Just like it is important to get your news from a variety of sources, it is equally important to obtain your backlinks from a variety of sources, especially if SEO success is important to you, which it most likely is if you are reading this article. Google wants to remain the top choice for people looking for anything on the Internet so they constantly do everything they can to ensure their search results are they best they can be. Conversely there are many ‘black-hat’ webmasters and SEO specialists out there who try to ‘game the system’ by creating and linking to many sites usually hosted on the same servers. Google’s intelligent albeit somewhat mysterious crawling algorithms have ways of spotting and penalising such black-hat practices. This article aims to explain this lesser-known area of SEO.
Before we proceed we must either learn of refresh our memory of some terms vital to understanding this area of SEO. Firstly, an Internet Protocol (IPP address is the address of any computer or website connected to the Internet and is represented by a series of numbers, for example 192.168.01.02. To understand what a C-Class subnet are we must first breakdown the IP address into its parts – AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD. As you can see, the highlighted CCC is the C-Class part of the address and refers to the ‘neighbourhood’ of the site, which can often be the hosting server of many websites however a full explanation is outside the scope of this article. Therefore a C-Class subnet, as the name suggests, is a smaller local network of sites.
Now that you fully understand what a C-Class Subnet is it is quite easy to see how this aspect of your sites’ backlinks can be analysed for such aforementioned fraudulent practices requiring further scrutiny. Therefore conducting a thorough backlink analysis either through Google Webmaster Tools or a third party solution including our own Paradox SEO Service is vital to understanding the current state of your sites’ backlinks and how many sit within the same C-Class subnet. If you find that very few backlinks sit within the same C-Class subnet then this is not an issue for your site. However if you do find that your site has many backlinks from the same C-Class subnet then chances are you are already being penalised to some degree by Google and you should take action immediately by targeted link building. Finally, ensure you avoid this problem altogether in future by ensuring your link building strategy incorporates link diversity as a major priority.