Danger of Link Farms

15-20 years ago, the biggest thing you could do for your search engine optimization was getting into DMOZ and other directories. This was great for good quality websites because most of these sites had independent reviewers that would help weed out bad websites. Unfortunately, after spammers with poor websites got so many rejections, and the Pagerank algorithm was placed by Google that gave better placement for incoming links, these spammers started putting up their own directories.

Photo Credit: Flickr user RichardBH

The problem with these directories is that they would take anything and everything and they were getting results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) so Google had to come up with a way to eliminate bad quality websites from their results. This is where Pagerank came into more play. By giving a quality score to different websites, they could adjust the quality of your website based on the quality of the links. So, this created more spammy pages with better inbound links to gain higher Pagerank.

Thus another Google update and another…and another. Every time the rules change, the spammers find ways to circumvent them. Unfortunately, for the every day business owner that gets sucked in to one of these link farms, they get blacklisted, or at minimum, a significant decrease in their search rank.

We see this all the time. A customer will contact us to do SEO work for them and we notice they are in some “bad neighborhoods” online. Then, not only do we have our white hat services to help them, but we also have to correct some of their black hat tactics that were used before. And this takes a lot of time and costs… In fact, we have seen some sites that were so bombarded with bad links that it was actually better for the business to rebrand, get a new domain name, and start from scratch.

One of the easiest ways to get caught in this trap of link farms is using cheap SEO providers. Good quality links and content takes time to curate and develop. Months, not days or weeks. Any SEO company that tells you they can get you on the top page of Google in a week or a month is either lying to you or using underhanded tactics that will result in a negative experience down the road. Be cautious of anyone claiming FAST SEO services, or just use us 😉

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