Certain business companies have a lot more control over search results than you may think. Some companies can manipulate these results to appear first on the list simply by buying over one thousand domain names to increase consumer interaction with the sites they own, and readers are directed to these sites through anchor text.

Private Blog Networks are often used by those who play dirty in the SEO world to boost their ratings, and although it can be effective, it’s rarely a good option. Sneaky companies will buy several outdated domains and connect them to each other, which seems like the perfect strategy until you realize that Google will punish whoever it catches using it.

Another downside to Private Blog Networks is their high cost and tendency to eat up time. They aren’t an ideal option for any company that wants to play it safe and put their time and money into a few other strategies that would be more beneficial on the whole.

Of course, it’s possible to become a victim of a Private Blog Networks scheme. Your website can be linked to a network through sophisticated hacking. It can be difficult to tell if you’ve been hacked, but by monitoring your website properly and undergoing a website link audit, you can efficiently detect and prevent it.

Use digital programs to keep an eye on your backlinks. These programs pick up unusual link activity on your website so you can immediately tackle the issue. Furthermore, install an email notification system that alerts you when it picks up possible hacking activity. There’s a delay between confirmed activity and notifications, so avoid using this system on its own. Fetch as Google is a good way to see what the search sees when analyzing your website.

Alternatively, you can identify which of your pages look unfamiliar and which ones appear to be gone completely, demonstrating a possible hacking. You can also scan the search results where you find your website listed and compare them to the direct link to your website.

Keyword searches with a strong connection to conversions are often riddled with fabricated links, but there are ways you can make your content appear near the top without stooping low. You can see which websites your keywords are connected to with SEMrush or the Overview tab’s Keyword Analytics. Opt for a more advanced analytics program if you want to search keyword relations on a larger scale.

Organic traffic doesn’t have to be your go-to. Discover through SEMrush or SimilarWeb which strategies and domains your competitors are using so you can rival them properly. Email marketing works for most companies through making easy conversions and re-marketing to individuals who weren’t interested. But you can always implement an underused marketing strategy instead, like video content, which appears in Google search results.

Private Blog Networks are a risky marketing strategy, and the positive results they create are short-lived. Hacking is becoming more easily detected with frequent software updates, so following the rules is your best bet. You’ll thank Google later.

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