Monday, February 27, 2012

The Risk of Using Link Farms

The goal of any website is to be the highest rated search when certain keywords are typed in. With Google becoming the primary used search engine worldwide, this has meant that websites need to be highly ranked by Google, or else risk not being found. Having a large number of websites link back to your site is an easy way for a site to increase its page rank. Unfortunately, sites won’t just link to your site for no reason. Unless you have content that is relevant to their webpage there is no reason for a link to be created. 

There is another way however. What if a series of sites could promise you that they would link to your site, if you would link to theirs? This would be an easy way for you to increase links to your page and therefore, your page rank. This is why link farms have become popular. In theory it takes nothing but signing up and adding irrelevant links to your site to get many links heading back to your website. The result of this can lead to you rocketing up the organic search results. Unfortunately, getting caught using these practices can lead to a Google created punishment. 

The worst of these punishments was handed down to BMW for using a series of “doorway pages” to bolster the rank of its German site They were given the web version of the death penalty-removal from the Google search results. However, most of the time the punishments are far more tame. JC Penny was caught with thousands of paid links used to rank and the result was just a drop from being the number one search result to around 70th for certain searches like “living room furniture”.  The drop in rank occurred over two hours. In an effort to stave off a harsher punishment JCPenny fired its search engine consulting firm (those are necessary now). 

Due to the widespread use of the internet web sites have become valuable. In an effort to increase traffic and to show up sooner on a search result it has become more and more important to have a highly ranked website. This has made Google’s PageRank formula as well as its spam detection formulas hot commodities. Knowing how to increase rank, or how to cheat without getting caught, could end up generating tons of revenue for a company. This has made using LinkFarms profitable but only if you can avoid Google detection.


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