If you have a website that you have been trying to optimise for search engines, you’d have received hundreds of mails by now that request your URL to be added in the websites that send the mails. Sometimes they just request your link and sometimes for a reciprocal one. Most often you give your link as you are also enthusiastic about getting more and more links, and when you enter these websites you find your link among hundreds of others, virtually invisible in the clutter. In other words, you just sent your URL to a link farm.
What is a link farm?
Link farm, as the name indicates, contains hundreds of links that are not grouped or categorized and do not hold any connection to each other or to the website that they are a part of. These parent websites do not have any content of their own except these links. As it sounds, being a part of such a website can be risky as search engines consider the practice as disreputable and therefore liable to penalty.
Link farms are created for the sole reason of increasing the number of incoming links to a website. It is a kind of spamming to trick the search engines into giving the website a higher ranking than it actually deserves. And for the same reason can be penalised by search engines.
How to recognize a link farm
Here are few hints to see whether the link request you got is from a link farm.
- The site has no connection whatsoever to your website in terms of topic and content.
- The link is not linked to from any page which means there are no chances of a visitor reaching there.
- The URL is too long with a never-ending list of directories and sub directories
- It has hundreds of other links that have no relation to each other as well as your website.
- In spite of your website dealing with a totally different topic, they are ready to link with you.
It is true that link farms are quite risky and can invite penalty. However, let this not stop you from inviting quality links that are real websites with content related to yours and have high page ranks. Link farms are just an illicit way to imitate real linking that is regarded highly by search engines.