Msg#: 1944 posted 11:49 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)
Well, there are two kinds of bad neighborhoods, those sites that have been yanked from the index already and those that are likely to be. The former are easier to identify as they will not merely have a whitebar PR0 but a graybar and they are not found in the index. Nada, zip, gone, see ya wouldn't want to be ya.
The ones that are engaging in practices that will get them penalized may be easy to spot and may not be easy to spot. One way to spot them is to check through their site and see what kind of sites they link to. However most webmasters are going to try to stay away from being identified as bad neighborhoods, making them harder to spot. The thing you probably need to look for most today is whether the site is part of a network of intensely cross-linked sites that do not have the benefit of two or three times the nubmer of cross-links in incoming links from other domains. E.g., I had one webmaster email me offering me links from 200 different domains if I would link to each one of his 200 different domains. When I checked out a few of the domains it turned out that each page had one outgoing link to one of the other pages in his network. His sites were in the index, but for how long? Did I want to be identified as part of that network by linking to 200 domains? I think not.
A brand-new site will also be greybarred, so you need to check the Wayback Machine and other search engines for signs of age, e.g. 9-12 months, in which case the grey bar suggests a removal from the index.
It isn't conclusive evidence. Some sites are never submitted or linked to from anywhere. I know a 2-yo personal site meant only for family and it shows no PR and can't be found on the main SEs.