“In general, linking to web spammers and “bad neighborhoods” can harm your site’s indexing and ranking….only natural links add value and are helpful for indexing and ranking your site….Keep in mind that our algorithms can distinguish natural links from unnatural links…..natural links are links to your site that develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors. Unnatural links are links to your site placed there specifically to make your site look more popular to search engines”
Throw nofollow into the blender as well, and it’s a wonder anybody links to anything! Except sites owned by their closest and best-est friends, which I think is the “natural” unintended consequence of despotic link rules and regulations 😉
Are any of the sites featured in my blogroll in “bad neighborhoods”? Are they in “good neighborhoods” now, but may soon be in “bad neighborhoods”? How would I know? Why should I care? I simply like to read them. I think others might, too.
Do people really think this hard about links?