Link Farms

This is an important recent post on the Bing Webmaster Blog because it scratches the surface on some negative ways on how people attempt to “market” their business online. Years ago things really looked like a mad science project but present market conditions have forced everyone to leave behind the automation and utilize a much more wholesome approach that builds trust and branding. We understand that there is not one single company out there right now that is not restructuring the way they spend money but that doesn’t mean you have to go and shoot yourself in the foot by applying a bogus internet marketing step that could ultimately just hurt your website status in the long run.

What the heck is a link farm?

“Simply put, a link farm is a service which builds links to your content.  Usually, they do so from within a network of known websites.  The network is formed often with the sole purpose of gathering a number of locations from which to point link at a client’s website.  The client sees a report detailing all of the websites that the link building program is obtaining links from, and the webmaster feels better as the number of links increase.  A smaller variation on this theme is the three-way link exchange.  Site A links to site B.  Site B links to site C.  And site C links to site A, completing the triangle.”

This might sound like it makes sense but the reality is that search engines hate these types of bogus proactive search engine optimization attempts. Linking your relevant content from a user experience standpoint is perfectly OK but when you start to link your content for the search engines rather than the end user it could come back to bite you eventually. Both Google and Bing having been ramping up their efforts to fight spam attempts like this and they will continue to fight attempts like this as time moves on.

Companies offering link building services will rarely, if ever, tell you they are operating a link farm, so be very careful when you opt to sign on for any link building programs.  Remember, it’s your domain that can be harmed, not theirs.  And what do you get for the hard earned money you’ve spent on such services?  Well, most times you get a lot of links from unrelated sites pointed at you.  After all, no network of websites being used to build links is as broad as the entire Internet itself.  Thus, some topics will be a closer match to the websites inside a network, while others will only be loosely related.

SEO is about building your brand and your business online by building the trust of your community. It is not about putting together a linking campaign that makes you go cross eyed when looking at it. It is all about relevancy on the links pointing to you and if you are skeptical about the vendor you use simply ask them. Every internet marketing should be showing you what it is that they are doing to help you build links to your site.

To read more about how Bing feels about spammy web marketing approaches click here and read the full article.