Net Popularity counts how many different Class C size networks have a backlink to a domain. Only one link is counted per network.
What is Net Popularity?
Net Popularity relates to the Class-C size of networks of the IPv4 protocol, in which IP addresses are divided into four blocks, each of which can take the values 0 to 255.
The numbers in blocks 1, 2 and 3 define the class-c size network. For the IP address hosting the Wikipedia home page, 126.96.36.199, the 91.198.174 (usually one adds a zero to the end) specifies the network.
For example, a domain that has 2000 backlinks, all coming from the same network (a network popularity of 1) would be suspicious as they all come from the same host provider.
The shortage of possible addresses in the IPv4 space has led to many large host providers, such as ‘Ionos’ or ‘Bluehost’, hosting a large number of domains from one network by using virtual hosts (many, sometimes hundreds, of hosts stacked into one IP address.) This means that the significance of the network popularity is no longer as strong as it was in the past.
As with IP popularity, in the past it was relatively easy to detect a private blog network with low net popularity, as these were often set up by a certain server group or a certain host provider.