Tarun Gupta

Bad Neighborhood and its Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Tarun Gupta September 27th, 2007 Search Engine Optimization no comments.

The message is clear “You have violated search engine norms and will be penalized for that.” So, how to bid goodbye to bad neighbors? A little endeavor is made here to track down the answer.

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Search engine optimizers often come in contact with bad neighbors. Sometimes, out of optimizer’s own misdeed bad neighbors weighed upon them and sometimes it happens unintentionally. Whatever may be the case, linking to bad neighbors is enough to decrease your online reputation.

Effect of Bad Neighborhood on Rankings

Search engine will not rank you high even if you are loaded with content and have optimized your site end to end. The message is clear “you have violated search engine norms and will be penalized for that.” So, how to bid goodbye to bad neighbors? A little endeavor is made below to track down the answer.

How to get rid of Bad Neighborhood?

Well, it's all about links. Links are of 2 types

  • in bound Links
  • out bound Links

Your site may have several inbound (suspicious) links. And in many cases you do not have enough command to stop them getting in. Search engines understand this for it is their webmaster, not you, who is responsible to putting these links to your site. If it the case, you may not be penalized because you are not at all responsible for such a blunder.

But the problem knocks you off, once you are found to have connections with suspicious links intentionally. It seems you are eager to have a relation with them. And with a lust to have higher end of optimization, you have added them in your preference. For a few days this may get unnoticed, but once search engine will find your outbound links or the sites with which you are linked are not at all related to your taste, they will ban you meaning a set back to your online image and search engine rankings. So, it’s better to remove the outbound links which do not match you at all or are suspicious in nature.

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One Step Deeper with identifying Bad Neighborhood

The whole concept of bad neighborhood is not only ‘being related with a spam domain.’ It encompasses a wider meaning of its own. Apart from suspicious/irrelevant outbound links, search engines also dislike those sites which use illegal techniques to boost traffic for e.g., copyright violator, doorway pages, copied content, keyword stuffing etc. Employing the mentioned techniques in a site is strictly prohibited as per the norms of search engines. You can get ideas from a neighborhood site which deals with your area of expertise but copying what he is saying illustrates your intention of being a bad neighbor.

Resolving the Problem of Bad Neighborhood

Therefore, to make you ‘argument free,’ its good to shed/remove all the fat links you may have in your webpage. Now, how to identify the spams within your outbound links with whom you have unintentionally tagged? Well, the best way to clear your doubt is checking whether they are included in the indices of Google and the other search engines. If your Google search end up with no result, it means the site is probably banned. So, it’s better to remove link from it.

Apart from bad neighborhood, a site may not rank well for several other reasons. Sand box in an instance in point. Here you need to wait till your website get mature. However, as long as bad neighborhood is concerned, you have command in your hand. Without waiting for the time, you can easily remove those links/matters which are suspicious in nature as well as stand against search engine norms and regulation.

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So take care of this, linking out is something that its in your control and you can spend some time to ensure that you are linking to the right resources. Get your website in the right Books of the search engines as quickly as possible.


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