Daniel Lux from Linxact here.
We’re a multinational SEO analysis startup from Germany with the vision to make Black Hat SEO transparent.
Black Hat SEO? The forbidden word in SEO. While Black Hat SEO is evident on a lot of websites, the industry doesn’t like to mention it. Should someone mention it, it’s often categorized as not being viable without going in-depth.
While it’s understandable why many SEO professionals, or so-called White Hat SEOs have bad feelings about Black Hat SEO, it needs to be addressed as Black Hat SEO is more widespread than most think.
It might affect every one of us.
Your competitors might be using it.
You might be using it without considering yourself as a Black Hat SEO. As Google makes ranking harder and harder, more and more White Hat SEOs switch sides to counter the loss in their SEO return on investment.
The most popular Black Hat SEO method is to build a Private Blog Network (PBN). A PBN is a set of websites created by a single entity for the sole purpose of Search Engine Result Page (SERP) manipulation.
An SEO who built a PBN uses it to link out to his or his clients’ primary websites that generate revenue out of the search traffic they receive. A PBN is usually built on top of existing domains that carry authority.
SEOs source domains for PBNs from auctions and by scraping the web for expired domains. To prevent a Google penalty, a PBN needs to be built in a way that Google doesn’t find patterns or too many similarities between each PBN site.
As this method isn’t illegal and very effective, it has become extremely popular. Though, why should I care as a White Hat SEO?
As an SEO has full control over all PBN sites that link out to his primary website, he can deploy any code of his choice to mess with third-party crawlers from Ahrefs and co.
Most popular techniques are blocking user agents of third-party crawlers by using .htaccess rules and using robots.txt disallow rules. However, there are much more sophisticated hiding methods out there.
But what is the goal of hiding outbound links from backlink checkers? Good question.
The answer is simple: To hide those outbound links which are PBN backlinks of primary websites from you and other competitors. This protects the PBN and weakens your backlink analysis and overall competitive SEO analysis.
Roughly, every 10th root domain is part of a hiding PBN by looking at our data. The real number is even higher, as we haven’t counted false negatives (we’re constantly updating and improving our data).
With Linxact you’ll be able to complete your backlink analysis by checking any website for hidden PBN backlinks like you're used to checking websites for ordinary backlinks with Ahrefs and co.
Linxact enables you to discover your competitors’ PBN strategies and to understand the overall competitive landscape of your niche, as it shows you which competitors are using hidden PBN backlinks and which aren’t.
Making hidden PBN backlinks visible is just one step towards achieving our vision to make Black Hat SEOs, but surely an important one. If you have any questions or feedback, let us know (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telegram: t.me/linxact).
Thank you for your attention!
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