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Bad neighborhoods - Sabotaging your Business
Is there any Risk to link bad neighborhood?
Linking to bad neighborhoods
Did you know that linking to questionable sites can have an impact on your rankings? Don't just take my word for it, you can check this yourself in Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines about Bad neighborhood
Quote: "In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links."
What is a bad neighborhood?
The broad definition of a Bad neighborhood is a network of web sites that have an irregular amount of penalized or banned participants for various reasons. Such networks will at some point of the chain link to web sites that are or were involved in Link scheming, hosting spyware, malware, offensive material, or have been involved in illegal activities such as phishing. This goes beyond natural linking in that the sole purpose of the link farm arrangement is to attempt to boost search engine rankings. Often the sites within a link farm are not related by theme.
How to Classify a Bad Neighborhood
Linking to a site, it's wise to check if the site may fall into the category of being in a bad neighborhood. This can be done in a variety of ways; but it needs to be approached holistically (Analyzing whole system of beliefs rather than simply its individual components).
1. In Google, type site:www.theirsite.com
In Google, type site:www.theirsite.com; where theirsite.com is the name of the site you are considering linking to. If there's none or just the home page listed, it's possible the site has been banned or penalized by Google.
2. Search Who the author is
Take a section of text from the site, from an article and see if it appears elsewhere and who the author is. It's possible that the target site may be a "scraper" or plagiarist site.
3. In Yahoo, type link:http://www.theirsite.com
Go to http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/ and type link:http://www.theirsite.com - see what types of sites are linking to them. The reason I suggest using Yahoo! search instead of Google for this is that Google only shows a subset of links pointing into a site using the same command. Yahoo! will display a great deal more.
If i linking to a single bad neighborhood?
I don't believe linking to a single bad neighborhood could see your own rankings tanked in most cases. It's down to intent, volume and a variety of other factors that are all part of the complex ranking algorithms used by search engines these days.