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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005

    I come across many good sites which have various link exchange programs however it is often said to avoid "link farms." How do I know if a site is a link farm or just a good site which uses third party type link exchange programs? Is there any "rule of thumb" to use when evluating whther to exchange links with a site?



  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Central/Western NY State
    If I start by mentioning the need for content I may start some controversy here. A link farm may not have much actual content -- just a bunch of links to places with whom they are affiliates.

    This has nothing to do with where you reciprocate with links. That would be a specific page where "they" would link to you as well as many others.

    You might install the search bar for a while and use it to see the pagerank of those who might link to you. The rule of thumb here is to avoid being linked to by those sites that rate less than yours. A pagerank of, say, 5 on the part of the linking site would be a good thing assuming your site is showing less than that. Enough of those links could raise your own ranking.

    Others here may have some better ideas . . .

    She was only a stableman's daughter, but all the horsemen knew her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Exchanging links with higher page-ranking sites would be ideal but even a link farm type site could have a high google page-ranking (which is another reason i don't put much value in pagerank).

    is what you are syaing is 'link-only' sites are what search engines consider link farms? i notice so many content rich sites which have easy to exchange link programs on their site.

    i guess i am really wanting to know how the search engines define a link farm. i'll look for an answer but if anyone knows, please let us know.


  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    United Kingdom
    No, 'link-only' sites are not link farms. Otherwise, the Open Directory would be considered a link farm and it isn't.

    A link farm is this:

    a) A site whose sole purpose is to inflate the link popularity and PageRank of its members.

    b) The link farm will usually require a link back to their homepage as a requirement of joining.

    c) The classic link farm has remotely hosted categorized links pages that you will be asked to link to in place of your own links page.

    d) A refinement of this is that you will host the links pages on your own site but you will hosting links out to hundreds of sites you've never actually looked at.

    That is, pretty much, what a link farm is.

    As for this quote from Herb - "The rule of thumb here is to avoid being linked to by those sites that rate less than yours."

    Sorry, but this is a nonsense and I'm not sure why you think this. Do you think that Yahoo and Amazon achieved their PageRank by only getting links from PageRank 11 or above sites ? Links in to your site have two values from the perspective of ranking. One is the PR value of the link and the second is the link text used.

    For Google at least, these benefits are not directly related. In other words, PageRank is counted only once in the Google algo. So a PageRank 5 link that says 'blue widgets' has no more value than a PageRank 1 link that says the same thing. However, the PageRank score achieved by your site is factored in as a sorting mechanism for results.

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