Link farming is an SEO (search engine optimization) technique in which a website comes in a relationship of reciprocal linking with other website or pays a provider in exchange for a huge number of inbound links. In simple words, link farming means setting up a group of websites or a website only with the aim of increasing link popularity of a site by boosting the number of incoming links. A link farm looks like a regular web page with unrelated and random hyperlinks to other websites contributing to the majority of content.
Link farming means setting up by forming a network that is made with the purpose of collecting multiple locations to point at a website. Because Google often views link farming as spam, several link farms segregate their links into a directory or multiple categories.
Link farms were created in response to PageRank, Google’s ranking algorithm. It works because PageRank considers the links as votes, so, page linking to another web page means casting a vote. As a result, pages with maximum links were deemed valuable. This is how link farming came into existence. However, recently, search engines have adjusted their algorithms to prohibit link farms from showing up at the top of SERPs (search engine results page.)
Service providers who promise to enhance a website’s ranking on SERPs often use link farming. Because search engines operated on the fact that a page has a higher authority if several other sites link to it, search engines used to be sensitive to link farming. Now, if webmasters try to swell their websites artificially with the number of backlinks through link farming, search engines usually punish their behavior on being detected. The sites that create link farms can be penalized by search engines including Google.
How To Recognize If Link Farming Has Been Penalized?
Google has been changing its algorithms since December 2000. Over time, it has eliminated poor quality content and increase the good stuff to dominate SERPs. That is where penalties arrive. In 2012, the Penguin update was rolled out, which hit more than one in ten search results overnight, deleted entirely some sites out of search, forced optimizers to think very carefully about their content strategy and pushed poor content off the map. Link farming has since been abandoned by a majority of SEO professionals.
In the following cases, you can recognize if link farming has been penalized:
- Your website has been entirely removed from cached search results of Google overnight.
- Running a search site yields no results.
- Your listing on SERPs is that of a page on your website but nor your home page.
- PageRank for your website has dropped to a big fat zero from a respectable two or three.
- Your website is not ranking enough as per your brand name anymore.
Alternative SEO Techniques To Increase Rank On SERPs
Interlink your pages with keyword-rich anchor texts
Interlinking is amongst the most effective SEO techniques. You can employ it to link to useful pages using specific anchor texts. This is less risky than framing backlinks on keyword-rich anchor texts and, you have absolute control on it.
Whenever new content is added, you must link to other relevant pages in your website. You can also edit some old pages in your site and attach links to your new content, if suitable.
Increase the shareability of your pages
You must use social media if you want to go viral and get more traffic to your site. People who read your content and like it, might not share it with others if you do not facilitate the process of sharing.
You can add like and share buttons on your pages. Aim for those platforms that are most relevant to your website. You can add call-to-action (CTA), which is a line of text or image that prompts your visitors to take action. “Click here”, for instance, is a CTA.
Prioritize pages in website navigation
The most important structural element on your website is navigation, as it is the first thing that links to your other pages and is usually at the top of your webpage to give those links a lot of weight. This is why usually, the logo on every page of a website links to its Homepage.
Optimize your heading and titles
Make sure your pages target the right keywords, and as the title possesses the most weight in SEO, ensure it is present in your title. Also, the keyword should be aptly present at the beginning and multiple times throughout the page.
You should also optimize your meta description is a way that people are convinced to click on your link. The meta description should also have the keyword otherwise it will show much lower.
Increase site speed
Your website’s loading speed is majorly impacted by the image size, however, there are other elements affecting it. Most of the time it is related to files but it could also be because of PHP conflicts or long times taken by database queries. You should limit your plugin usage to minimal to avoid slow database loading time and conflicts.
Increasing rank on SERPs is crucial for any business. However, opting for link farming can get you penalized, and can wash out all your hard work on building your website. Therefore, opting for alternative SEO techniques is a better option.