We bloggers likes to link. We do it for multiple reasons such as emphasizing a point, explaining things, recommending, being funny, proving some fact, showing some contradicting opinion, reporting a newsworthy story and for proper attribution (well, at least most of us).
But what happens to our own site’s rankings when the site we link to goes offline for some reason? Or changing its content? Or becomes spammy? Or suddenly displaying “adults-only” materials? Will our site be penalized by search engines for linking to what considers “bad neighborhood”?
For blogs and sites with many pages and posts which constantly being updated it is practically impossible tracking and verifying that each and every link from the site is still in good standing!
Couple of days ago, Google’s anti-spam top cop Matt Cutts, has offered some answers about this pickle in a newly released video:
Google’s geeky search face has been asked to respond to the following question:
Site A links to Site B because Site B has content that would be useful to Site A’s end users, and Google indexes the appropriate page. After the page is indexed, site B’s content changes and becomes spammy, so does Site A incur a penalty in this case?
Aha! What you have to say about that Cuttsy-boy?? You Google guys think you are so smart and now we found a breach in your super-sophisticated $200 billion algorithm, which penalizing us, the poor and innocent webmasters that only intended to offer the best experience as possible to our visitors!
Okay, not really.
Cuttsy-boy explains that in general, few bad links won’t harm the site’s rankings. Yesss!!! Open the hose and start linking to any spam-adult-malware-suspicious-scam-Frank Kern’s site out there! Unleash hell! All hail the new Sodom and Gomorrah web!
Okay, not really.
While FEW bad links won’t impact the site’s rankings, too many of them will. Cutts elaborates that Google is aware about the web’s nature to sometimes “going stale” and therefore certain amount of bad links from websites won’t damage their incoming traffic from Google.
So chill you guys, OK? As long as you aren’t deliberately injecting a bunch of manipulative or deceptive links, you are cool with Google (well, from this angle at least).