We are all aware that linking to bad neighborhoods is… well, bad.
However, it might come as a surprise to you that you might actually be linking to such neighborhoods from your blog right now.
What defines a bad linking neighborhood?
Since Google is not providing us with any decent definition of what it constitutes as a bad neighborhood, just tells us not to link to them, I took the liberty of coming up with my own.
“Bad neighborhood” sites are those sites that try to game the search engine ranking system and typically don’t offer any quality content.
Your typical bad neighborhood sites include:
- sites with multiple pop-up ads;
- link farms;
- pay per surf offers;
- blogs that scrape content from other blogs;
- sites with largely duplicate content;
- may more.
Do you link to bad neighborhoods?
What prompted me to write this article was a great tool I stumbled upon when doing research on my previous post on WordPress security.
This tool will scan the links on your site and flag any possible problem areas that might be indicative of bad neighborhoods.
Is it perfect?
However, it’s free and it will definitely discover any questionable links on your site, like it did on mine.
For instance, I realized that one of my long-time commentators was sneaking in some affiliate links as their website URL.
It’s not exactly a “bad neighborhood”, but why would I link to a product page of sorts, especially when I am an affiliate with that company myself?
Oh, yeah… the link to the tool before I forget:
Another good reason to periodically scan your site for questionable links is the fact that some sites simply go sour at some point.
For instance, how would you know if one of the sites you linked to in the past and it appeared “healthy” back then was since then penalized by Google?
Exactly my point.
Most Common Bad Neighborhood Links – Trackbacks
Are you trigger-happy to approve trackbacks on your blog?
Better be careful: that’s how most of your bad neighborhood links are sneaking in on your blog.
To learn more, read these posts:
- Trackback Spam Be Gone: What I Use to Cut Down on Junk Trackbacks
- WordPress Trackbacks & Pingbacks: How to Use Them For SEO & Traffic
Take the few seconds that it takes to scan your site to make sure you are staying on the right side of Google.
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