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What Is A Bad Neighbourhood?

What Is A Bad Neighbourhood

Date First Published: 7th April 2024

Topic: Web Design & Development

Subtopic: SEO

Article Type: Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Medium

Difficulty Level: 5/10

Learn about what a bad neighbourhood is in this article.

In SEO, bad neighbourhoods are groups of websites that have violated the guidelines of search engines and have a poor reputation. They may use black hat SEO techniques or post spam content. This can lead to them being downgraded or avoided by search engines.

Signs Of A Bad Neighbourhood

The signs of a bad neighbourhood are:

  • Spam content - Websites that contain low-quality and irrelevant content that has little value for users. Content farms, scraper sites, and private blog networks (PBNs) commonly have spam content.
  • Bad backlink profile - A website that contains large numbers of backlinks from bad neighbourhood sites can be considered part of a bad neighbourhood itself. This suggests that the website is trying to artificially gain backlinks.
  • Too many external links - Websites with too many external links unrelated to the content can be considered part of a bad neighbourhood. Websites running link schemes often link to a lot of low-quality and unrelated websites.
  • Too many ads - A website with more ads than content indicates that it was mostly created to display ads to earn advertising revenue and does not care about the user experience. Websites with excessive ads that are disruptive to the user experience are often part of a bad neighbourhood.
  • Paid links - Buying or selling links for SEO is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines. If detected, the value of those links will be ignored when calculating the ranking of the website.

How To Avoid A Bad Neighbourhood?

Bad neighbourhoods can be avoided by making sure that the websites you link to and build backlinks from are trustworthy sources. Preventing a negative reputation for your website also involves making sure it has high-quality content and provides a positive user experience.

Since you have little control over the quality or quantity of backlinks on external sites, it is inevitable that your website will receive links from low-quality sites that are part of a bad neighbourhood. Fortunately, Google and other search engines usually ignore spammy or low-quality backlinks without a manual action and it is possible to disavow links if you are sure that they are causing them problems and cannot take them down.


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