Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Link Farms and FFA Sites – Just Say No

There are two types of sites to stay far away from. Try to keep your site off of these
sites and under no circumstances ever link to one of them!

The first type are the dreaded link farms. Link farms are sites that contain hundreds
or thousands of links to every type of site imaginable. Link farms generally have very
little (if any) content and often have links to porn, gambling, warez, get-rich-quick,
and body-part enlargement sites - to name a few.

If your site is ranked high in the search engines for a popular keyword phrase, you
may find a link has been added to a link farm without your consent or knowledge.
Google’s current stance on link farms is that, while you may not be able control it if
your site is placed on a link farm, you should definitely never link to such a site,
otherwise your site may get penalized.

The second type are Free-For-All (FFA) link pages, where you are encouraged to
add your link to their site yourself using an automated form. Too often the purpose of
these sites is to collect (and resell) your email address when you fill out the form so
they can send you spam email in the future.

Whenever you see an ad for you to "submit your site to 18,000 search engines", you
can be sure that around 17,950 of those so-called search engines are actually FFA
sites in disguise.

Google has been known to penalize link farms and FFA sites by downgrading their
PageRank value to zero. This is a good indication that you should NOT exchange
links with such sites!