This guest post is by Nicole McGrey
Some websites can experience a huge drop in ratings even though their website is protected from content theft and has been optimized perfectly. This can be downright distressing especially if the webmaster has worked hard to create a clean and legitimate website with quality original content.
What can cause this huge demotion in rankings even though the website does not use any “black hat” tactics? Well, chances are that the website has surrounded itself with bad neighbors. Elaborating on the term “bad neighbors” on the internet basically means that the backlinks the site has created leads to some unsavory websites that are high on many search engines’ watch list.
Reasons for a website’s inclusion in the watch list vary, but they can include content theft, keyword stuffing and other “black hat” SEO tactics. While the website that created backlinks to this shady site might be clean, in the eyes of the search engine, everyone associated to this website must be using underhanded SEO tactics as well. Like that Simpsons episode where Bart drags the grades of anyone sitting around him down an unmistakable cone of ignorance, bad standing websites also cause the same effects to those around them.
As an important tip to webmasters, always link wisely and conduct a thorough background check on any website before building links with their site. Note that having inbound links to sites do not warrant a penalty, it’s the outbound links that will truly ruin the day of any webmaster that inadvertently connected their sites to some unscrupulous webmasters. How exactly does a website get labeled as being a “bad neighbor” anyway? Simply put, any website that tries to increase their rankings by using any illegal means will come under fire from search engines. Websites with tons of meaningless directories also cause the ire of search engines so for any site with too many link directories; it might be a good time to check where some of these links lead to.
There aren’t many ways to find out if a website is blacklisted by search engines as the list always changes, so a site that is blacklisted now can find itself removed from the list later the same day. The easiest way to check this, however, is by typing in “site: (name of website)” into the search engine. If the search engine did not return any results then that site is currently blacklisted and should be avoided like the plague in terms of creating outbound links.
If a webmaster finds that they have numerous outbound links to various website, there are several reporting sites that can check the legitimacy of the connected URL’s. These reporting sites will cite websites that are found to be conducting some underhanded tactics. When it comes to a website’s success, it all boils down to being alert and to always do background checks on any site offering backlinks to theirs. A reckless webmaster can find their website under a heap of trouble if proper online conduct and rules are not followed.
About guest blogger
Nicole McGrey is a teacher at Edinburg High School for 5 years and currently taking PHd at University of Illinois. Her writing includes few notes about Eric Schiffer. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleMcGrey
Image courtesy of oddemail.com