A Quick Clarification on the Bad Neighborhood Detector

Due to some misconceptions that I have come across having to do with the Bad Neighborhood Detector tool, I need to clear up a couple of things. Let me say first and foremost that the tool is designed to help webmasters in determining whether or not they might want to link out to a particular website. It was designed to help reduce some of the effort involved with the manual checking process… the tool was not designed to replace the human decision making process in any way, shape, or form.

One of the things that the tool does is to flag any sites that could possibly be in industries that historically have been prone to high incidences of search engine spamming, such as the adult and pharmaceutical fields. Not all sites in those industries are involved with spamming by any means, but even when they aren’t many webmasters like to keep a family friendly experience for their users, and would still prefer not to link to them. To help identify sites of this nature, the tool examines the anchor text linking to the various pages, and checks for parts of certain words within them, such as “adult”, “sex”, and “pharma” (among others).

Just because someone links to a page using the anchor text “Unisex hair styles back in fashion”, “Family Fun For Adults and Children Alike”, or “Problem with drugs? Call our hotline today”, and the tool flags the website because of it, does not mean that you will get penalized for linking to them. The tools is intended to guide you to areas you might want to look at, not to dictate who you do or do not link out to.

There are sites in every industry that are involved in practices that could make them undesirable to link to, which is why the tools does more than just examine anchor text. The tool also does checks such as looking for a disproportionate amount of links from blogs. Since most commercial sites do not naturally attract the majority of their links from blogs, if you are scanning say, a site that sells lighting fixtures, and that has almost all of it’s links coming from blogs, then that site may have gained them from comment spam. If, however, you are scanning Michael Moore’s website, then it is only natural that a large number of bloggers would link to him. Again, human discretion is still needed to interpret the results.

Thank you. 😀

33 thoughts on “A Quick Clarification on the Bad Neighborhood Detector

  1. Pingback: Good Links, Bad Links

  2. Pingback: L’importanza dei link in uscita (outbound link)

  3. Pingback: Featured Friday #4 | RS Designs

  4. Pingback: Is your blog linked to a penalized site? | Sha Money Maker

  5. Pingback: Bad Neighbourhood: Text Link Checker Tool « one cool site: wordpress blogging tips

  6. Thanks for sharing the tool for bad neighborhood. It is an excellent free tool, but it has limitations of displaying only first 40 results. It would be very nice if you can make a paid membership where the users can access the tool with its full capabilities of displaying all results. I understand bandwidth and time may be a constraint, but you can provide the user with an option of displaying say maximum 500 results.

  7. Pingback: Free Traffic » This Is A Very Cool Free Tool

  8. Thanks for the tool and the clarifications. Active participation is not equal to spamming thus human decision remains important.
    Checked your site too before commenting :-))

  9. Really handy tool – thank you! Prod me if you ever need help hosting it! Can you provide a bit more clarification on how something’s flagged as potential blog spam here?

  10. Ouch. My main site was pointed out as blog spam. 🙁
    I will have to look into this. There are hundreds of links to it, but very few of them are blog comments by me.

  11. @Eskil – it is normal for blogs to get most of their links from other blogs. Currently BN doesn’t detect if a site being scanned is a blog, so it flags it as “potential blog spam” if it fits that pattern, but hopefully soon I will be re-coding it to try and not flag actual blogs with that classification.

  12. my blog just get penalty from google. Can anyone please check whats wrong? please thanks.. i really don’t know what to do anymore

  13. I have a question on how to find these “questionable” links shown for a site. I go to the url it says has the questionable link, or the links to the questionable sites, but I can’t find them anywhere. I’d like to get rid of some of the links that I’ve found with the ttool that are definitely inappropriate, but am having trouble locating them on my site. Is there something I’m missing here??

    Thanks for providing this tool! And help anyone can provide on using it… 🙂

  14. Alice, that could differ on a case by case basis. It depends on your site, and where the tool said the bad links were. Hit me up using the email link at the bottom of Bad Neighborhood if you really can’t find them, and let me know what it is that you are seeing.

  15. Could you clarify the Google rules on Bad Neighbors. I think that my Gmail account and my conversation between potential partners lead to my removal from Google search- do you think this is possible?
    Also, is there a number of bad links that would lead to a Google censorship? I’m just curious your advice for how to walk the line between getting the benefits of links without censorship.
    Finally, it appears that many sites that look ‘bad’ based on BN criteria actually have high Alexa and/or Google rankings… any help?

    Mark Montoya

  16. I ran the test and the “AddThis” button which links you to all the social networking sites and is pretty handy comes up as linked to many bad sites. Any suggestions on if I should delete this from our websites?

  17. I’m quite upset that you decided my site was a “bad neighborhood.” I think you are causing much trouble and headaches for people who do not deserve it.

    Just what decent people need, to be branded a bad place to link.

  18. @Janet – no, I would not delete the AddThis button.

    @Vivian – I get a strong feeling that you completely ignored the contents of this post before deciding to comment. It is for people such as yourself who do not understand the Bad Neighborhood tool that this post was written. Please take the time to read it. Thank you.

  19. yes this was a good read BUT my feeling on bad neighborhood links are that 2.0 Internet is changing so fast that your ideas and theories will be disregarded in 1 year from now. the internet2.0 has the ability to Chang over night.
    what that sad i do agree with you on bad neighborhood. i also thing that spam some day we become an source of artificial intelligences. lol

  20. Thanks for sharing such optional information but some of my sites was declined as bad naighborhood by your tool. It’s not bad but almost all my site are ideally for Google. It’ even funny 🙂

  21. This was an amazing find – although some of our pages are flagged by your code we’re not worried as the explanation you provide about how this tool works is really helpful. We are still a young company, learning seo as we go – we make page 1 of the big G on about 25% of our key words and phrases so we are getting better at targeting our work. We’ll be back to make sure none of the of spam gets past us. Thank you BN.


  22. Very nice tool. I used it check several sites that had left comments related to dentistry on my blog that were non-dentistry related sites. I was surprised to find most that I had accepted were legit with about 1,000 links and either “0” or “1” bad link. So it reinforced my judgement that I had deleted the bad sites and left the good sites as links. One exception, was a blog site that discussed the effects of various drugs complete with chemical formulas–it had only 22 links of which 4 were considered bad. However, I left the link because the content was not related to any the pharma or adult type links. It was a judgement call which I think is OK.

  23. I love this tool. Luckily, the only ‘almost flagged’ link in my site was due to a very heavy link density on the site I had linked to. I’ll contact the site owners and let them know…surely if Facebook can avoid a similar ‘almost flagged’ even with its Like buttons, the site in question can find a way to avoid the same designation. I’ll also be using this tool more as I start working on getting my own domain with a different web hosting service.

    I find it funny that of all the comments on here, the only ones that are negative towards this tool are sites with porn (CP, even) or porn links on the front page (cinta, korki) OR are sites that obviously do not fully understand coding, much less SEO, as evidenced by the images bleeding over outside of their sections (Vivian). I wouldn’t worry about the naysayers, either. 🙂

  24. Login Lockdown has locked me out of my dashboard for over an hour now, despite my continually inserting the correct password. I need access, even if just to change the plugin’s settings! Pls help asap.

  25. Thank you so much for the tool. I checked my site there and i got to found questionable links. Am little scared about it now because i don’t know how to remove it. Can u please say how to remove those links? Thank you once again and waiting for your reply desperately.

  26. Thanks Michael.. but for the result, If I will remove some link not used, I don’t know excat URL in my Blog witch contains the bad links.
    Maybe I dont know how to use it or the function just like that.

  27. Hi Michael!

    Your site has helped me a lot in checking links on my site promoting Colombia:
    Many thanks!

    The site is not generating any money yet except for very small amounts and a first potential customer for paid publicity on my site could be the shopping mall mentioned above: http://www.unicentrodearmenia.com. It is a highly respectable shopping mall in the city of Armenia in Colombia where I live.

    They link to the casino they have in the shopping mall, Casino Ventura, showing 4 questionable links when running the bad neighborhood link checker on their website mentioned above.

    Not promoting the casino on their site would likely not be feasible as it is within their installations . Would the 4 questionable links on their site in your view be critical when linking my site to theirs pulling down my site on Google search results (I am now on many top positions such as for “holidays in Quindio”? Should I create new subpages linking to this site hoping that a possible detrimental impact is only to that new sub-page on my site and not to the other well positioned sub-pages? Or is there a better solution? What would you do?

    I will be extremely thankful for your answer!

    Kind regards,

    Roberto van Uden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *