is not such a hard thing to do. If you have the time and resources to do that I recommend going through those tutorials:
- Private Blog Network Myths. Richard shares three of the most common myths about building your own network.
- How to Build a High PR Blog Network. A nice guide covering the basics.
And for this one you should have at least 30 minutes:
There are some paid courses but I believe with just these four you will have everything needed to get started.
If you have anything to add do not hesitate to comment here. I would love to hear what you think of private blog networks and what your “secrets” are for building them.