Your website is judged by the company it keeps
That’s like ‘real life’ though, isn’t it? If we hang out with the the wrong crowd in our social lives then we are going to be perceived as being like them. If we hang out with the good guys, then we’re seen as good guys too. That’s so easy to understand in life situations but sometimes I find that people don’t realize that the same thing applies to websites. But it’s exactly the same. The next question, of course, is how is this evaluated? And again, the answer is easy.
Your website is evaluated by search engines. There are many factors that search engine spiders will look for – from good spelling and grammar to clear navigation, from accessibility to responsiveness. But another important factor is the ‘neighborhood’ that your website ‘lives in’. No, that doesn’t mean which other sites are on the server that hosts your site, although search engines might look a little askance if you are a USA business and host your site in India, China or elsewhere in the world.
No,it’s simpler than that – search engines want to know who your ‘friends’ are – who you link to and who links to you. You probably don’t link to many other sites. Most people feel that they go to a lot of trouble to get visitors to their sites so don’t want them leaving. A little sensible linking can be OK as long as it’s to good quality, related sites.
It’s who links to you that’s the problem.
This is just good common sense too. If you have links to your site on unrelated websites, if a large number of links have been created in a short space of time, you can understand why search engines ask themselves ‘hello… what’s going on here?’ Unfortunately, there is a lot of outdated information on the web and a lot of people who will ‘advise’ you to create backlinks to your site; the more the merrier.
I have just one word to say about that: