What is a Link Farm – and Why is it a Black Hat SEO Process?

What is a Link Farm – and Why is it a Black Hat SEO Process?

“Link farming is a questionable search engine optimization (SEO) tactic in which a website enters a relationship of reciprocal linking with another site or pays a provider for a large number of inbound links. Because many search engines use inbound links as a factor in determining a website’s page rank, websites use link farming to boost their rankings in search engine results.”

“Service providers who promise to improve a website’s search engine rank may use link farming. In this situation, the provider simply posts links en masse on other unrelated websites, some of which are designed only for this purpose.

Search engines used to be very vulnerable to link farming because they primarily operated on the reasoning that a page has greater authority if a large number of other sites link to it. Now, link farming often fails because search engines have evolved to rank results based on what will be most useful for the user. This means that a link from a site with trusted content or similar content to the page to which it is linking is worth more than random links from many sites.

If webmasters try to inflate the number of backlinks to their website artificially through link farming, search engines generally punish this behaviour when they detect it. A violation may result in a site’s page rank being dropped or even removed for a time.

In essence, search engines attempt to encourage websites to gain authority – and thus page rank – in the most legitimate way possible. The ideal way to gain page rank is to create websites with great content that will be frequently linked to by other high-quality sites.”

h/t to techopedia for this info!

How Can I Tell If a Website Has Used a Link Farm?

“The best way to tell if a site is considered a link farm by Google is to find out its PageRank. The best way to do that is to install the Google toolbar in your browser (for IE and Firefox). You can then surf to the page in question. Since PageRank is a Google technology, it’s best to ask the source what they think.

The lower the PageRank, the more likely it is that Google thinks the site is hanging around in some type of bad neighbourhood. Remember, Google doesn’t like it when you link to bad neighbourhoods, as linking implies that you think that site is high quality.”

h/t to thoughtco.com for this info!

 

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Cover Image Credit: SEOPressor