Are Private Blog Networks Dead?

By Spencer Haws |

Last week, I wrote an update on my Authority Site Project.  I revealed that my site had dropped in ranking a few spots, but didn’t go into great detail as to why.  In the comments a few users brought up potential theories about the latest Panda Update.  Its very possible that some of the drop in ranking can be attributed to the latest Panda update (but its always hard to tell).

However, the comment that really caught my attention was a link to a tweet about Private Blog Networks by Matt Cutts (head of webspam team at Google).  Matt tweeted in response to Dan Thies that essentially yes, Google is squishing Authority Link Network and other private blog networks are on their radar.

In addition, if you have been reading any forums or other sites related to SEO you have certainly heard lots of chatter about Build My Rank rumored to have been deindexed and other blog networks being penalized.  So, what does all of this mean for building links via blog networks?

UPDATE: BMR Has Confirmed Here that Their Network Has Indeed Been De-Indexed

Are Private Blog Networks Dead?

First of all, its pretty rare that the head of web spam team would come out and say essentially, “We are keeping an eye on blog networks because we don’t like them”.  So, this makes it pretty clear (if you didn’t know already) that Google doesn’t like links originating from blog networks.  And of course, I have personally advocated in the past for using Unique Article Wizard, MyArticleNetwork, and BuildMyRank via my Ultimate Linkbuilding Post here. So, here is my chance to qualify that.

Other Private Blog Networks include (and there are MANY others):

This list of private blog network could go on and on.  In addition, there are a whole host of blog networks that are truly private to the owners and are not open and never will be open to other users.

My Personal Opinion and Results from Blog Networks

So, with enough chatter and commentary to scare anyone building niche websites; what’s my personal opinion on the recent events?   I personally have taken notice and will start to diversify more of my links using other methods.  However, I will continue to use blog networks in the method I will describe below.

But first, its important to not just look at all the chatter and get scared; instead, I like to base my decisions on results.  So, I’ve taken a look at my earnings and rankings over the past few weeks and here is what I have noticed.  The sites that have relied heavily on blog networks for links have seen a small decrease in earnings and/or rankings.  My sites that do not rely as heavily on blog networks have remained unchanged.

Overall, my 20 sites that I built in August of last year that I have been documenting (last post here) have seen a noticeable decrease over the past couple of weeks.  My sites as a whole may see a decrease in earnings of 10% of so this month.  I will do a more in depth analysis of earnings changes in my next income report coming at the beginning of April.

So, with that data, I can see from my own sites that some private blog networks are indeed losing some potency.  However, I can ALSO still see that even with links exclusively from UAW and MAN, my sites are still earnings money (just less than before).

So, are private blog networks dead?  No, but some are on life support.

The industry is changing and you would be smart to change with it.  I have been building niche websites exclusively for about 3 to 4 years now.  I have changed my linkbuilding strategy about 3 to 4 times as well.  So, I will take this change in stride and change with it.  Will you?

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Obviously my exact plan going forward will require a detailed post on its own, but essentially I will follow these principles:

Blog Networks will ALWAYS be Around

Even if Google were somehow able to go through and detect and de-index every single blog network that is out there right now, new ones would still pop back up tomorrow.  So, it will always be a game of cat and mouse. The more likely scenario is that say Google does deindex some of the BuildMyRank network.  BMR will then immediately go out and create new blogs or change strategies (which may be what they are doing now since they temporarily closed their doors).  So, the networks will continue to evolve as search engines evolve.

The question is, do you want to be involved in this game?

I am going to give myself less and less exposure to these networks directly in the future.  But like I said, I will still use them as tools as needed going forward; just not as my primary link building strategy anymore.

So, the reality is that there are probably still some excellent blog networks out there and probably always will be.  But there will always be a question mark for how long it can last.  So, perhaps its time to evolve and change your own strategies with the industry changes.

Are Niche Sites for You?

I also have to address the bigger issue of whether or not building niche websites is a good business strategy for you or not.   For me, I am used to change and expect it in the industry.  So, I am okay with the changes that come and will continually come with the niche websites business.  However, the learning curve can be too much for some people.  So, you have to decide if building lots of small websites is right for you.

Of course, the other SEO business that is a more constant one and less susceptible to changes is building 1 website based on a passion of yours and constantly work on that 1 website for years.  This is a strategy successfully implemented by Fraser Cain with his site  He’s built this one site for over a decade and always focused on quality content.

He has never manually built a single link to his site, and yet he makes a very healthy six figure income from this one site a year (from Google Adsense I might add 🙂 ).  Of course, he does have over a million links pointing to his site, but these have all come naturally without any effort on his part (other than providing high quality content).

I personally think its a better strategy for most people to build 1 website focused on their passion and build it into the best site possible.  My issue is that my passion IS niche websites!!  So, I have to follow my passion…I must build more niche websites!  The one website that I DO focus on and build into the best resource possible is this one:!  I have not manually built a single link to this site, just provided great content, and now have thousands of links from other websites. And of course I get more search engine traffic to this site than any other site I own.

So, I guess I do both: I build lots of niche websites because I enjoy it (and its quite profitable as well!).  But I have one high quality website that will be less susceptible to changes in Google, and that is this one.  So, I will always do both – I will build niche websites and share with you the strategies that do or do not work in hopes that you can go on and improve the bottom line of your own business.


So, Private Blog Networks are not dead, but they are in a state of change.  Some are phasing out, but new ones will always come along.  I have decided to give myself less exposure to these networks in the future, what will you decide?  I would love to hear your comments, questions, or thoughts in regards to this subject…so drop a note below!

Blogging & Niche Websites | 187 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

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Good & relevant post Spencer, based on all the sky is falling talk going on lately.

I’d like to know what other types of links you’ve found useful to your link building in conjunction with the blog network links?



As mentioned above, I will be using article marketing, web 2.0 links, social bookmarking, and other methods to further diversify my link building.

Gail Gardner

Hello Spencer,

I came across your post hoping to determine whether this change will affect blog networks like BizSugar, Sphinn, and Blog Engage which bloggers use to identify top content. Do you have an opinion on that?

I agree with you that for most people, focusing on one authority site is their best bet. I will take that even further and recommend that they build group niche blogs intended to reach a specific LOCAL audience.

If you can reach a local audience you position your blog where the money is because small businesses need to reach a local audience and if you can provide it then it makes sense for them to buy advertising or have you do product reviews or blog outreach for them.

I lay out that plan more fully in my post about geo-targeting Twitter and your blog and why being one of “THE” top blogs in a small pond is far more financially rewarding than being a tiny fish in the vast national or International ocean of any niche.

Since you don’t use CommentLuv and I don’t know what your link policy is, I’ll put that post in the URL field so that people can click on my name to easily find it. I hope that is ok by you.

I encourage everyone who will listen to stop playing the games of the 800# gorilla because their CEO announced their intention is to favor big brands to “clean up the Internet cesspool” (see the post on SEOBook about that and my comment in it) and every update has moved them in that direction.

They not only control what businesses, blogs and ecommerce sites live or die – they also are reducing our freedom of choice and manipulating what information we can find. Read my post about the Panda Update for more details.


Thanks for sharing Gail! You bring up some great ideas about targeting a local audience and becoming the authority for that market. And yes, I agree that Google continues to favor big brands…and will probably will continue to do so long term.


I’ve definitely been thinking about this topic a lot lately especially with the news of bigger changes coming. I’m glad you did this post and I’ll be interested to watch how you adapt. The nice thing about the article networks in my opinion was that it was pretty much automatic. I know other methods which can be used but they all seem to require significantly more time to generate backlinks. Somewhere in there is an opportunity. I just have to find it.


I agree Ryan – blog networks make everything pretty hands free. So, it may be a little more work to build niche sites in the future…but hopefully that will pay off in longer term earnings as well.

Thomas @ Buy BMR Posts

I completely agree with you Spencer. While many affiliates of BMR are complaining that they no longer are making money from the affiliate income, they should be happy because by closing their doors temporarily, BMR is showing that they are adapting to this change and will remain strong in the future 🙂


Yep, I would assume that the more savvy networks are re-tooling to adjust as needed. Hopefully BMR is one of them.


Thank you for this post Spencer.

Blog networks are definetly big part of my backlinking strategy , i use them to backlink my backlinks never to my money site, im looking forward to see what you will bring to the table in case blog networks dissapear

What bothers me is that you create a process with your backlinking strategy and you really narrowed it down and suddenly Google changes the rules a little bit, i guess we must adapt or let the sites die

Your content i awesome Spencer keep it up
Cheers from Mexico


Guillermo, yep I will be doing more of linkbuilding to my own links most likely.

Unfortunately, Google is the big boss in the room, so we are pretty much at their mercy.

Gail Gardner

That is definitely true now, but it does NOT have to stay true forever IF we all teach everyone we know and can reach with our blogs to use alternatives owned and controlled by individuals and small businesses and not ANY search engine controlled by the wealthy elite and especially not Google.

We have collectively handed them the power to play god over the Internet and we can take that power away from them IF we identify and encourage every person we know to use something else.

I encourage people to get clear on our relationship with Google and how it is affecting our lives. As Adam Toporek wrote in his post Google+ and the Illusion of Privacy:

“Google is not your friend
In fact, you are not even Google’s customer.
You are the PRODUCT Google sells to its customers.”

I have linked this comment ot my comprehensive research on Google. I believe you and your readers will find it very enlightening.

Tyler Herman

Dude you are being ridiculous. This isn’t a freedom issue. Google is cleaning up the internet. Blog networks are an easy way for niche builders to push their garbage content and make money.

This is a good change for the internet because content will have to improve.

For people who build quality websites with quality content this didn’t effect them in the least.


The best solution for the algorithm changes with regards to niche sites would be, as Spencer wrote, diversification of backlink sources and not relying on one private blog network. It would be best to use couple of networks to build backlinks for each site. However, to make it financially viable a large number of sites is needed. In Spencer’s case that would probably work just fine but for somebody with just a couple of sites fees for monthly subscriptions would eat all the profit…
Have you Spencer, or you the readers ever heard about a service that offers links from various private blog networks for a once off fee?


Oloo: Yes, there are lots of services that allow you to pay a one time fee to submit an article to UAW or BMR or whatever. You can find lots of providers on Fiverr or the Warrior Forum for these types of jobs. This is a good way to go before you actually register for any of these services.

Andre Garde

Evolve, test, try new things, try old things. Adapt or die!

Actually, change like this is good from time to time. Half the competition just left the building. Those who want it bad enough will find success, whether it’s building niche sites using private networks or building private networks using niche sites! Everyone likes silver bullets, but the problem is that you’re building an empire on a bed of quicksand. Diversify and you’ll be fine.

Here’s a list of other ways to market your websites (niche or otherwise):

– Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/social signals
– Guest posting
– Wikis
– Blog commenting via Google Alerts
– Doc sharing
– Press releases
– Your own private network
– etc.

Most of the others were mentioned by Spencer already. In addition, blog networks will still be useful, but you need to use them differently. Think outside the box here guys.

I also don’t agree with the comment above by Oloo about how you need a lot of sites. From personal experience, you don’t need a lot of sites. Just make more content and market your inner pages! I have quite a few now and honestly 80% of the revenue is being generated by 20% of the sites, so if you don’t have a lot just add new content constantly.



Excellent comments here Andre. I totally agree that lots of competitors will now be gone. Those who evolve will survive.


Wonderful post, Spencer.

I loved BMR, but now I’m glad I kind of chilled out on it for a while because I didn’t want to pay the monthly fee — but I plan on getting back on there at some point, and maybe I’ll be able to get back in because I was in before they paused new peeps.

So we’ll see.

Perhaps I’ll continue with SocialMonkee to get free social bookmarking backlinks, and maybe if I run across a great “blog guest posting network” that I like, I’ll try that — because technically that’s not a private blog network, but a place that makes it easier for people wanting to write or accept guest posts to find one another.

I saw one recently but I didn’t dig into the details because I didn’t feel like shelling out cash for another “miracle” system. Hopefully “the Big G” wouldn’t penalize those backlinks.


Yes, and did you see that had his Google Adsense account banned today — because of “potential” invalid clicks?

He’s had that account for 15 years, and made six figures with it. That’s the second or third person I’ve heard recently of getting a standard form email from Google talking about “potential” invalid clicks and have had their Adsense accounts closed and the money refunded to the advertisers.


No, I hadn’t seen that from Zac Johnson yet. Very interesting.


I’ve read a post by Gauher Chawdry about his adsense account banned.


Hi Spencer,

Thanks for this post. I heard some goss about BMR in late January and canned my subscription. I also quit ALN. I’m still in Blog Blueprint – and that seems to be ok for me at the moment – but I’ll be watching carefully.

Interestingly, I’ve got a mix of sites seems to confirm what you’re saying in the 2nd half of the post. I have one authority site which makes the most income, takes the most effort to run (it’s not on WordPress), and Google keeps on loving it. I don’t do anything other than create the best content I can, then social bookmark & ping new pages.

When the latest Panda update was rolled out in Feb, traffic on this site doubled. However, my other niche sites saw a decline in traffic (but a small increase in Adsense earnings? No idea why!). These were backlinked heavily with BMR, ALN etc.

Now a question.

Say you have a few niche sites in loosely related topic areas. e.g. Metabolic resistance training, interval training for beginners, women’s interval training, vegetarian nutrition for athletes, athletic supplements.

What if I then created a few small Blogger blogs on similar topics (i.e. Interval Gal, Vege Marathon Guy, Pam vs Fat) and fed them original articles regularly on ALL of these topics, which contained backlinks to the main sites.

I’m thinking that Google would see these as legitimate blogs because they’re getting regular content and they’re not like some of the BMR blogs which are full of everything under the sun and stick out like dog’s proverbials.

Keen to know your thoughts on this.


Sure, you can create blogger blogs on roughly the same topics. However, be careful as you don’t want to create too much of a footprint linking to all your sites that makes it obvious what you own. In moderation, I think you’re okay if the sites are truly related.


Which web 2.0 properties will you use and how will you go about building links from these?


Moe, this will have to be a future post as I don’t have a definitive list, but there are plenty out there.

Nate Rivers

Great article Spencer. I’m moving towards authority sites with a lot of non-promotional content with product review articles here and there that relate to the topic.

But… I have been using UAW and BMR primarily across my sites and I haven’t seen any drops in rankings yet.

But the biggest message like you said is that change is the only constant that you can rely on… so you either adapt or get buried.


Nate: Great to hear that you haven’t seen any decrease in rankings. Like I said, most of my sites are doing just fine, but I have noticed more movement among the sites that rely heavier on these networks than others.

Best of luck with your authority sites!

Kent @ Make Extra Money Online

No kidding. 2 of my PR 2 blogs added to Authority Link Network was “deindexed”.

Instead of adding mine to various Blog Networks, I’m building out my own blog network (PR 2 and 3 ones) and try to write unique content posting to them in schedule.

I think it would be a good investment & experiment comparing to pay monthly fee. UAW is still my favorite and I have pretty good result with it. I’m just testing out different “tricks” to fully utilize it.


Kent – sorry to hear about the deindexing. I have definitely found plenty of people that use their own blog networks when I am doing keyword research. In fact, my competitor for my authority site (that I’ve written about) is ranked #1 in google for the difficult keyword and uses lots of links from his own sites (its pretty obvious with a little research). But they also have lots of links from other sites as well. So be very careful if you decide to start linking to your own sites.

Ralph | Niche

One of my Niches wasn’t getting any sort of traffic or links.. but that explains (some) of it.

I always try to add quality content + share on social media + Add some BMR to it.

Not excessive but just pointing to various posts (not root domain).

Will see how this goes!

Thanks for the update Spencer!

Chris Miller


Knowing what we know about your sites, and your method of link building I am really surprised you don’t have a post up yet speaking of doom and gloom for the bulk of your sites. I hope when the time comes (i hope it never does), you’ll stay true and not just keep quiet to keep the affiliate dollars coming like some of these guys have.

If everything is still going great with your sites, I am really happy for you but you truly have dodged a bullet. Everyone else who built their sites using these networks seems to be taking a beating and even those of us who diversified in big ways are getting crushed too.

I think google just put an end to the tiny 5-6 page niche sites and we just haven’t seen all of the damage yet. My big sites are doing great…. but the small niches are hurting now.


Hey Chris, perhaps you don’t know as much about the link building I have done in the past as you think. As I mentioned in this post, I have changed my linkbuilding strategies probably 3 or 4 times in as many years. In fact, I never used UAW or MyArticleNetwork until about 6 or 8 months ago. Before that I had a completely different link building strategies. And frankly I did pretty good before I added any sites ever using blog networks (see my income report from 8 months or so ago here: So, I still own all those sites from before I ever used blog networks. These older sites appear to be unaffected.

So, that’s why I can speak with confidence that the issue lies in the blog networks. My sites using blog networks (only my newer sites from the past 8 months or so) have seen a decrease, while the others have not.

But there has been no doom and gloom as you suggest. I still make much more from my adsense sites than I ever did from my day job.

Also, I didn’t have any affiliate links in this post, because I don’t want to send the wrong message. I could care less about the affiliate commissions that I earn from this site – its very very little of my overall income.

Anyway, I could have keep quiet about what I’ve seen – but the fact that I am open enough to discuss it; hopefully shows that Im not trying to deceive anyone here.

Alex B


Thanks for being so kind to share this information with us and making us aware of the trends you are seeing.

If someone was just starting out building niche sites, etc.. and it came time to put the “backlinking strategy” into action– what process would you advise they follow? I’m assuming your backlinking strategy would remain the same for the most part except for the portion that includes using the Private Blog Networks — what would you advise one do in place of that step?

Thanks again for sharing all of this with us– and I certainly look forward to your future posts regarding any changes you are making and what you plan on doing to address the concerns around the private blog networks.



I don’t have an exact step by step strategy at this point that I can recommend. I will do a post in the future that details my new strategy. However, diversification is the key. You need to focus on getting links from different KINDS of websites as mentioned in the post above.


Spencer ! How do they trace these networks ?

Through whois ? or through blog network name ? or any other way ?

But What if we create a niche relevant blogs and build network.


Owen: Google is pretty smart. They can trace networks using IP addresses, duplicate content or similar spun content, and other ways. (One spun article might get submitted to 50 or more blogs in the network, which would be one indicator).

If you build you’re own network…be very careful.


Guarantee Google has employees signed up on the networks using the services to find sites. Once you find one, its simple to find the rest.


I thought UAW and MAN are public blog networks made up of individually owned sites accepting posts from UAW or MAN, as opposed to BMR which is private, all sites are owned and operated by BMR. The public networks seem more “decentralized” thus would be harder to shut down. I may be wrong in my understanding as to how these networks function.



Mike, you are right for the most part. UAW and MAN are more decentralized. But I bunched them together because they do include some of their own blogs, and they work very similarly to private blog networks.

But overall, you are correct, and this may be why UAW and MAN have not taken as much of a hit (if any) from the recent occurrences.

So, I would agree with your premise, that if someone still wanted to use a blog network, they should lean towards public networks rather than private. But overall, I think diversification is still a good idea.


Its true that google behind manipulated backlinks. The word ” link building” is not favored by Google as G don’t want site owners to create links to their won site then rank. I feared some of the blog networks still open and reveal the URLs where the posts being posted. In case of closed Blog networks google can easily figure out the network by following the articles or contents with little spin.. lets wait and watch.


Swami – that’s correct that Google is not a fan of “link building”.

Arbel Arif

This blog is fucking awesome 🙂 Thank you Spencer.
I been online since 2007, I am an expert at expired domain names & Flipping domains.
I sold my offline company 2 months ago because I want to focus only in my online business.
I build from scratch; it’s a network of nitch affiliate Halloween costumes websites similar to your sites.
I also have few Adsense sites but I am thinking about building a network similar to my Halloween sites.
The only change from your network is that I want to use expired domains with traffic to build my Adsense sites.
Do you think it’s a good idea?


Arbel – I won’t claim to know everything about interlinking and networking several sites. But I do suppose using your old domains could indeed help out your new adsense sites – but obviously you know you’re in a very gray area here!

Justin | AdSense Flippers

Hey Spencer,

Just a quick comment to confirm your suspicions regarding BuildMyRank:

I just logged in to check some of the posts BMR has claimed are indexed. I checked 10 posts and 9 out of the 10 were no longer indexed. That doesn’t necessarily mean the domain was deindexed and it’s not the largest sample size…but it’s a pretty good sign. Previously, this would happen in less than 10% of the sites I would check…something definitely going on over there.

It doesn’t necessarily mean BMR won’t bounce back, but it will be extremely interesting to see how they respond to what’s going on with their network in the next few days/weeks. We had some of our sites deindexed recently as we posted about in our latest income report. Some of those sites had used an interlinking test we used quite a while back and scrapped…I’m thinking they might have been taken down in an attack on blog networks. (We weren’t using them for that purpose, but could have been viewed that way, heh)


Just checked about 30-40 of my BMR posts that show indexed and high PR….all deindexed.

steve wyman

HI Justin

Its not good news im sorry to say 🙁

BMR is no more. They are going to issue use refunds for the rest of the monthly subscription. But it looks like Mr Matt Cutts is team have kille them stone dead



This is stunning. I wonder how long before some of the other big blog networks are taken down, too? Scary stuff.


Hi Justin,

Did you remove any links from the post due to de-indexing or keep than live?

Just wanted an opinion on the matter…


Justin | AdSense Flippers

Hmmm…interesting update from BMR…looks like it’s official:

Good of them to address it quickly, IMO.


Thanks for the updates on this everyone! I actually posted an update to this blog with the new information about BMR being deindexed. For those who relied heavily on BMR, this is certainly painful.

I never relied very heavily on BMR, only used on a few sites.

However, this is quite timely kinda backing up my point that Google is not a big fan of Private blog networks right now. It would be much more difficult for them to penalize more open/public networks – but these closed networks are probably not too difficult for them to detect.

Chris Guthrie

I started building sites around November of last year.

I built my first sites using the strategy Spencer had detailed in his Ultimate Backlinking Guide. I have yet to see a decrease in any of my rankings; in fact a couple sites jumped up in rankings in the last week.

That being said, I haven’t been satisfied with the majority of my site’s rankings. It is time to re-think my strategy.

I’m going to take a break from building new sites, and just focus on the sites I have already built. I think I will specifically focus on 10-15 of them I feel have the most potential.

This is just a preliminary plan, but I want to do the following:

– Add content on a weekly basis (rather than just let the sites live with their average 5 pages of content)
– Do light social book marking using SocialAddr (free edition)
– Test out a link wheel service that was suggested in one of Spencer’s more previous blog post by another commenter
– Manually blog comment on higher PR blogs (finding the blogs using Scrapebox).
– Web directory submissions

I actually built a couple sites back in July of 2011 and used Web and Article directories as my sole linking strategy and those sites are still doing. That was more work and took more time, but it actually worked… Back to the drawing board.


Hey Chris, thanks for sharing! I definitely think you are on the right track with your link building plan. I will be sharing my own in the future as well.


Hey Chris –

Can you clarify what scrapebox is? I did a google search and found a paid program but not exactly like what you explained. I tried going through ComLuv search engine to find common blogs to my niche to comment on but it turns out that is a SCAM! They get you to subscribe to their email list and then give you access to a Google Adsense search box that doesn’t actually find blogs that have ComLuv plugin installed on it. I total crock! Was very surprised how he is getting away with that and people aren’t shutting down his scam.

However I do like your new preliminary plan. It seems very doable!

I think I’ll go down that route and also try and build a couple of my niche sites in to proper large sites.


Ian Wilcox

Personally i think this is a good thing! people will now take care with there backlinks and the lazy internet marketers looking to make a quick buck with there lack of content and high PR backlinks from BMR will dissapear!

I am sure however someone else will come up with a new network soon!


Ian – I like your attitude! And yes, Im 100% sure that new networks will show up.

steve wyman


Why assume were all lazy marketers 🙂 I saw BMR as an efficent way to create links add diversity and get some juice. No different to blog commenting etc.

Much much worse for the web are UAW, baclkink blaster, scrapebox and SEnukeX (when used badly great tool if used properly).


Ralph | Niche

I agree with Steve,

I use BMR but doesn’t mean I’m lazy in my internet efforts to be honest.

My affiliate sites (most of them) have proper content on them and do give value. Not just ranking with one page and tons of backlinks

Don’t do the SEnukeX stuff etc…

Chris Miller

I think my new link building plan will consist of no link building. 🙂 I have sites that rank on the first page with nothing but quality content. A link here or there is fine but I think we’re coming up on the days where they will no longer matter.

steve wyman

HI Chris

That will only be true IF google removes all inbound metrics from the Algo! Given the basis of the internet is Hyperlinks I dont see the dead of off page SEO anytime soon.

All thats happening here is the dramatic growth of ONE technique (high PR blog networks) has come to such a force that Google HAD to spend time and effort on taking them down.

Its just the same as when they deals with content farms etc etc etc

My thought is that if Google did remove all inboundlink metrics how could they differentiate my great content on a Surgical procedure from say an article written by a world authority? +1’s? if so then we buy +1’s! The guy doing the original research wil have higher morals and do no such thing. The algo needs to stay complex.

I do get your commnet about great content and low comp keywords thats a 100% sound strategy until we find the keyword with LTPRO 🙁 🙂



Haha yeah if we do find the keyword with LongTail Pro then the person is in trouble and they will get some major competition for that particular keyword :).

Lorne Fade

Great post and something that has been taking place for awhile now, blog networks backlinks being indexed and penalized by Google will happen more and more moving forward.

Google is really starting to smarten up with buying links and those trying to game the system.



Have you considered using Synnd for social engagement? I’ve been considering this for a few months, but not ready to try that yet. BTW I’m not trying to promote Synnd, but have wondered why I haven’t heard more people like you or Pat Flynn talking about using a service that gets unique likes and bookmarks from unique ip addresses.

As always, thanks for the info, and by the way, I’m digging the Niche Website Theme so far.



Hey Michael, I guess the reason I’ve never talked about Synnd is that I simply have never heard of it.

Glad you are enjoying the theme!

Daniel D'Laine

Hi Spense

BMR is on a hiding to nothing at the minute as are many other similar sites. Soon it is going to be about quality original content and ‘genuine’ links from visitors via social media platforms… and not much else and I agree; They’re not real after all! I’ve always bored people to death with my GBP (Good Business Practice) principles and using whitehat techniques and it’s all coming just as I predicted over five years ago now.

Bad ad usage is a major source of downranking as are the backlink networks and it will get worse. I think Niche blogs with single page, single product setups are the next victim on Googles list.

But we’ll see…



Thanks for your thoughts Daniel…certainly something to think about!

Mark Conger

It seems that Google’s changes over the past couple of years have been in the right direction.

As painful as it might be for some legitimate sites when these changes occur, in the grander scheme it is better to promote natural organic content and demote strategies which promote rankings of poor content.

Having said that, I would like to see a world where Google is not the 800 pound gorilla in the room. A decentralized search mechanism would be better.

Perhaps the evolution of niche searching (e.g. Wikipedia, YouTube) will ultimately result in a more hierarchical system. I believe that would benefit everyone.


I agree Mark, would be interesting to have a more decentralized search environment.


Maybe we just need a search engine for niche websites. Haha. Wouldn’t that be interesting. However I doubt anyone would ever search it as they know the whole point of them is to show advertising on the sites.


I think curated sites will continue to do well because you can get tons of social sharing and instead of using low quality$ 7 articles you can just link to useful articles and just add a unique blurb into and quality picture. Too many affiliate sites are filled with long articles just for seo purposes and aren’t always necessary. Curated sites like drudgereport or deliver what readers want and then can add your useful info like guides and reports for list building. Rarely would I share a 1000word article that is on a niche site and written for less than$ 10 and I would curious if niche site owners here that outsource articles low cost articles are seeing social activity on their sites? Maybe not to goal for made for adsense niche sites but social is becoming more and more relevant


Brian, thanks for your thoughts! I think curated sites fill a need in some areas, but certainly not all areas of the web. There will always be a place for niche sites.


This will hit hard!,

Even that my Links doesnt come from BMR, “My Big Fear” is that BMR is just the first of those coming very soon.

The niche site Building process isnt finished but it will be more difficult, So the best idea is to start focusing on just one Site and building Traffic from Everywhere….

Niche site is a business and those who can handle the changes will be killed, Only Those who keep thinking one or more step forward google will stay making money.


Yep, the big thought is that BMR is just one of many potential hits.

[email protected]

You know this has been bugging me all week-where do I get links. I come from the really bad guys of automated content. Buy 100 domains, splash them out with recycled content and wait. It worked-but deep inside I knew that is not what I wanted. So just today I closed shope-anyway google had helped me close shop long time, I was just beating a dead horse. So now I am following Spencer’s method and since I cannot afford to get into the link networks I have been stumped. Spencer suggested Fiverr and I used some gig, but it is too early to tell.

I want too go back, pick Spencer’s original book and just use article marketing but with a twist like writing interesting topics that I can write just for fun( and not dread link building) and then link back to my blogs. This way I will love the process.
Thanl I still do value Spnecer and all he has to ffer.


Grace – sounds like a good plan.


Thanks, Spencer and other sharing about the latest trend on Linkbuilding using Blog network and such…
I have never really liked the idea of paying a fortune to those 150 words suckers….

So the next game plan is use diversified links like Andre suggested and more.
I will definitely recommended to explore more on guest blogging. Just hire some one to create a nice post and check out some sites that works like a guest post exchange.

Will be looking fro your next link-building post, Spencer!



Yep, its more about diversified links.


Thanks for this post Spencer,

I’m really surprised they have found out BMR!

They must have been inter-linking to build up the home page rank or have google just blasted every blog with a whois guard, a vanilla about us page and that pushes 150 word snippets 20-30 tines a day?
Probably, not that hard for them to tell a proper blog apart from a link farm, no adverts on them, a link every 150 words, no real content theme, no passionate writing.

I suppose the list of give-aways goes on and on. Be paranoid…. be very paranoid, or just be careful.


Yep, Google is pretty smart and they can figure things out if they want to.


I only found out about these blog networks two weeks ago.
I always that it was stupid that they used 150 words snippets, as that does not look natural.

I wonder about UAW now. I do legitimate, informational sites. You cannot get to page one for people to even find you, unless you backlink your sites yourself.

It seems that all the categories I have a site in have been turned upside down. The people I have watched be at the top of the page are now on page 3. They must be devastated.

Thanks for the article.


Thanks for sharing Deborah!

Jose J. Rodríguez

A stupid question….. We are talking about blogger, wordpress, tumblr and posterous “free” blogs also?? or It is still safe for this moment….?


Yes, web 2.0 blogs refer to those you mentioned. Those are safe and I doubt Google would ever penalize an entire platform.


I have to say I never fancied BMR even with all the hype, always considered it a bit spammy to me.

With that said I have been using UAW and built like 60 sites in the last 3 months but so far, no difference in income if they are anything improving, but I think going forward, I might just go back to basics.

All my sites are micro niche sites and I am looking at building out my winners now, but think I will just stick with, article marketing, social bookmarking, directory submissions. etc


I agree Carl – I never used BMR very heavily and to be honest never noticed any real results from the network anyway. I don’t think UAW and other open networks have been hit and may never be because UAW does not own the blogs, individuals do. Which makes it much more diverse.


UAW no longer reports on where your articles were submitted.

That’s a good idea. I hope they are not hit. I think submitting articles that are legitimate and unique should not be penalized.


Yes, Carl. I use a lot of directory submissions too. I think that might be the way forward.

It certainly gets rid of all the spammers. It is not cheap though.

I’m seeing bigger sites ranking for the keywords, rather than the exact word match domains. Which is good too.

I’m thinking for the longer term, what has been done is best. I’m not happy about it, but it is best if the spammers go away. They have been hogging the first page for a long time.

My plan right now is to put pages on my sites and rank for the pages.


how about real useful sites instead of wasting energy on gaming google? The warrior forum is full of hucksters with snake oil solutions. We have to ask if we have the skills to create sites that users want, not rehashed sites selling amazon products with huge amounts of manufactured links. Its not easy to accept but the web is finally starting to ‘grow up’ by shaking out the waste.


Hey Spencer,

It looks like Google is also disabling adsense accounts.

Scary stuff.


As long as your competitor games Google and wins, you will have to do something to compete.

I agree that the people who have been ranking spam are better off being shaken out.

My sites are all legitimate. I write all my own content. That does not mean you can rank a site with no backlinks.

Whoever says that content is King, must be using Bing.


I have never used BMR but was considering using it by trying some BMR gigs on Fiverr, but have been using a couple of other gigs there who post to blog networks, a couple of private networks, who will not give you the URL links, but give you a unique author name to find your posts by searching Google with “author name in quotes”.

So far, I continue to get good results from those gigs. Have tried Traffic Kaboom but without good results. I also use a couple of link wheel gigs from Fiverr that do give good results, especially after blasting the link wheels with a scrapebox gig.

I agree strongly with Andre Garde´s thoughts. Diversify link building with social bookmarking, web 2.0 sites, press releases, doc sharing on Scribd and others, and even backlinks from Backpage, CL and other free classified ads (which a lot of people never even think about).

A question I have, only slightly related, for Spencer or anyone else reading this, is how much do you think that the age of the domain matters to SERP position ? I routinely ignore some of my blogs while I concentrate on others, and out of the blue, without me doing any SEO work on them, appear on the 1st page of Google after being MIA for several months. Curious to hear opinions on this.

Brandon Wind

Hey Tom,

Actually, I just had this happen to me this week. A site I had forgotten about for a while jumped up out of nowhere and started making some money.

I never thought of it before, but I wonder if this recent rise to the top is in part due to this change or because of domain age? All links for this site were natural, although it never caught much traction in the SERPs until this week.


I definitely think age can help, but I don’t think its the reason your site would suddenly make a large jump up in the ranks.

Nigel- A newbie marketer

Hi Spencer,

7 days ago I opened a thread in WF to raise awareness on Paid Blig networks getting banned ( )

I copped alot a flack from people. These people are obviously in denial and driving blind.

Aways yesterday I heard BMR’s posts are de indexed by Google. One clients had over 1000 posts completed wiped. Ouch.. This is not something to be histerical about but it’s definately something to take seriously. Other blog networks will get hit it’s just a matter of time.

Googles on a roll …. (grrrr)



Brandon Wind

Hi Spencer,

Thanks for the post. I just thought I would throw my two cents in…

I had experimented with BMR on a recent authority site I was building as I had heard from a number of IMers that they were getting fairly good results, and my niche was fairly competetive. I used it in conjunction with other link building methods and loosely followed Pat Flynn’s linkbuilding strategy and after a few weeks was ranking mid 80’s.

This week, I noticed that my incoming links were falling like a rock. After a few minutes of panic, I checked rankings in LTP and realized that I actually jumped about 45 spots in the rankings with no other link building going on at the time. Case in point, looks like those ahead of me in the rankings got hit a lot harder than I did.

Another site in a smaller niche was ranking in top 10, and continues to hold there. The backlinking for this site was mainly from UAW, with under 10 BMR posts.

Just like Spencer recommends….diversification will keep you a float. Lesson learned.


I think for sites like UAW maybe an increase in article length and not allowing spun content may be an idea just to raise quality a bit more.

I just rewrite my articles rather than spinning so they can be mixed anyway and still be decent content that is useful to the reader, that way its just like article marketing and all the sites in the network would have high quality semi original content.

I think the name of the game is just give Google what they want good quality useful content and forget trying to game them.

Suppose it just means a little more work on the linkbuilding side but it will be worth it for long term 🙂


Thanks for the reply Brandon. Glad I am not the only one who has noticed this.

I suspect that domain age might have recently gone up a notch or 2 in importance to getting good SERP.

I also wonder if when registering a new domain, if registering it for more than 1 year will help it in the SERPs (all other things like link building being equal).

Quinton Hamp

Wow. Been a heck of a week for the IM world, eh?

With all of the adsense accounts being deactivated, I’ve removed adsense from one of my spammier blogs.

I think I am going to switch to more of a Fraser style site with a little Pat Flynn linkwheeling built in for good measure.

Good post, man. Appreciate it.


Best of luck Quinton!


Thanks Spencer for the great information. I was starting to use MAN but it wasn’t really giving me much results in terms of ranking for my niche sites so after reading this article I canceled my account there and with SimplyPLR and plan to go back to my old strategy of manual linkbuilding through blog comments, social bookmarking, and social 2.0 sites.

Seems like doing the above will be saver in the long run but a lot more work.

Also I think I’ll have to start focusing on one site and building it up naturally.

Also I’ll have to research keywords that have super little competition so I can get ranked more easily.

Hopefully I eventually find a strategy that will work.

Thanks again for sharing Spencer.


Hope your new strategies work out well!

Paul Herbert

getting my life insurance license…..its more predictable……google is now officially the evil empire…invite in the front door, and broom you in the butt while mugging you in the dark….all the while chanting ” for the greater good” as you sink in to the whole.

It’s a flushing sound, the vent trap really does not work, and it really stinks….

It’s funny, I just started to crack the code on these niche sites..some even making $100 per month..and whappo..turned off like a faucet….

and now BMR wiped out…ouch….

Any one here any issues with SEO Link Monster ?????


Thanks for the comment Paul – sorry to hear your loss in income 🙁

Paul Herbert

BMR question…I just read may be wise to remove all BMR links from your site. This can be done under the project section in BMR.

Does this make sense ? since google has already deindexed the BMR sites, is the damage done..or is google now following the outbound links and crushing the sites that used this service..

should we remove all links ???


I personally removed all links from BMR. I didn’t have very many – maybe only a couple dozen total spread among several sites. I certainly wouldn’t want a bunch of deindexed sites linking to mine.

Paul Herbert

google…so it seems that by using google analytics (under your one google account) runs the risk of google looking under the covers..if if find bad things with some of your begins to check all of your sites..and bango..its all over

Should we all stop using google analytics ???? The beast has been unleashed and he is amongst us….if you take ggg and flip it around..what do you get….. 666 the time has come…


I am pretty sure they can find our sites without using the data from Google Analytics. I believe they have more complicated systems then that so they can detect all your site and figure them out pretty quickly.

I have all my sites in one analytics account and some are doing great while others aren’t doing so well. So I don’t believe analytics is to blame here.

It’s just google showing their power and fixing the internet search results. If you think about it submitting massive amounts of links to blog networks was a bad thing in the first place. People were superficially making their rank go up. That’s not what people want to see in the search results.

Paul Herbert

There is a new article out…

The Massive DeIndexing of The Internet Google strikes on the backs of the slaves that have made the beast a giant…and now they will all suffer. Google will dominate the earth.

On shear principle, I think I now going to turn in my android device and get an iphone… really is the enemy at this point…


Haha – iPhones are awesome. You won’t be too disappointed to leave the Andriod behind.


Perhaps you’re getting a little extreme here. This is not a doom and gloom scenario for most people.


Thank you, Spencer,

Great share.

I’ve never liked BMR, I knew somehow it wouldn’t work for too long.
UWA still powerful tool, I’m thinking in rewrite a unique article(not PLR article) based in the same keyword/niche I wanna rank and see how it will go.
On the other hand, I’m trying bookmark,article diretories submissions, link wheels, edu links, wiki links, guess comments,etc… and see after 2 months .how my site will rank on google.



I like your strategies Federico. Spread your links out other ways and keep them unique. It’s a lot more work but I am sure you’ll see the results of your labor in the long run!


Sounds like a good plan Federico!


It will be interesting to see if Google will be able to foil ALN…i doubt it. I do think they will lower the weight of high OBL blogs as backlinks…it would be really easy to find these spam blogs as they get gazillions of posts a day.

ALN is/was nice while it lasted but we all new this day would come and it was the next thing google was to target.

focus more on small high pr private networks with c-class ip’s and low OBL’s…expensive but its the future


I guess we’ll see. Or you can rely on other link building strategies (better for the long term).


I think the best tactic of now is to use the service of the less know private blog network..


What are people’s thoughts about removing your BMR links from your sites?


I did.

Omar @

Hey Spencer

This really didn’t come as a surprise because I just see it happen WAY to much. I looked into them for a little even used them but stopped.

I mean, the links did help (BMR) but I think after awhile these big networks just get closed down. Too much popularity and then big G starts to crack down on em.

Also, as I mentioned before through an email to you, it’s important to diversify your income sources if you are only relying on Adsense. Why? Check our my story in a nutshell…

As you know, they disabled my account on March 16, 2012 and denied my appeal.

I strongly believe a big reason was because of me selling some sites on Flippa that week and the traffic I received from those visitors (on flippa) were low quality which they feel “poses a risk to their advertisers”. Without hesitation, I got the boot. (After 4 years as an adsense publisher I might add). They didn’t give me a warning…nothing..bam!

HINT: When listing sites on Flippa, PLEASE remove your ADSENSE ADS so this does not happen to you.

There was no customer service on google’s end. Just automated Robot answers which is why I am going with the Amazon Associates program. I wrote them and they contacted me back within 1 hour, a REAL human being! Also, they gave me phone numbers to call if I needed help as well…I mean…that’s awesome!

O yeah…Adsense did NOT give me the money they owed me which I earned as well which was a pretty penny (around 8K all together)..not to even mention the potential sale on Flippa which we lost out on which is another 4.2K…so yeah it’s not fun I noticed when dealing with Robots who lack customer service.

I rather look for a program that actually cares about it’s affiliates.

Loved this post Spencer!



Wow – thats a shitty story Omar. But one we can all definitely learn from. Got to be super careful with Google Adsense and apparently their CS if even existent isn’t the best quality.

Hopefully no one else experiences these issues as well and gets banned.

Definitely diversifying your income is the safest bet. That is why having a job is very unsafe thing to do. You have everything riding on that one job. If that job goes then all your income goes and you have nothing to fall back on.

Got to have multiple streams of income. Best way to go.

Thanks for sharing Omar.

Omar @

Hey James…yep I agree.

Multiple streams is the best way to go but what this taught me is to make sure that whoever you decide to team up with (affiliate/CPA networks) make sure they actually care about you and you are viewed as some sort of asset to their company.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case on our end.

But like I mentioned before, we are happy with the other option we decided to go with and look forward to continuing our journey.

Keep moving forward.



As I mentioned in my email to you – I hate to hear stories like this. But its a lesson learned for all of us. The one silver lining hear for you (if there is one), is that you do still own the sites, and I assume your rankings in Google were unaffected. So, you can easily just swap out your adsense code with some other advertising code so you can continue to earn money. As I’ve always said, yes there is a risk of getting your adsense account shut down, but that’s not the big issue, the real issue is if the traffic from Google stops. So, I would find some other way to monetize your sites asap so you can have at least some income from the sites. I doubt it will be as much as adsense, because they pay more than most networks out there, but at least it will be something. Best of luck Omar!

Omar @

Hey Spencer.

Yep, the sites were still getting traffic and remain getting traffic after this whole blog de-indexing fiasco (I never relied on them much).

So we actually did some research and saw that google terms actually states “You can put Someone else’s adsense on your website” It goes more in detail but that summed it up.

So we asked a friend to put his adsense code on some of our websites and now they are earning again.

It’s important to remember that Adsense does NOT ban websites, just bans accounts. Unless your website is violating their terms of course. (ours didn’t)

But thankfully if all goes smooth it will continue to earn while we go with our Amazon plan.


Ramy Khuffash

RIP build my rank. I got an email from Paypal today telling me I’ve got a refund from BMR.

Great little tool they had and great people behind it. One of the few things I will be sad not to be paying for anymore!


Guys, I’ve got a site with really hard keyword to rank, I just saw many click in the last few days, I’ve check it and it’s lying on the first page of google for the main keyword 🙂

Funny thing is:

I’ve got this site for autoblog articles content and didn’t work, so I deleted the whole thing, around a year ago I’ve posted 3 unique articles on it, set and forget! no backlinks building, just 200+ bookmarks on fiverr.
Before i was ranking between page 16-20
Now page 1

Google is changing everything

It makes me wonder:

It wouldn’t be better just set up a site with great content and forget a bit the backlink thing????

Spencer, 2 questions:

1) I’d like to activate your theme on the site mentioned above, do you think it would mess with rank?

2) You mentioned for your big old sites you used different kind of backlinks and the sites were not affected
Do you mind to share what have you done to keep them on page 1?



Hi Federico – I am surprised a site you have that has autoblogging on it is now ranking on page 1 in Google. Congrats to that. I would think something like that would never rank but I guess anything is possible with Google changing their algorithms all the time.

Keep up the great work there!


He does not have an autoblog ranking – reread his comment.


Just to clarify some of the follow up comments here. You misunderstood Federico. He is NOT saying this is an autoblog! He said that once it was and it didn’t work. So, he deleted all the autoblog stuff and build a site with original content. That is the site that is ranking…NOT the autoblog…
1. No, I don’t think it would mess with the rank
2. I have not done any backlinking to keep them on page 1. I built links when I first built the sites for the first 90 days or so and left them alone. The sites are still ranking. Mostly article marketing, with some social bookmarks, blog comments, and not much else.

Paul Herbert

My opinion..move away from google. They have turned into whore buckets and there is no reasonable way to build a business. Time to focus on other models.


Hi Spencer,

Did you remove any links from the post due to de-indexing or keep than live?

Just wanted an opinion on the matter…



I removed mine.


Ok … one of my friends auto blog with lot of copied content is ranking 3 rd on its keyword (moderate tough finance niche) nowadays its making nice $$ everyday. !!! My friend has around 100 backlinks from UAW, i guess that blog being updated regularly may be that’s why its ranking well


Thanks Spencer and everyone else for the commentary.

I have been using BMR but the majority of my posts have been 300-450 word articles that are informative and I think would be valuable to a reader. I have seen some change in rankings, but it was to move from #7 to #3 on Google P1.

Not sure if anyone else sees it, but Google is still allowing black hat practices. For example, for a very competitive keyword (we are #3), the #1 ranked site has numerous links hidden in the code of other sites with high page rank. The link is not visible unless you “view source”. Often the click counter is a link back to their site.

While it is all well and good for Google to penalise private blog networks, I wonder if they are still missing the basics of dirty SEO tactics, or does it not have the ability to detect this?

One last question, I have read about other networks such as SEOLinkvine, SEOLinkvine Elite, Traffic Kaboom etc; are these in the same position as BMR?


Geoff – I agree that some sites using black hat tactics are still ranking. However, its likely only a matter of time before google figures out how to algorithmically penalize these sites.

I don’t know the specifics on each network – but I haven’t heard of any of those you mentioned being deindexed. I would be very very careful using any of them though.


One thing to point out, a lot of networks that may be in trouble own all the URL son which content is posted. My Article Networks distribution base is a collective of sites owned by a large number of indivifuals.
So deindexin BMR sites hurts one owner, deindixing the “network” of sites on services like AMR would hurt thousands of Webmasters.


BMR got deindexed because it violates Google’s terms of service. Nothing that article directories do violate those terms.


So if my site has been promoted through to page 1 for a number of keywords thanks to the help of BMR, is it likely that I would have seen my site decrease in ranking already or will it take some time to be effected.


Its tough to say. But if those links ever did provide any value (which is questionable) they are likely to provide less value now.

Kyle proctor

I personally believe that if you have good content on the small competition sites having a massive link building setup is not as necessary. Good content will always trump 100s of non relevant links.

Getting a few inks from relevant websites will we’ve you just find.

100’s of back links will not replace good content.


Sorry I disagree with you “Kyle proctor” I have good content i,e 1300 word informative article with minimal 100 backlinks for a tough keywork, however a junk hubpage content with 1300 backlinks is in first spot as I am in 3 rd. No matter what content quality is, backlinks matters lot


What is “private” about any of these blog networks? The fact that you have to pay to be a member?

Google will continue to destroy these networks because they’re easy to identify, infiltrate, and deindex. REAL private blog networks, the ones that you can’t just sign up for, or pay money to have your articles posted there, aren’t going anywhere.

If anything, a lot of the guys who have them have learned a lot about what Google looks for. Expect to see a lot more high-quality, low-post-count, niche-specific blog networks in the future. And by see, I clearly mean don’t see … because anyone who invests the time and money into creating one of these monsters isn’t going to be blogging about it.


I agree, this underscores what I said in my original post that blog networks will continue to evolve and its certainly not the end of all of them. I just made the conclusion that many of them are “on life support” – which was indeed proven the day after I wrote this when BMR was deindexed. I TOTALLY agree with you that small “truly” private blog networks will continue as they always have. I often find many of my competitors using their own networks of sites to rank their own. And yes, these are not networks you can join – these are networks that are created by people for themselves.


I wonder if these article networks really are OK with Google. I do not know how you are supposed to get links if you do not do that.

I have had great results with UAW alone. It is astounding that it works so well.

I appreciate this website and all the information it provides. I plan to sign up with MAN also.

I am only submitting 10 articles per day now.

Has anyone heard of my blog guest?


very nice article and informative too.


Update, it seems Blog Blueprint has been de-indexed as well. I checked 50 articles and I found 2…


Nice post and discussion going on here Spencer. Just wanted to chime in with my 2cents.

I build niche websites as well as don’t see many ranking changes even though many of them have some links built using these networks. This, I believe, is because many of them don’t just rely on PBNs to get rankings. As you mentioned a few times, diversification is very important. Putting all your eggs in one basket is silly for any business that seeks long term sustainability (especially in rankings). I am, however, sad that these networks are getting hit the way they are as they are an easy source that is “handsfree” in many ways.

I personally use a variety of methods to link my sites (some cost a little, some free but take some work):
– Article marketing
– Press release marketing
– Directory submissions
– Blog commenting
– Profiles
– Document sharing
– Videos

All these are great sources for low cost/free links.

A few important things to note about any link building:
– Don’t overdo any one particular strategy
– Slow down the link gain velocity (don’t get greedy)
– Build more links only on days when you add some new content to avoid appearance of anything unnatural

It does take some work and some investment in time and money to have a good site going and I believe going forward, more ranking emphasis will be given to authority sites. So it is a good idea to grow a site you want to rank long term through addition of good content on a regular basis. That will always beat a static site.


I was reading NBA news when I came across a familiar name: Spencer Hawes. I’m guessing you’re more popular than this guy lol. He plays for Philadelpia but is a native of Seattle. Anyways..

How unfortunate for the guys behind those PBN’s. Maybe the lesson is, if you want to have a private blog network, just live up to its name – keep it private.

My opinion is that anything that is not Googleproof – any backlinking method that Google can easily read – is not sustainable, which is why I think there’s reason to believe that it’s only a matter of time before article directory and web 2.0 backlinks will be devalued too. If Google did not hesitate to devalue BMR despite the fact that those who post articles in the network make the effort to write unique articles, Google may also have an inconsiderate attitude towards the fact that people write unique articles for Ezinearticles and other directories and Web 2.0s.

Links coming from PBN’s, article directories,Web 2.0’s and most other forms of backlinking have 2 things in common: they all can be easily identified by Google (how easy it was for Google to sign up for BMR and list all the blogs under it, and how easy it is for them to list all the article directories and Web 2.0’s being used for backlinking!), and they’re all artificial links that Google sees as tools to game their system.

The best backlinking technique I think is one that does not expose itself to Google’s radar.


Hi Spencer and other NichePursuits readers,

Thanks for your post! BMR getting banned is definitely a great news to us. I can share my experience as well:

My link building does rely on BMR and Authority link network with article marketing and edu backlinks. I would say about 60-70% of my links are from the these private blog networks. Guess what happen after the blog massacre?

One of site drops from #5 to #13 and another from #10 to #13. To be honest, I know that I am quite lucky already.

Another group of victims are the BMR posts writers. My friend who writes BMR posts on Fiverr told me he lost 8 orders in 1 day!

Diversification is definitely the most important. Just want to know: Besides UAW, what public networks are out there that are not affected? Is Article Ranks affected? How about My Article Network?



Wait another week or two for the SERP’s to catch up. Majority of the links within my google webmaster accounts are still “active” but have been de-indexed from google. It may be fear, but I don’t think the fallout has occurred just yet…

Yeok Heng

I am anticipating your new backlink strategy.


You know what creeped my out about UAW? They sent out an e-mail recently saying that you could put your website in their network and that would give you traffic from them.

The traffic from them could click on your Adsense ads.

That was slimy and makes me question UAW integrity. I have been getting good results, but wonder if these types of letters from them will cause them to be banned.


I never saw this email? Anyone else? That would indeed be against Adsense TOS.


I went back through the e-mails. I think I misunderstood what they wrote. I am so used to internet hucksters that I read it wrong.

Their service is very good. I did get one site penalized though. I think I added too many links at once.

Otherwise, their service is like crack for your website. They make it jump up so fast.

Sorry for the confusion.


First site which had about 20% of its back-links from BMR got hit tonight. Dropped from top of page 2 for main Key word. I went all the way down through page 42 and cant find my main page. Inner pages still ranking, but main page hit hard and it seems like more then just lost links, possibly a penalty of some kind. Still waiting for other sites to get hit.

Being somewhat new to SEO, I honestly never knew the risks or that there were any risks at all associated with using a service like BMR.



Honestly, its not so much the risk dealing with BMR (although yes ANY type of link building has risk). The real risk is Google. Google changes and you have no control over it. So, if you enter the SEO game, you will ALWAYS have the risk of Google changing. I’ve written about this extensively here:


Change happens in most business and those that cant adapt are usually forced out.

Ive been thinking about services like UAW and MAN and to me these are just services that syndicate your articles. They do not post anything, it is up to the webmaster of the sites that receive the article as to weather or not they post. Now to me this doesn’t seem any different than what the associated press does. There articles go out to media outlets all over the world. So in the end Google will do what ever it wants to, but article syndication is nothing new.

Also a service like UAW is fundamentally no different than an article directory like Ezines, differing in the fact that instead of having to go to the site and look for content, prospective content is delivered to you.

Just My opinion. Any thoughts??



I agree for the most part Mike. UAW is really a syndication service. As long as the network allows individual blog owners the ability to accept or reject the content, then they are more likely to stick around.


This was disaster waiting to happen. Many who were around in 2007 remember what happened to Text Links ads. They were doing what blog networks were doing – selling links. They were crushed by big G and now big G is going after blog networks.

The fact is Google doesn’t condone buying links and that is what IMs were doing by using this services.

If you were using these services wait for a few weeks as Google processes all data and see your traffic come crushing down.


Yep, was around in 2007. But buying links will always be around. Its better to not do it, but it will always be around.

Andrew Gitt

spencer, i’m looking at how to create my OWN blog network (whether it should be like 50-100 blogs and those link to ALL my sites along with other authority sites) or if I should invest in 5-10 high PR sites, each with diff. theme and link those to my money site so i have 5-10 powerful links and along with other diversified links of lower quality

i’m really looking for case studies (i don’t mind paying to access) of people’s success and exactly what they did), or a product that really walks step by step how to create ones own blog network and very specific hitting on all the details

know anything?


No, I don’t have anyone to refer you to. However, if you look around and look at links pointing to certain niche sites, you can find lots of private networks out there. You can essentially look at what they have done. I found many of these networks in process of researching niches.

Robert Sykes

Very good article. It has made me aware of the inherent risks in relying on private blog networks.

I was thinking of article marketing / syndication as a safer alternative as suggested by Spencer. The concept discussed at length in Warrior Forum is that after you post your article containing backlinks to your money site on ezinearticles, website publishers looking for content will browse ezinearticles and take your article with your backlinks to syndicate on their website. You will then have a backlink from each site that has syndicated your article. Some people on the Warrior Forum have claimed amazing results through article syndication alone.

I wanted to see the kind of sites that syndicate articles from ezinearticles. I simply picked some popular articles from ezinearticles, copied the first 10 words and put them in quotes, then did a search in google for the exact match text.

The sites that came up in google were of very low quality and looked like content farms with articles covering random topics. They did not look like sites that anyone human being would want to browse.

Some had backlinks to the article on ezinearticles, some had no backlinks at all. None contained backlinks to the author’s money site. I did the same thing for articles in goarticles and articlesbase and I had the same result.

I have used UAW before and the blogs on which your articles are distributed are of a decent standard, address a specific niche and contain readable and informative content. And the UAW blogs always include your backlinks.

I was considering article syndication as an alternative to using private blogs but now I am not so sure.

Any thoughts?


Robert – great comment. I think article marketing can still provide some value. You are right that not everyone will keep your links active that they get from ezine, but some will. You also get a link from Ezine and others – and that may be good enough.


I have a theory about article syndication. I think BMR was obliterated because their posts were crap. They had no purpose other than to manipulate the search engines.

The article sites have legible articles. I’m thinking that they will be OK. At least that helps me sleep at night.

If Google were to hit article syndication, then people would really have to go into these blog networks. There would be no other choice to get links.


Sarah, there are still many other ways to get links:
Web 2.0 blogs
Directory submissions
Blog comments
Profile links
Guest posts
Natural links
and MANY more.


Regarding ezine articles. I tried them when I first started making websites. People ripped off my article and did not give me a linkback.

The problem is, they ripped off the article quickly, before it was even indexed for ezinearticles.

Stop BS

Spencer – it’s about time you come clean to your readers. Some of us have been at this a LOT longer than you have and we know exactly where you stand. Stop bs your audience.

How about posting some real screenshots from your Google Adsense account? Probably not possible since 95% of what you post is fabricated.

I know you’re clinging to your AFFILIATE profits, but it’s high time you come clean and shoot straight with your followers. You’re not making crap from niche sites….. but you ARE a good liar.


Where are all the affiliate links?


Sorry, but my earnings are 100% legit. I make WAY more from Google Adsense than from Affiliate income. I get comments like this and always expect that there will indeed be doubters out there like yourself. But that’s okay, if what Im saying or teaching doesn’t sound legit to you, then find your own path to success. However, I know that MANY people have found success from following what I provide here as they have shared their success with me. Also, I quit my job (because of my adsense income) before I even started NichePursuits – so there was NO income from this site whatsoever when I made the leap. Anyway, you can say what you want, but the income is very real.

And oh yeah, very few of my posts have affiliate links.


Well said. There will always be haters and jealous people looking for shortcuts.

Not sure if you saw or will see my tweet, this post was mentioned in Eric Ward’s LinkMoses newsletter! Well deserved.


Spencer – sometimes its better to ignore jealous and ignorant people, that’s why I never tell people how much I am making, once they find out how much you are making, they will do everything to destroy your business.


Very well explained Spencer. I agree with your opinion about the private networks.

Lady Jane

As Google’s intelligence becomes more and more sophisticated, the only reliable way to preserve online success is to offer sites that are valuable to human visitors. I think staying away from artificial promotion in general is the best option. While the use of keyword research to determine what human visitors are searching for is essential, the line is crossed with keyword stuffing and the use of artificial links. Real links that develop naturally are much more valuable.

Small niche websites with just a few pages/posts are likely going to fall in the search engine results unless they provide a decent amount of rich, relevant content for visitors.

I recently purchased Long Tail Pro, and I’ve found the articles here about keyword research to be very helpful in using it effectively. But the methods are geared toward very small niche websites that primarily target a single keyword.

Spencer, do you plan to present guidelines more specifically for researching authority site keywords using Long Tail Pro?



As you know BMR, graciously lets you download your posts, my question for you is this, What is the best plan of action for these posts?, or should i leave them there with BMR in hopes that they get going again, thanks

Jon Haver

Spencer, have you considered making your own truly private blog network so that you can increase the rankings for your sites without the risk of the “public” network being shut down?

You mention that a key learning of BMR and others being deindexed is that backlinks are still incredibly important. I completely agree. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how BMR being deindexed affects niche site builders.

Charlie Huttenberg

that’s true…Link Network will be always a part of this Internet Marketing Strategy. But the strategy has been changed and the method will be either…


Spencer,but without the money options can not be built or am I wrong


Can i ask a question? How do you start your own private blog network? and how do people reach Page rank 3-5 very fast?

what will it take and how much will it cost? I guess you can´t do it by yourself and need to outsource some things? am i right?

kumar bk

A private blog network is a network of blogs or rather a network of blog based websites which interlink with one another whenever appropriate to share link juice and traffic. The “private” refers to the idea that every blog in that network is owned by the same person or people so that they have control over the quality of the content and links which these blogs send and receive.Another characteristic of a private blogs network is that it will typically revolve around one major niche or topic.So we could create a network around the subject of dogs as pets. we could then create and have a blog dedicated to dog training,one for puppy care,one for dog nutrition,etc.

dechen wangmo

i like it

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long
comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

State College Movers

So are there good services you could recommend that do directory link building and social bookmarking as you have suggested above? Or do you do it all on your own?


Spencer Haws

I’ve hired a VA to do this work for me. You can do the same.

Man Who Wishes To Remain Anonymous

It’s not private blog networks which are the problem, it’s the stupidity and greed of their owners.

It amazes me in this day and age that people still talk about what works and what doesn’t work – here’s a ‘secret’ for you. It’s not about mechanisms, it’s about the quality of the website. Ignore the mechanism; there are hundreds of great directories (and millions of rubbish directories); a great SB will drive tons of traffic to your website = tons of links; there are a few REALLY good private networks, we’ve built one (no-one gets access to it), we’re PRIVATE members of a few others etc.

That’s the issue: private vs. public. Calling a public network a private one is a bit like having a nude beach in the middle of times square – everyone’s going to see you. Private networks, properly maintained and managed, and utilising strong domains with quality link profiles (I bought an expired domain with a PR 7 Yahoo! Dir link for $27 earlier) work well, as long as you behave yourself i.e. minimise exact match anchor text, write quality unique content for each post and so on.

It’s all scalable, it’s all doable, you just have to be prepared to spend hard, work hard and do it right.

Iain Robson

Even though this is an older post, you have still raised some real issues.

I mean when you brought up the question about whether building niche sites is really for you or not.

That is a great question because one must be prepared to be flexible if you want to play the game.

In the end, you need to get more diversity in your links. Alternatively, you could try a non linkbuilding method, which is another debate in itself.

[email protected] OPTIN PLAYER

Sometime I still use Private Blog Networks for building link. However, Google updated Panda so it very be careful when make a deal.

Simon Rohde Nielsen

No, they’re not dead yet. All the love quality link networks are.. But the good once i know, work.


Link Network will be always a part of this Internet Marketing Strategy. But the strategy has been changed and the method will be either…thanks..!!


You can essentially look at what they have done. I found many of these networks in process of researching niches.

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