Good / Bad Link Neighborhoods

Which strategies should you use?

What’s an example of a “bad” link neighborhood?

Great content, online exposure, and inbound links are the main objectives of any link building campaign. Where it happens matters.

When it comes to getting people to link back to your site, you may think that it’s a good idea to get as many links as possible and by any means necessary. There’s no such thing as bad press, right?

Well, at least in this case, that’s simply not true: linking from certain sites can have effects ranging from confusing to downright harmful. Before we move on, let’s discuss some things that make for a bad neighborhood.

What makes a link neighborhood “bad”?

Some inbound links are toxic and can actually decrease rankings. Sites from casino and offshore drug stores to your pet grooming website not only make no sense, but may be sending bad mojo your way.

Here’s a handy guideline for bad neighborhoods:

The 90/10 Rule

Any given Web page should be roughly 90% content and only 10% junk. Junk can include:

  • Spam: Too much spam indicates that the page is not being moderated well or at all — a sure precursor to bad links.
  • Ads: You’ll find advertisements on many a website, but if the ads outweigh the content, you’re better off staying away.
  • Links: Just like with ads, links are common and expected on webpages, but a legitimate site will not let them overshadow the content.

The rule of negative “PPC”

PPC stands for “pills, porn, and casinos.” Take a look at the page: if its content focuses on some sort of miracle drug, graphic sexual videos/images, or gambling, then you know it’s not a neighborhood you want to be associated with.

The rule of “It’s just not well done.”

This one is the most difficult to determine, but if you find a site consistently has poor grammar or spelling, chances are it’s either not legitimate, or just not something you want to be related to. Being “guilty by association” can be as bad for your business or image as direct, negative PR.

The next step

Cheap reputation management companies and shady SEO firms tend to use tactics that are invisible to their clients but attract large numbers of low-quality inbound links. This is often due to the use of automated systems and “spun” content. These short-term tactics can sometimes cause a brief increase in traffic. Other times they are just unlucky links. Some website considered very spammy may link to your site. When this happens it’s time to disavow the links.disavow links from a bad neighborhood

To disavow a link, use this Google Webmaster tool:

Knowing which links are bad

If you’re confused and wondering how to figure out which links are bad, fear not! We’ve found that using a tool like Majestic helps quite a bit. We use it to find the backlinks of a website, then sort the links by Trust Flow. The low trust sites we look at individually. If they look spammy we add them to the disavow list.

If your good name is entangled in a bad neighborhood, we want to help with the remedy. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve helped people around the world, consistently ensuring our clients will see positive results in their online reputations. We’ve developed into a pretty “good neighborhood,” ourselves, and welcome you to join the community!

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