Monday, January 5, 2009

How Not to link to Sites That Are in a Bad Neighborhood

Basically, sites that are in a bad neighborhood are those that post on link farms, splogs, or other sites using black hat SEO techniques. Stay away from these types of sites. Do you know that if a person you're linking to posts on these types of sites, you could get in trouble with Google as well? It's unfair, but true. And don't think that because a site has a good page rank today that tomorrow it won't use black hat techniques that would mess up your site. This is why you need to keep your eye on the sites to which you link.

One way you can do this is to read the page rank bar on the Google toolbar. This is better than using, because it tells you if a site has been banned, whereas may not. If the page rank bar is gray, that indicates a ban. However, don't confuse being banned with having a page rank of 0. Just because a site has a 0 page rank, that doesn't mean it's linking to sites in a bad neighborhood. It could just mean that not enough time has passed for the webmaster to get the site to rank high enough in search engines to receive a higher page rank. Recently, for example, there was a proxy problem (now fixed) that erroneously returned sites with a page rank of 0 which in fact were ranked higher.

You can use SEO Elite to determine a site's page rank. To do this, you first open the program and select radio button 4. Enter the URL of one of your links, then select "Google PR" from the checkboxes. Click "OK." You're shown a report that displays the page rank for each of the web pages within the site you're linking to. Be on alert for those with a rank of 0.As you already know, this doesn't mean they're linking to bad neighborhoods, so you'll need a method to find out for sure. Now select radio button 6. Through this you can see if the site still appears in Google's search engine listings. Next, select the Google checkbox. If it returns 0, you know the site no longer appears in the search engine listings, and you should stay far away from it.