Know If You're Linking to a Bad Neighborhood

How to Know If Your Site is Linking to a Bad Neighborhood

Category: How To


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This web site has been sent to Hell by Google last August 11. Not really the actual “Hell” but to Google’s supplemental index. In other words, this site was penalized by Google. Because of the penalty, the posts where I used to rank high are not appearing anymore in the Google SERPs (search-engine results page).

Of this site’s visitors, 67% are coming from the search engines. From the search engines, 86.5% are Google users with Yahoo! users coming at a far second with 8%. It’s no wonder then that traffic to this site is adversely affected. From a record-high of 43,026 visitors in one day last August 9, I only got 345 visitors yesterday. Traffic from Yahoo!, Google Image and Bing as well as from social bookmarking sites and networks is the one keeping this site alive.

Why was I penalized?

In my previous post, I found out that pingbacks from “bad neighborhoods” might have caused the penalty. One of Google’s guidelines specifically says,

“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.”

What is a bad neighborhood?

A scraper site (those with copied content), a link farm, a site with large amounts of spam or malware and a site with illegal material is considered as a bad neighborhood. Sometimes, a legitimate site who has many links to bad neighborhoods can be considered as one as well.

How to know if your site is linking to a bad neighborhood?

Here’s a tool to check your links: Bad Neighborhood Detector.

However, use this only as a guide to locate potential problems. It is not intended to dictate who you do or do not link out to. Please read more at their post here.

Unfortunately for me, I have only known this tool after I was already penalized because I linked to bad neighborhoods albeit inadvertently.

Now that I have already removed my links to them, I’m waiting for Google to reevaluate me and lift the penalty.

Maybe it’s also time for you to check who you linked to. Don’t wait for the Big G to incur its wrath to your site.

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57 Responses to “How to Know If Your Site is Linking to a Bad Neighborhood”

  1. enad Says:

    napansin ko nga. bumaba yung ranking mo sa topblogs. mukha rin yatang apektado ang mga feedburner subscriber mo.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Yap, lahat affected dahil sa penalty na ito. Kalungkot nga eh.

    [Reply]

  2. Dee Says:

    Thanks for this! I didn’t know about this before. Great blog you have!

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    You are welcome. Glad to know you learned something new from this site.

    [Reply]

  3. Femmepower Says:

    How about those comments with a backlink to a site posting your very own article as well as posts from other bloggers? I get these pingbacks (if that’s the right term) a lot but I mark them as spams. However,I think I’ve approved such “comments/pingbacks” in the past when I was entirely clueless on what to do with them. Are these sites bad too?

    They are sites having compilations of posts from different bloggers.They link back to the original source so I guess it wouldn’t be plagiarism.But I’m not sure if they should be considered as spam.My blog is do-follow so I’m having second thoughts of approving them as valid comments. Will they hurt my site too?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    If the site linking to you contains nothing but posts from other sites, then that site is a scraper site or spam site. They are considered as bad neighborhoods by Google.

    Some sites will also give you pingback if they make a post about a post that you made that they really like. You can approve that if you think they are a legitimate site.

    [Reply]

  4. Pastilan Says:

    Yes, never link to bad neighborhood. It’s okay to have them link to you but never you linking to them because in the eye of google you become like them. Meron akong alam na lahi na bad neighborhood. Di ko na i-mention kung sino yang lahi na yan.

    [Reply]

    Pastilan Reply:

    And by the way thanks for the tool

    [Reply]

    Miah Reply:

    hahahaha murag kabalo ko ana ah… 😀

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Hmmm, sino kaya? Kahit sa blogosphere eh may ganito pala, hehe..

    [Reply]

    enad Reply:

    hehehe. good idea. i actually let them link to me. sometimes. but they are all marked automatically as spam. i just let them but i dont approve theirs.

    [Reply]

    James Moralde Reply:

    Darn, I had a commenter once whose comments I approved. I even went to his site to comment likewise. Later, I realized that all his articles are word for word copies from other blogs. I stopped commenting on his blog, but his comments and thus his links are still on several of my posts. Should I delete those comments and links?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    I suggest you do not. Just let it be. What Google don’t like is when you are the one linking to a bad neighborhood, not the other way around.

    [Reply]

  5. ricojake Says:

    na-reinstate na po ba yung previous ranking nyo?
    thanks nga po pala sa Bad Neighborhood Detector link. Magiging useful to sa akin.

    By the way, considered rin po ba na bad neighborhood yung free articles site like mine? As of now po kc di naman po affected ang ranking ko sa google.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Unfortunately, wala pa rin eh. :-(

    Bro, I can’t really answer your question. Check mo na lang using the tool.

    [Reply]

  6. Kevin Paquet Says:

    Making use of the tool now. Thanks, I still have to find my way through it though, overwhelmed by all the links and information that I see on one go.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    You are welcome. You have a pretty large site so your outbound links are many.

    [Reply]

  7. bari Says:

    thanks for this sir! i learned n nman from you. pede po pala pachange ng anchor text ko, to escape and physics game walkthroughs

    ito n po niche ko hehe

    scan ko muna site ko for bad neighboorhood

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Done bro.

    [Reply]

  8. elmot l PinoySoundingBoard Says:

    Ow, I have not known actually that there is such thing as a “bad blogging neighbor” who could give your headaches than traffic.

    thanks for posting this one…now i think i should be more careful ehehhe!

    this to my reader.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Yes we should. Thanks for the visit.

    [Reply]

  9. Louie Says:

    this is a nice guide for newbies not to only target traffic but to be wise in getting a good neighborhood really informative post!

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Thanks. I’m glad you like it.

    [Reply]

  10. rhoda Says:

    I’m planning to put up a site and this one is a helpful post I must surely consider. Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    You are welcome. Please let me know once you already put up that site and I’ll go check it out OK?

    [Reply]

  11. melardenio Says:

    sir Ark,

    I have a question, I check with the link my url.I got some links from a pinoy site that is abusive like he has an anchor text P i -no-y S-e–x s candal . mejo ginulo ko lang baka kasi mapenalized ka ulit.I have a link to him kaya binura ko na lang yung link nya..

    kaya ba wala kang mga link ng hihera,blogcatalog,bloglinks sa footer mo?

    please advise. salamat sa link about bad neighbor

    [Reply]

  12. melardenio Says:

    sir ark,

    how about yung mga blogcatalog? hihera at yung mga backlinks indi din ba yun pwede? napansin ko wala ka nun sa site mo eh. let me know naman sir ..i’m going to remove it too sa site ko kung ano man ang effect nun…

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Actually I kept my link to blogcatalog. If you notice, nasa sidebar ko siya. Kung ung mga link directories and ibig mo sabihin, actually nasa site ko sila dati. Pero tinanggal ko nung alam kung nasa directory na nila ako. Tsaka maraming mga sites dun na related to drugs, gambling, s*x, etc. Kaya di ko kineep. Bale topblogs.com.ph na lang ang di ko inaalis.

    [Reply]

  13. melardenio Says:

    I notice that one… hmmm salamat

    [Reply]

  14. Triz Says:

    Hello Ark,

    Triz here from plurk.

    I’ve learned a lot in your blogs!

    Like this one and the twitter grader (I got 60/100).

    I’m still new here in blogging. That’s why I’m doing some research. The “Do’s” and “Don’t”, as well as many other aspect of blogging.

    Kudos and thanks for sharing your ideas.

    Daghang salamat.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    No problem triz. Good luck sa new site mo.

    [Reply]

  15. Lithlith Says:

    Hi Ark, buti eto ulit ang nsa home page mo :) Curious lang ako, dba yung mga link sa comments ay mga “nofollow” naman, are they still counted as bad neighbors?
    Or pwede ring kahit “nofollow” sila pero since nag mutual link kayo they are counted? How do you see that?
    Thanks and regards,
    lith

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Yes, nofollow sila. But sometimes, when too many people click on their websites, Google will think that you are linking on them on purpose. Hence, Google will give you a penalty.

    [Reply]

  16. Peter Says:

    Hey ark thanks for bringing this topic up again. my main site peterpaulcarim.com might have been penalized before.

    [Reply]

  17. Gwen Says:

    ayos to ah. salamat sa pag share ng link.

    [Reply]

  18. Gabrielkun Says:

    Siguro kuya arc eh bago mo e approve yung comment nila especially sa trackbacks try to visit their blog or website first to see if that blog has a good reputation or tingnan mabuti kung yung content ba nila ay unique or maybe useful from the readers itself. In that way maiiwasan po niyo yung pagkuha ng mga links sa mga bad neighborhood na mga sites.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Yap, ganyan nga ang ginagawa ko na sa ngayon. Marami nga akong nadidisapprive eh lalo na ung galing sa mga scraper sites.

    [Reply]

  19. How to Check Bad Links or Bad Neighborhood links? Says:

    […] ArkHilario.com Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on fark Share on […]

  20. rcayao Says:

    pag may askimet ka diba safe na yung mga comments kasi yung approve nang askimet sure na yun.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Hindi rin. Maraming spam na inaaprove ang Akismet. Marami ring legitimate comments na ina-identify nia as spam. Hindi pa rin siya perfect.

    [Reply]

  21. rcayao Says:

    dapat mag ingat tayo sa pag approve nag mga comments.

    [Reply]

  22. rcayao Says:

    ang lakas naman nang traffic mo ark. galing ah.

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Nakatsamba na naman. Tip: make a post at least 1 day before the event para sigurado makakuha ka mas malaking traffic.

    [Reply]

  23. rcayao Says:

    thanks for the tip! Sana ganon rin sa akin.Do you write for other blogs?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    I only write for article sites that can give me backlinks.

    [Reply]

  24. rcayao Says:

    is it for free? or just backlinks?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Free. You can check out list here:

    http://www.vretoolbar.com/articles/directories.php

    [Reply]

  25. rcayao Says:

    thanks ark. I’ll try write for this article sites. Hope I could earn a pagerank. Are they accepting any articles?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Yap. As long as they are original and not yet published anywhere on the net.

    You can only give one link to your site though. It can be a link inside your post itself or a link in your About The Author section.

    Anyone of them will work.

    [Reply]

  26. rcayao Says:

    thanks for the tip ark. More blessings to come!

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    No problem. Anytime.

    [Reply]

  27. Alvz Says:

    Hi Ark,na encounter ko to ngayon, nawala ang site ko sa Google search engine. Na banned kaya ako?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Possible. Try mo enter ito sa google bro >> site:your website here.

    Pag walang lumabas na site mo, posibleng naban ka nga.

    [Reply]

  28. Alvz Says:

    Ark, tinry ko lahat, pati yung mga malalakas na keywords ko wala din lumalabas sa G search.wala naman ako nariceive na email na banned nga ako or warning man lang. ano kaya gagawin ko bro?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Google will not email you if you are banned from them. The best you can do is wait and hope for the best. You can even email them regarding it but that would be futile since most of the time, Google will just ignore you.

    [Reply]

    Alvz Reply:

    I emailed G. and ask for reconsideration but until this moment of time no answers from them. Anyway, hope for the best nalang. sayang kc bro 1.5k unique visitors a day un. Yung sayo bro ano ginawa mo at bumalik uli sa Google search website mo?

    [Reply]

    ark Reply:

    Sinbukan mo na ba enter ito sa google? site:your website here

    Kasi, kung may lumalabas naman na pages from your site, ibig sabihin, nasa supplemental index ka lang at pwede pa marestore ang ranking mo. Kung wala, banned ka na talaga sa google and I doubt kung irestore ka pa nila.

    [Reply]

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