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Bad Neighbourhoods


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12 replies to this topic

#1 NASA

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:18 PM

Hello,

Is there a method, or process you can follow or a website you can check to see if a site is considered a bad neighbourhood.

A friend is doing some directory submitting and was wondering as many ask for recipricol links how you know if it's a bad neighbourhood

Or should you not worry too much about such things when submitting to standard industry related directories?

Thanks,
NASA

#2 Randy

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:35 PM

In my view it comes down to treating these directories just like you would any other site that you might consider linking out to. Which basically comes down to whether the (directory in this case) site offers real value to your visitors.

If there's value there for your visitors, submit and recip link. If not, don't waste your time on the link because it's probably not worth anything anyway.

It's amazing how simple and sensible it all becomes if you view every decision in terms of what's best for your visitors. wink1.gif

#3 Jill

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:21 PM

Yep, what Randy said.

If it's a site that you really and truly think is worth recommending to your site visitors then it's a good site to link to.

If not, then don't link to it.

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 04:18 PM

My rule of thumb is to ask myself: "Would I use this site for myself if I were not seeking a link?"

If my answer is "No", then I move on. I don't want links from sites I don't feel are useful, and I don't want to link to sites that I feel are not useful.



#5 NASA

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 04:58 PM

I know what your saying, but I find myself going round in circles over this whole directory thing.

Whether its some SEO claiming directory submission helps with SERPs, which I've seen first hand that one directory we've put the site in ranking first page for a main keyphrase, so you can't argue with actual real world results.

on the other hand I ask myself who uses directories, I don't , but that isn't a reason to discount them, I don't use Facebook, or YouTube, or Twitter, or a countless number of popular sites, but millions do!

I keep wondering why does a directory want a recipricol link?, the purpose of a directory is to list services / websites, they need our sites for them to have content, so requiring a recipricol link seems odd against the purpose of a directory.

So then I ask what's the purpose of a directory, is it link bait, but to what end, is it for the paid inclusions or 'premium' link rubbish, but to be worthy of someone paying to be included, you need to have a worthy directory, and to get a good ranking you need IBL's so you end up in a full circle questioning the point / purpose, goal of the directory and recipricol link.

The SE's must consider them valuable or SE friendly, else we wouldn't have ranked from one directory so high.

The argument as you point out can also be "is it valuable to our visitors", well most likely , the directory usually has every category and sub category under the sun, with count less websites in each, so there is bound to be a listing that is usefull, interesting or of some value to any visitor to our site, infact they may find a site they like better than ours in the directory. Simple law of averages dictates that!

Then you can ask are we [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showforum=21]Submitting to Directories[/url] for the benefit of our site or our visitors , hence the justification for a recipricol link.

The short answer will always be, for the benfit of our site, of course, but to the means of obtaining new visitors, and until they come to our site, they aren't our visitors, so if they found us via a directory or a page from the directory in the SERPs, then being in the directory and having to have a recipricol link is most definately to the benefit of our visitors, because with out them, they wouldn't have become our visitors.

So although I appreciate your comments, they don't answer my question. Unless I just answered it for myself lol.gif , what do you think?


#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:59 PM

If you try to follow all the advice that SEOs have collectively published in the last week alone, you'll never finish any projects.

You have to set some boundaries and make some choices.

Ultimately, we each have to learn from the consequences of our own choices no matter how much input we seek from others.

We're glad to share our opinions and experiences with people but everyone has to take responsibility for not falling into the paralysis-by-analysis rut.

There is more than one way to do almost everything in this business. You don't have to do everything every possible way.

I would not agonize over whether everyone else is doing things my way (in fact, I don't agonize over that -- I know they are not all doing things the way I do them).


#7 NASA

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:47 AM

QUOTE
paralysis-by-analysis
Like it, appl.gif

However, like I said, I've already answered the '[url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showforum=21]Submitting to Directories[/url]' dilema and whether I feel it's worth it or beneficial, I have 1st hand 100% 'real world' proof that directories can and do help with visitors and SERPs, so we are going to do some directory submission and even , if needs must, create a special links page, just to satisfy the recipricol link requirements. However....

That is not the issue or the question... the question was 'How Do You Know What Sites Are Considered Bad Neighbourhoods'

If it's such a Google crime to link to bad neighbourhoods, you'd think they would supply a tool or list or something for those not wishing to fall foul and accidently linking to these unsavoury sites.

#8 Randy

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:28 AM

Sure we've answered the question. You just don't like the answer because there isn't a look for this, do that answer. The only one of those you can really trust is to not exchange links with a site that is apparently years old but has no pages in the search engines when you do a site: type search. That's a pretty good indication that the site has been banned.

Those are however few and far between, and does not account for penalties or other things that can indicate a bad neighborhood. And unless you're willing to spend many, many hours digging into the details of each and every directory --and let's face it, there are many, many other better things you should be doing-- your best bet is to make sure the sites you link to pass the sniff test. You may not like the answer, but it is the only sensible answer.

If you don't like that one the other answer is to prepare to spend several hours looking for hints of hacks, cloaking and plain old stupidity that might have attracted a penalty. And even then you'd only be guessing since you can't possibly know the full history of any other site, and can't rely on whoever runs it to tell you the truth, the whole truth and only the truth.

#9 NASA

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:30 AM

aha now we're getting some where wink1.gif

It's not that I didn't like the answer, the answer didn't answer the question, but your latest reply is nearer the mark smile.gif

so your first suggestion with the site: operator would basically confirm my 1st piece of advice to them was on the right lines...I said...
QUOTE
How did you find the directory, did you do a search for your desired keyword and then look at all the directories which appeared in the top 10-20 SERPs?


If this method is used to find related directories for submission, one would assume they are not banned as they have a top 20 SERPs.

As you say this doesn't account for penalties!

OK, intial 'view source' wouldn't take much time to see if the code seems KWD spammy, or if there is other questionable code present, including content which doesn't appear to be visible on the page.

slightly time consuming, but we are only talking @ 20 business related directories, so a weekend should cover it, though I'll have to do the 'sniffing', as they wouldn't know what to look for themselves.

QUOTE
And even then you'd only be guessing since you can't possibly know the full history of any other site, and can't rely on whoever runs it to tell you the truth, the whole truth and only the truth.
I find this comment interesting, because it's saying there is no way of knowing, so then one begs the question how can an SE possible penalise another website for linking to a site, when there is no possible way to know a sites history, penalties or 'badness'.

The simple and straight answer to the question would seem to be 'You cannot tell if a site is a bad neighbourhood' , which I don't see in any of the replies, so I stand by my statement that until your current reply, the question was not answered mf_tongue.gif

But seriously, thanks for your input as always Randy, I guess following your simple guidelines or as you call it 'The Sniff Test' , should be a good yard stick in which to measure 'recipricol link' worthyness!

Many thanks.







#10 Randy

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:12 AM

QUOTE
I find this comment interesting, because it's saying there is no way of knowing, so then one begs the question how can an SE possible penalise another website for linking to a site, when there is no possible way to know a sites history, penalties or 'badness'.


The engines depend upon you using your own common sense and only link to sites that will carry a real value for visitors to your site. Which gets back to the original answer, to only link to sites that you think your visitors will like and find valuable.

It's really no more difficult than that.

Truth be told even if you messed up on one and ended up linking to a single bad neighborhood site (because a site changed or got hacked or whatever) it probably wouldn't affect your site much. Especially if you were linking to other good neighborhood sites. Where you run into trouble is when you link to a bunch of bad neighborhoods. And you run basically zero risk of this sort of thing happening if your guiding principle is to link out only to sites you find to be valuable.

#11 Jill

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:20 AM

QUOTE
I keep wondering why does a directory want a recipricol link?, the purpose of a directory is to list services / websites, they need our sites for them to have content, so requiring a recipricol link seems odd against the purpose of a directory.


Exactly. But they want links just like anyone else.

If you're not using that directory yourself to find things, then why on earth would you be recommending it to your visitors to find things?

That's what I meant by my original post in this thread. It's not something you'd truly recommend to them. Recommend to them resources that YOU, yourself, actually use and like. Then you don't have to wonder if they're spammy or bad neighborhoods because presumably you only like actual good stuff!

#12 NASA

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:20 AM

Yeah, and you raise a very valid point, it may not have been a bad neighbourhood when you linked to it, but a year down the road, it might turn into a link farm SEO scamming site.

The missus bought me a crystal ball for christmas, can't get the bloody thing to work though!

#13 NASA

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE
Then you don't have to wonder if they're spammy or bad neighborhoods because presumably you only like actual good stuff!
lol - you're forgetting one thing Jill, 'There's no accounting for taste', after all you do love Twitter wink1.gif




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