A link farm is a website that was created for the sole purpose of growing the link popularity of another site. It is synonymous with “black hat” SEO because the content on the web sites linking to each other have no relationship, not created by a human, and is often of very poor quality. Search engines like Google have now employed algorithm updates that detect link farms easily and they shouldn’t be seen as a legitimate long-term search optimization strategy.
How to tell if a website is a Link Farm?
The best way to tell if a site is considered a link farm by Google is to check its PageRank. And the best way to do that is to install a plugin in your browser called SEOQuake. The lower the PageRank, the more likely it is that Google thinks it is spam.
A Link Farm is also easy to identify when you come across them. They usually consist of many web pages of business names, business descriptions and links to each business website. On the surface, this sounds like a business directory except that the aim is to sell listings without the NoFollow attribute.
What is the difference between a web directory and link farm?
A link farm is a collection of links with no set categories under which the links are added to. Anyone and everyone can submit their links and get accepted and there is little or no editorial review of these links. Essentially, these links have been built to manipulate the search engines and not designed for the end user and helping them find the information they are looking for.
A web directory, on the other hand, is not only a collection of links but the links have been categorized under relevant topics and sites are listed only after they undergo editorial review. Directories are useful to the user in that if a user wanted to find a site under a particular topic, it would be easy to go to the appropriate category and choose from the selection of links. Be cautious of web directories with page rank 3 and under. If the domain authority is lower than 40 on these web directories, don’t press the submit button.
Also be mindful of the fact that web directories and link farms are no longer ranking on Google SERPS. It may be time to find high authority blogs that your customers would often be visiting.
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