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Link Building – Avoid the Bad Neighborhoods

bad neighborhoodIn my last two articles on link building, I’ve mentioned the bad neighborhood concept, but not really explained it fully.

I’d like to discuss the concept and share a tool you can use to avoid Internet bad neighborhoods.

Everybody has stumbled across an Internet bad neighborhood at some point in their surfing.  Sites with multiple pop-up ads, link farms, pay per surf offers, safelists and others are types of bad neighborhood sites.  The search engines hate them because they try and game the system and typically don’t offer any quality content.

Google writes on their webmaster site

  • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

Google wants search to be natural and will penalize sites that try to skirt the rules.

How do you avoid bad neighborhoods?

Don’t link to them.  If somebody asks me for a link, I look at the site.  Is it relevant to mine?  Does it offer value to my readers?  Is it full of ads and popups?  If these questions aren’t answered to my satisfaction, I don’t link to it.  I normally find sites I link to through Google searches.  Those are generally safe to link to.  Now that I’m getting pushed links from Twitter, Facebook and other social sites, I simply look at the site and ignore it if it doesn’t offer any value.  If it does, I bookmark it for later use.

What if you can’t tell you’re in a bad neighborhood?

There are a few occasions when this might happen.  While researching this article, I found a pretty cool tool to help.  This tool is useful on several levels just as a link checker so you can verify you don’t have any broken links on your page.  It’s also possible a domain you once linked to has expired and been taken over by some scam artist.  This tool will help you go through those old links to verify they still work!

Use links to your advantage, avoid Internet bad neighborhoods and enjoy good search engine rankings and visitors who are interested in your site.

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