Glossary | 2 mins
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Link neighbourhoods are groups of sites that are connected to one another through links, vaguely similarly to those seen in tiered link building. The links that connect these sites send important signals to web crawlers regarding how different pieces of content are related, and in turn, how these pages should be ranked in SERPs.
The quality of a given site that makes up a link neighbourhood can quickly raise or lower the value of the sites it’s linked to in the same way that property values can appreciate or depreciate depending on the value of surrounding properties, hence the term “link neighbourhood”.
To maximise their chances of high organic rankings, SEOs must work to ensure their sites are a part of high quality link neighbourhoods, and avoid link neighbourhoods that may harm their ability to rank by association.
Being Part of a Good Link Neighbourhood
To keep your site in a good link neighbourhood, you should ensure that all external links and backlinks associated with your site link you to sites that meet high quality standards.
This means that search signals like the content authority, trustworthiness, and value to the reader, should all be as high as possible, and that all technical factors make for a smooth and efficient user experience for site visitors.
With each new link, whether inbound or outbound, look at the content that’s being associated with yours, and think about whether or not you’d be happy to host it on your own domain. If the answer’s no, then this link may risk depreciating the value of your link neighbourhood.
Signs of a Bad Link Neighbourhood
When you’re looking to keep your site in a good link neighbourhood, it’s often useful to start by checking for the signs of a bad neighbourhood. These tend to be similar to the signs of a poor link building prospect, including:
- External links to spammy sites, adult content, gambling sites, etc
- Thin and poorly-written content that offers no tangible benefit to the site’s target audience
- An excessive amount of ad space that detracts from the user experience
- Crowbarred-in link spam that lead to sites which have no topical relevance to your brand
By running regular internal and extrarenal link audits using your chosen SEO tool, you’ll be able to stay vigilant for these signs and take the necessary steps to move your site towards a healthier, higher value neighbourhood.
Link Neighbourhood FAQs
What is a link neighbourhood?
The term link neighbourhood is used to refer to a cluster of pages or domains that are associated with each other through links. They’re a big talking point among SEOs because the overall quality of the sites in a link neighbourhood can raise or harm all the sites involved. It’s in every site owner’s interest to make their site part of a good link neighbourhood, and avoid becoming associated with bad ones.
What is a link building scheme?
Link building schemes are agreements between sites that seek to manipulate PageRank contrary to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They’re often characterised by unnatural, strangely placed links that are intended to build links without any concern for the value they’re providing the site user. These are a tell tale sign of bad link neighbourhoods.
Questions to ask your link builder