Search engine optimization continues to grow progressively more and more complicated and the oftentimes unspoken rules continue to evolve. This is evidenced in current SEO events such as the death of Build My Rank. In the fallout of this, the misconception is that private blog networks do not work.
WHOIS Domain Privacy
Let’s separate fact from fiction here. One, BMR was never a private blog network to begin with. It was a service where practically anyone could pay a fee and get their content and links on blogs within BMR’s network. There was nothing private about it and it’s not wonder that the site was eventually smacked down by Google and everyone saw any positive SERPs effects they were enjoying from BMR disappear in the following days and weeks as the link juice from it disappeared.
Secondly, private blog networks most certainly DO work if you know what you are doing and they are indeed private. This is where WHOIS domain privacy comes into play.
If you go over to WHOIS.com, you can enter any domain name on the web and just from that you can get information on the person who registered that site. This includes personal information like their first and last name, home address, telephone number, and more. This is all of the information which someone has to input when they are registering their site and lying about this information is considered illegal.
So as scary as it sounds, some of your most personal information is freely available to anyone with an internet connection and the thought to go to WHOIS.com… that is UNLESS you use a WHOIS domain privacy service like WHOIS Guard.
If you put in the URL of a site which has WHOIS Guard protecting it, the registrant information will appear as WHOIS Guard and will give their details in terms of where the company is located for the address, their phone number, etc.
You can pay to get WHOIS Guard on your site or sites of choice, or you can get it for free with all new domain registrations with NameCheap as the two are tied together.
Besides keeping crazies off of your front lawn by keeping your information private, WHOIS Guard provides another valuable service in terms of SEO which is definitely worth mentioning as it relates to private blog networks.
Google and other search engines can also use WHOIS.com to find out who registered and owns a domain. This means that if you’re creating links between sites within your private blog network, if you don’t have WHOIS domain privacy in some form, then Google can see that it’s just essentially you creating links to yourself and consequently your links will not be worth nearly as much.
Therefore you can use WHOIS domain privacy to keep them guessing (yes the protection extends to keep Google from finding out your site’s ownership) and make it look as if there are no unnatural ties between the linking sites in your network. There are other things which you can do to keep things looking natural in your network which we’ll talk about on another day, but for now think about protecting your registration identity using a service like WHOIS Guard.