I want to start this post with a story I have from a few years back. It started one day when I was in a restaurant in Pennsylvania for lunch talking to a couple who had just moved in from out of state. The more we got talking the more I began to realize they had quite an interesting story. They had moved blindly into the city of Philadelphia to a neighborhood in North Philadelphia. To the local Philadelphians we all know to avoid that neighborhood at all costs because it is filled with bad neighbors. They told me they had lived in this neighborhood for one weeks’ time and after a series of crimes and break ins in the area, they realized that it was not the place for them. So they packed up and headed south out of the city to a smaller town known as Chester. The city of Chester also has some rough neighborhoods. By no means should this couple be considered bad neighbors, but the point of the story is to show how easily a good neighbor can end up in a bad neighborhood.
Now let’s get to the point of the article. Google especially along with other search engines follows the sites you link to and the sites that link to you. If you surround yourself with enough bad neighbors, then you will be considered a bad neighbor regardless if you are one or not. The tricky part is we cannot always tell at first glimpse whether we are looking at a bad neighbor or not. While link building for your site, you should be constantly qualifying every link you add.
– Verify there isn’t any no follow tags in place.
– Check their page rank and make sure they are not Blacklisted with Google.
– Ask yourself whether or not this site would be useful or interesting to the people who use your site.
– Check what back links the site you are evaluating has, and if they are good neighbors.
If you follow these guidelines it will decrease the quantity of links you will get, but increase the quality of them and that is the best thing you could possibly do for your site.
– Brian Dainis