This post is all about educating you about something called link farms. Search engine optimization has been a hot topic for quite a few years now and we all know that positioning yourself well on Google search results is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if you have a brand new website. However, instead of discussing other SEO optimization techniques, I have decided to talk about a blackhat SEO practice known as link farming and why you should avoid it at all costs.
I know many of you are probably chomping at the bit wanting the latest and greatest information that will help you take over the SERP, but making sure you keep up with Google’s Best Practices is just as equally important. Being mindful of what you should and should not be doing on your website can help you avoid unnecessary manual actions from Google and help you to avoid losing your position in search altogether.
What Are Link Farms?
Link Farms are companies that do one thing and one thing only. Can you guess what that is? They sell backlinks and if you are familiar with Google’s Best Practices, or if you read our previous article on SEO, then you know that knowingly and willingly participating in link schemes is not an acceptable practice.
What Is a Link Scheme?
Google defines a link scheme as any links intended to manipulate a website’s pagerank or a site’s ranking in search results.
To provide more clarity on link schemes, I have provided you with a short list of examples below.
- Link Exchanges
- Link Farms
- Private Blogging Networks (PBN’s)
- Paid Advertorials With DoFollow Links
- Buying Links
- Selling Links
- Offering Incentives For Links
- Spamming Links in Comments
- Low Quality Directories
- Low Quality Bookmarking Websites
- Using Software to Automatically Create Links
- Buying Press Releases With Keyword Optimized Anchor Text
- Site Wide Footer Links
The Consequences of Link Farming
Given the numerous amount of link farms available on the world wide web today, there is no way of telling how much they have actually impacted search results over the years, but we can have a quick look at some of the known and potential consequences of these practices to give you a better understanding of their overall impact.
- Link Farms can indirectly impact the rankings of non targeted websites
- Buying links from link farms or anywhere else may have a longterm impact on your Google rankings.
- Websites can be deindexed from Google Search if they are thought to be active participants of Link farming.
- While Link Farms may provide a website with short term keyword ranking improvements, the gains are usually short lived.
Why Do People Use Them?
As I was writing this article I thought it may be a good idea to give you my two cents on why people use these services, because I have a feeling many of you have already probably asked yourself the same question. I believe many people use this services without actually knowing they are against Google’s guidelines and they are misinformed by the companies actually pitching them the service. I also believe that many people participate in what is known as selective hearing.
For example, I am almost positive that tons and tons of people know that building up a solid backlink profile has the possibility to help them rank on their most desired keywords and they probably think that it’s a legit SEO service when in reality, it’s not.
Reporting Link Farms to Google
If you believe a website is participating in a link scheme, don’t just sit there and let them get away with it! Do your part and take action. Remember, link schemes manipulate Google Search Rankings and their actions give others an unfair advantage.
If you think a website is actively participating in a link scheme, then please click here to submit a report.
Have anything you would like to add to this blog post or have you ever had any experience with a link farm? If so, tell me about it and feel free to share your experience. Hope to see you in the comments section. Until next time, take care!