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Private Blog Networks – May Be Improved, But Still Far From Perfect

In the last article I wrote about  link placement I said that private networks have gotten better, obviously some people took that out of context. I said some of them got better, not perfect. I wouldn’t pay it much thought but as I was following up on the Bruce Clay – UBL thing I went to look at one of the statements made by Bruce on Facebook SEO group. While I went further down I noticed another chat growing large, it was about the great success people are having form private blog networks, that is when I snapped after reading all the praise.

Ok, so you think they got smarter, no more websites hosted on the same server, they use different IPs for each website and they learned how to inner link those websites in a smart way Google can’t catch them? Well think again, there are and there will always be ways for Google to know which sites are network sites and which aren’t. Just think about this, how many Google services do we use? It’s hard to believe that Google can’t spot blog and site networks. To prove it to you here are just two simple ways to see a blog network as it is, no matter how good they are they still are not perfect.

Method number 1, run an adsense check. Yeah, it’s that simple, most of these blog networks still use adsense on all of their blogs, so it doesn’t matter that they are smart linked and have unique IPs and all that, once you run a check on their adsense publisher ID you get some huge lists of websites.

Open the page of one of the blogs you know it’s on the network, if it has adsense on it right click and click on view page source, now press ctrl+f and do a search for “ca-pub-“ you will get something like this:


Note the string of numbers after the “ca-pub-“ now, copy this part: “pub-1364684684654” and do a search in Google for it, you may get lucky and get a nice list of website using that adsense publisher ID. If not visit http://www.spyrush.com and using their search form do a search for that same publisher ID, I got 86 sites on the first try using the same one. If you know how to use Blekko and experiment with tags this is even easier, you can take a close peak at all the sites on this network.


Method number 2, it is basically the same thing, but instead of adsense, you try and track the analytics ID. If they are using adsense go with the first method, if not, how likely it is that the smart network owners created separate analytics account for each, I mean when you have hundreds of websites in a network how tiresome it would be to have separate account for each?

Open the blog in question, right click, view page source, ctrl+f, and do a search for “google-analytics.com” you will get something like this:


Note the part with “UA-14832356-2”, now copy that or just this first part “UA-15643257” and do a search in Google, with some luck you may find a list of sites there, if not go to the above mentioned SpyRush or use http://www.domaincrawler.com, most likely all you have to do there is do a search on the domain and it will show the analytics ID number, click on it and you will get a list of websites using the same analytics account.

Domains Using Analytics AU

I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to find out blog networks, but thinking that you beat Google and that you are doing yourself a favor by getting hundreds of links from one same guy, you are wrong, so think again.

Zac is a link building specialist and a seasoned SEO professional. He manages a team of link builders and actively promotes some of Australia's biggest brands. Zac is an active blogger and also maintains Dejan SEO's news and updates section.

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