In general, no. I do not block the link crawlers in my PBN networks. I personally do not advise it, simply because its not natural for sites to block all crawlers unless there is a technical reason for it. On some money sites I might block them, because malicious bots and crawlers abuse the band width and cause issues with server load. So, in these circumstances it makes sense to block the bots.
But for PBN sites personally I think it is creating a heavy, unnatural footprint that is just not needed. You can block a small percentage of them maybe, but anything more I would really strongly advise against.
You must think that Google has an automatic detection system in place for PBN’s. It is a filter they use to catch us out. But in order to trigger this filter you must be doing something seriously wrong! Its easy for them to tweak this to include more footprints to automatically detect and flag for manual review.
Especially when you see all these PBN hosting providers stating they block bots on their servers automatically etc. It’s very naive of them really. Think how easy it would be for Google to tweak their filters and simply add to it = more than 50% of back links from websites with blocked crawlers or x directives in robots text +/- flag for manual review.
Yes, exactly it would be super easy and how many PBNs would get knocked down if they did this simple tweak. We are smarter than that and we try to encourage you to be as well!
If your feeling a little paranoid about your competitors manually reporting, you PBN sites to Google. Then please read this post about my own experiments about reporting PBNs to Google. I am sure once you read it, you will see it’s not required to block crawlers for this purpose!
Therefore, I would tell you simply don’t block crawlers in your PBN at all. Instead focus on building real looking PBN sites that would pass a manual review anyway!
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