“Blog networks” has sort of become a bad word (phrase) after this year’s Google updates.
Any site that was discovered to be a part of an “undiscoverable” network of sites only created to manipulate search engine rankings was wiped off of Google’s index.
The infamous case here was Build My Rank, which people were using to get quick, predictable results. Once Build My Rank was forced to shut down because the majority of sites in their network were de-indexed, the rankings being held up by those links plummeted.
If a site that is linking to your site gets de-indexed, that link no longer counts as a vote for you… it’s as if it were deleted.
So, if your search engine rankings were good because of many links coming from these types of sites, those links were deleted with this Google update and your rankings plummeted.
Do Blog Networks Still Work?
Well, yeah. If the sites in them are still indexed by Google and they still show a high Page Rank… a link from one of those sites will boost your rankings.
Many of the networks were crushed but not all of them.
The ones remaining have typically become more careful as to who they let in, have become more expensive to join, or both.
Private Blog Networks
Another SEO strategy is to create your own blog network or join a closed network built by someone you know.