My name is Devin. I am an internet marketer, and I have come here to ask a question to the multi-site experts that traditional marketers do not know the answer to (because they aren't devs!)
I am going to give a very brief intro/background info to my question before I ask it, just in-case there is someone here who is knowledgeable enough to answer but just unaware about the SEO terminology Im about to use.
There are talks in various SEO forums I belong to regarding "PBNs". Private Blog Networks. Basically, creating networks of sites and then using those sites to link to a TargetSite to try and rank it. (totally against Googles TOS, I get that. I am just trying to get a real informed answer about this because I'm sick of all the debates.)
SEOs will create 100s of these wordpress blogs in order to accomplish their rankings goals.
However, managing multiple PBNs (100s) via a spreadsheet is insane. So, a possible solution some people have suggested is using a multi-site manager. Others say this is dangerous becuase it leaves "footprints". Footprints are some type of evidence, or correlation, that Google can read, and thus tie all your websites together, leaving what is known as a "footprint".
If Google can associate that all the websites are tied together, they will de-index all of your websites off their search engine, and penalize them, and potentially penalize all of the websites you have linked to.
One obvious example of a footprint is to put your same Google Analytics code on all of your websites. Another would be putting all of your websites on the same hosting account - Google could see that a high majority of incoming links to the TargetSite are from the same IP or nameservers.
The question I have is in regards to the debate about using some kind of multi-site manager to "manage" all of your PBN sites.
So, my question is ... When using multi-site management, is there any way for search engines (Google) to tie together that all of your websites are correlated - aka, can it create footprints?
What sorts of information is accessible by Google? Only the information able to be read by a web browser?
I don't have enough knowledge about web dev or the backend of web browsers to know what is possible and what is not.