Not ALL Links are Created Equal – IP Addresses Matter – A Lot!

By Mike Liebner • on June 9, 2009

Backlinks and Proper Linking are what helps make specific individual web pages rise to to the top of the search engine results pages.

If you want to be on top you need better links than the competition.

That may sound like it’s difficult and complex – but if you have an Article Underground membership it is EASY for you!

Sure – it can be a daunting task to set up a site and then need to go out and get links pointing at it, but that’s exactly why Article Underground is called a ‘content and traffic system” – because we help webmasters put great content on their pages and THEN we go one step further and provide them a network of high quality blogs to get good quality backlinks!

If you want to be on top – you need to get the RIGHT kind of links.

Allow me to explain.

Not all links are created equal.

Google and the other search engines are very sophisticated and before they let our web page rank on top for a keyword phrase that gets traffic, they will analyze both ON PAGE and OFF PAGE factors.

On page is what is on your web page – the words – the content. The stuff Google’s spiders see when they crawl your web page.

In order to rank for a keyword phrase or multiple keyword phrases (you are targeting more than 1 keyword per page, aren’t you???) your web page MUST BE RELEVANT to the phrase and ideally contain your keywords. In fact the keywords should not just be on your page – they should be PROMINENT!

If you are using Article Underground PLR articles for content – then you have that angle covered. AU articles are written and optimized for specific keyword phrases.

The keywords are featured prominently throughout the AU articles we provide our members.

So that’s ON PAGE – what about OFF PAGE??? What is an off page factor???

If you want your web pages to rank on top of Google and the other search engines you need to make sure that your pages have the words on the page and OFF PAGE –  you need to make sure that other web sites out there are LINKING to your web pages with the KEYWORDS you are targeting in the TEXT LINKS.

OFF PAGE FACTORS revolve around LINKS pointing at your page from other web pages and web sites.

IP Addresses Matter – Not ALL Links are Created Equal

Do you understand what an IP ADDRESSES is??? Do you know what they represent???

Let me try to explain – you really need to get this right or you might do all the WRONG THINGS and Google will slap yo butt!

In fact, the most common reasons that I run across when Article Underground members show me their sites and complain of Google dropping them off the front page is the page is related to poor wreckless linking.

If it were simply volume of links pointing at a page – we’d have it easy – but Google sees a lot more than simply a link and the text… they look at many factors to judge the qulaity of the links.

You need to understand this or your site can be in big trouble with Google.

Too many crappy links can get your domain banned from Google.

Ok… so let’s spend a little time on one of the most important concepts that affects where your pages will rank on Google.

Google wants to know WHERE your link is coming from. The origin. Where it comes from is a part of their quality score for the link(s).

One thing they look at is the IP ADDRESS of the domain that is linking.

Every domain is assigned an IP ADDRESS which helps identify the location of the files so that your browser can find and connect with that web page.

If you have a web site – it has an IP ADDRESS assigned so people can find it. Depending on your hosting it may be used by many domains.

To see your IP Address or the IP of any site – use this tool:

Google looks at this and considers the IP ADDRESSES in their OFF PAGE quality scoring.

They will SCORE your page based on their internal rules relating to IP ADDRESSES.

They look at individual IP’s and they also look at ALL of the IP’s as a group. They look for unusual patterns that may reveal an attempt to GAME THEM!

So – you might be wondering – aren’t all IP ADDRESSES the same??? They’re just numbers, right?

They may be numbers – but they also help identify WHERE the LINK is originating from.

They look at the kind of page – the number from the domain – the ip address – all kinds of things can be connected to a link and an ip address.

If the LINK comes from a BANNED IP ADDRESS or one that has a lot of unusual or suspsicous activity – Google might not count it.

If the link isn’t what they consider “perfect” -they might discount the value of the link or even NOT count it.

If TOO MANY LINKS come from BANNED IP ADDRESSES, such as those from known link spammers, or cookie cutter article directories on the same host, they may do something extreme such as BAN YOUR DOMAIN.

At the very least Google won’t think much of your page and/or site if too many of your backlinks are crap.

One of the reasons that IP ADDRESSES get banned is because Google can analyze patterns as seen from their HUGE database of data. They can spot that UNUSUAL and UN-NATURAL THINGS are happening.

Usually – link spammers – especially AMATEUR or newbie link spammers will LINK in excess. They mistakenly think MORE is BETTER and go overboard.

If this happens and Google can connect the IP ADDRESS to this pattern – it is possible they will ban it.

Same concept almost as when specific countries get banned from ecommerce or affiliate programs because of excessive fraud. The large majority of the problems come from isolated places – so you can take action on that specific place.

Remember – Google is way smart – they will know if YOU are trying to game them by serving a 1,000 links to your web page from a domain hosted on the same server as your domain. In fact – Google can see MANY patterns that ordinary humans just wouldn’t think of…

But hey – we’re not ordinary humans, are we???

If you are SMART and careful about the way you link to your own pages, you’ll be just fine and get lots of top rankings. It’s the EXCESSIVE and OBNOXIOUS behavior that Google is most concerned with.

As long as you are careful and break  the patterns you will be just fine.

* note: see also my article on breaking patterns

>>> “Good SEO – Breaking the patterns”

OK… so back to the IP addresses and what they represent…

EVERY IP ADDRESS has class A, B, C and D – all of them.

I know this can be confusing, but LOOK at it this way

that is an IP address

here are the classes in that IP – class a, b, c and d:

A 208
B 109
C 181
D 174

Every HOST is given a ‘block” of IP addresses

They are usually in the same class C BLOCK

So – using the above IP – here is an example of what IP addresses a host might have allocated to them through

so they would have each IP in the C CLASS of 181


All of those are in the SAME CLASS C IP BLOCK

When Google looks at links pointing at our web pages – they are primarily trying to catch people LINKING to their own sites EXCESSIVELY.

Since most people have only ONE SERVER and ONE WEB HOST – it is pretty easy for Google to do this.

It is NOT natural for a large percentage of LINKS to come from the same place.

All they have to do is compare the IP Adresses of the domains linking to a WEB PAGE or WEB SITE and they will see patterns if the web owner is indeed LINKING TOO MUCH to their own web sites.

So if they see TOO MANY IP’s from within the same CLASS C BLOCK of IP ADDRESSES they will most likely DISCOUNT the value of the links OR in extreme cases they will PENALIZE or BAN the web site.

Now, remember EXACTLY HOW they do all this scoring is a SECRET.

Google has never told us this info or specific algorhytms – it is ASSUMED by SEO types that they score like this, because as pointed out earlier, we KNOW that ONE WEB HOST most likely has a LIMITED RANGE of IP ADDRESSES they can give to a CLIENT. And linking to sites of your own is easy to spot by analyzing the IP addresses.

These excessive patterns don’t usually happen in the real world for popular sites. The most popular sites don’t need to game links. They get too many links without asking for them!

IF a web site is VERY POPULAR and successful on it’s own without any MANIPULATION or “in house” linking schemes, the DIVERSITY OF IP ADDRESSES will be VERY BROAD.

There will be MANY CLASS C IP BLOCKS represented in the LIST OF IP ADDRESSES.



So – that being considered – it is OK to have SOME or even a LOT of LINKS coming from the same CLASS C IP BLOCKS as long as there is an OVERALL DIVERSITY with lots of OTHER IP BLOCKS MIXED IN.

In other words – if you ONLY have a few LINKS and they all come from the same PLACES (same class c ip block) it is VERY LIKELY those links are NOT natural real world links.

Ideally a web site needs MANY different DIVERSE IP ADDRESSES linking to the site/pages.

Ideally NOT ONLY different CLASS C BLOCKS – but ideally many different CLASS A BLOCKS and B and CLASS C BLOCK IP addresses.

The D BLOCK or the 4th part of the IP ADDRESS is MOST LIKELY IGNORED


In other words – it is really NOT likely they even care what the 4th octet or d class of your linking IP address is – because they can see from the C CLASS of the linking IP if it is coming from the same host.

While those two MAY be different – Google most likely sees them as coming from the same HOST – most likely a site YOU also own.

I am pretty sure they won’t give you a top ranking based on that kind of link!

Now – if the class C’s are different (3rd octet) – they will most likely see them as coming from DIFFERENT HOSTS and give you FULL CREDIT or BONUS POINTS for having links originating from more different CLASS C BLOCKS

these are different class C IP’s

these are diffenet class B IP’s

these are different class A IP’s

It is very likely these 2 IP’s are allocated to HOSTS that are geographically spread far apart from each other.

Google likes to see this kind of diversity and will reward your page for this.

So the general rule of thumb for linking is – if you link to your OWN domain from your OWN SITES – and those sites are on the same server – link sparingly.

Don’t link too many times or they will be smart enough to know they are all links from your own sites.

If you have 2 hosts – you can link slightly more often – but still NOT TOO MUCH because they can still figure out your links are coming from the same places.

  • The only way to make sure that you have the best quality of links that Google loves is to have many diverse web sites from servers located all over the world pointing at your web site and pages.

The AU Blogs are spread on different servers with many different IP addresses.

So – to summarize – we want to look at the IP addresses in the links pointing at our sites and we want to make sure we have as many different IP’s from all 4 of the blocks – class a, b, c and d – as possible.

We do not want TOO MANY coming from the same CLASS C BLOCK.

If you are linking to your sites using the Article Underground announcements blogs – they will be getting diverse links from DOMAINS on different servers that are spread out ALL OVER THE WORLD.

The AU Blogs are spread onto a DIVERSE number of DIFFERENT IP ADDRESSES. Many different CLASS A IP’s… many different CLASS B IP’s and many different CLASS C IP’s.

These links from the AU BLOGS in conjunction with NATURAL LINKS coming in from the real world give your pages a huge advantage over those pages with just a few links or links originating from the same places.

If you want top rankings – you need pages that have good words and you need high quality links!

Article Underground is the answer to both needs!


By Mike on June 11th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Please feel fre to comment! Tell me what you think!

Up to 2 links in the comment are OK as long as they are not spammy!

By Tav on June 11th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Although in essence your post was great, just wanted to point out a few very significant errors. I think the readers know what you’re trying to say, but for the sake of proper education, I think it’s important to clarify a few things.

“EVERY IP ADDRESS has class A, B, C and D – all of them.”

This is NOT correct. Every IP address is EITHER a class A, B, C, or D. It can only be ONE of them, not ALL of them… What you are trying to say is every IP address has 4 separate octets which make up the address – ie, you will not see a 192.1.5 – it is missing the fourth octet.

IP address classification is NOT as you have shown in your example:

that is an IP address
here are the classes in that IP – class a, b, c and d:
A 208
B 109
C 181
D 174”

the four separate octets that make up an IP address are not “classes” as you mentioned . The “class” of an IP is defined only by the first octet:

Specifically the ranges are:
a Class ‘A’ IP address is always 1 to 127.x.x.x
a Class ‘B’ IP address is always 128 to 191.x.x.x
a class ‘C’ IP address is always 192 to 223.x.x.x
a class ‘D’ IP address is always 224 to 247.x.x.x
finally, a class ‘E’ address which was omitted is always 228-255.x.x.x

So in effect, your example is in fact a Class C IP address since it starts with 208.

The other examples you show are NOT the classes you mentioned.

“these are diffenet class B IP’s

Actually, no, these are not Class B IP address at all – they are still class C ip addresses. What you are trying to say is these class C addresses are on different subnets. The same applies on your next example of a “class A” ip address. One of them is indeed a class A IP address, but the second is still a class C.

Lastly, although the upper limit of any octet in an IP address can vary, you will never see a .999. In your example, the fourth octet of a class C IP address can only go up to 255. There’s no such thing as a .999 address nor can a number higher than .255 appear in any of the octets. 😉

Again, the essence of your post is absolutely correct, linking excessively to and from multiple websites hosted on the same subnet is a huge no no, regardless of class. The more unique and varied the classes are (which by default would be completely different hosting providers), the less likelihood of these servers being owned by the same person to do “unscrupulous” linking. If you were living in a small city with one or two main hosting provider, it is very possible that two completely different companies in completely different markets could be hosted on the same class of IP – and if they linked to each other for legitimate purposes (ie, they were part of a local business directory), Google may look on that unfavorably.

In any case, moral of the story is, if you own multiple websites and are hosting them on the same hosting provider, don’t link to each other 😉

hope this was helpful and coming from a network engineering background, I had to point out the errors 😉


By Mike on June 11th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Thanks Tavis. Now I am all confused :’>

Regardless of the specifics – the basic gist is – be careful about having too many links come from the same places! It’s the excessive activity that will be problematic. A few links from the same IP or class or subnet is usually not a problem – it’s when ALL or MOST of your links come from the same places that it raises suspicion and a penalty or worse may occur :’>

By Master Mind on June 11th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Lol, Travis, while your explanations are correct I’ve heard it Mikes way for so long it’s become the norm. Heh, I know a couple of large web hosting providers that explain it the same way Mike does. Yes, I know, just because everyone understands it one way doesn’t make that way right. I know that kind of stuff irritates people who really know. 😉

By Hermann Hoerter on June 11th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I am confused too. Those numbers don’t mean much to me, and I think a lot of people don’t care. The lesson learned here is, not to have many, or any, links coming from the same IP address. I am using a few hosts myself, so that will never happen that I link from one site, on the same host, to another site on that host.
Anyway, it was a good lesson.

By Derrick on June 13th, 2009 at 8:50 am

Thanks for the useful informations. Best is not to have too many links from the same IP address, afew links should be pretty ok, i guess..

End of the day, i think what Tavis mentioned is true: High quality links is the way to go !

By Neil Shearing on June 14th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Mike, nice article. :)

In theory, Google can’t give your site a bad ranking based on links from bad neighbourhoods… because it could be used by unethical companies to blacklist their competitors.

What do you think?


By Mike Liebner on June 23rd, 2009 at 8:30 pm

While I’d like to hope Google would not penalize you for something your competitors could DO to you, I have had domains DIVE for no apparent reason other than from linking – so – that’s a tough one – I think they give you some room but if you cross the threshold they dump on you :’>

By Wayne on July 4th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Great article Mike!

As usual, you provide good content in easy-to-understand terminology to your readers.

By iPod cases on July 14th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

yep too many from the same ip class and your get the slap down.
thanks for the post

By Segura SEO Consulting Agency on July 24th, 2009 at 2:02 am

Very glad to see someone clearly and properly address the differences between a profitable link building strategy and a worthless one. Excellent article for those whom are new to SEO, I think you definitely helped a few people understand some of the core concepts behind what we do. Keep the good stuff coming man, talk to ya soon.

By Dalirin on August 17th, 2009 at 12:50 am

I doubt that if google would ban your site if you gets links from crappy sites. You cannot control who links to you. Google would either ban you if you use the same anchor text a lot or if you get to much link in one day, and get none for the other days.

For people trying to get links from different IPs, they should create a link wheel. This would help them to rank for low competitive niches.

By Pro IM Tools on September 4th, 2009 at 12:38 am

By day I’m a Network Administrator, so it all seems easy to me (but then I’ve been doing IP Addresses for 20 years). But yeah, the point is not too many links from the same IP address ranges. Hosting blogs at various hosting companies, free blog sites like blogger, submiting articles to various article submission sites, social bookmarking…all create backlinks spread across different IP addresses. Best to mix it all up.

By trading online on September 9th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

This is scary. I want to start using an article service for article submission and I noticed that some of their sites are deindexed. I hope I don’t get banned by google

By Darrell on October 7th, 2009 at 12:21 am

Hey great insightful article Mike. But I do disagree that Google will punish you because you share the same ISP as some othe bad site. The reality is that Google realizes you will likely being doing a shared hosting with the hosting companies out there. Heck, even companies like Hostgator that have a great reputation likely have bad neighbourhoods on the same ISP. So I really don’t think that its going to harm my home based business in that sense. However, I absolutely agree that overall you do want to have back links coming from as many places as possible.

By James on January 27th, 2010 at 8:17 am


Thanks for the excellent insights on IP addresses and linking strategies.
It is a bit confusing if you try to understand the IP address numbers and which are A’s or B’s or C’s etc. so just keeping the simple concept of spreading the linking around to different host is easy to understand.

Thanks again

By Albert Nox on September 28th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Mike, great article. thanks for your nice information…

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