Numerous websites that use ethical SEO are not able to reach the top spots of the search engine results. The main reason why this situation happens can be chosen from the three: sandbox effect, over optimization or bad neighborhood.
With the sandbox effect that is experienced by all new websites, you just have to wait for a couple of weeks and your website will be indexed if you intellectually do organic SEO practices. Avoid excessive keyword stuffing and overdoing SEO practices if over optimization is committed.
Google is known to rank websites through the highest number of quality backlinks. Having numerous inbound links is way better than having many outbound links. If you have more inbound links, your website will rank higher but if you have more outbound links and those links will point to improper websites or the so called bad neighbors, you will be banned in Google.
It is not unfair to penalize you for having links to bad neighbors even if you do all the ethical SEO techniques for your website. On the other hand, Google is not capable of penalizing your website
Signs that a Website is a Bad Neighbor
Website is labeled as a bad neighbor if they practice keyword stuffing, content duplication, doorway pages, hidden texts and links, auto-generated web pages and misleading titles. Therefore, if you have a web page for link love, make sure to check the links if they are bad neighbors or not.
When checking, the first thing you need to do is see if the website is indexed on Google through typing this on the search box, site: www.domain-name.com. From time to time, check your outgoing links so that you will avoid Google penalties. A clean coded website with quality SEO always get the highest spot on the search engine results page.