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Industry Jargon Explained: Link Farms

What is a Link Farm?

There is a lot of relatively new terminology zipping through the worldwide web these days that sounds like it may mean something important; however, people who aren’t familiar with the day-to-day technical lingo associated with Internet marketing may find themselves looking over their shoulders and saying: “Pardon me?” To keep you up to date, Rosemont Media offers this Industry Jargon Explained blog series that defines certain terms you may see now and again throughout articles pertaining to the Internet marketing field.

Today’s subject will be: link farms.

What is a link farm?

In the most technical terms, a link farm is a website (or a bunch of websites) that is designed for the express purpose of making another site or page more popular by providing an abundance of links to it. In the most casual terms, a link farm is spam. Link farms may look like an ordinary page of content at first; but, upon closer inspection, you may notice a huge amount of text that is affixed with hyperlinks taking you to another site or another page. In the olden days, search engines like Google actually placed great value in hyperlinks. Today, excessive linking, and particularly link farms, may be viewed as “Black Hat” tactics – and the practical fallout from that can be enormous.

Why are link farms bad for search engine optimization?

Try not to get the impression that all linking is bad. In fact, it is still a necessary part of good medical SEO and dental SEO strategies, not to mention a very user-friendly tool for viewers. Link farms, however, are a different animal altogether (no pun intended). They are considered to be unethical SEO strategies designed to drive traffic to a particular website without regard to the viewer’s experience. In other words, Google and others view link farms as a ploy rather than a site offering information that visitors can really use. Hence, if Google thinks your site is a link farm, it may penalize you by dropping your rankings.

Quality of Links vs. Quantity of Links

Lots and lots of links used to be the norm because they were often rewarded by search engines. Over the years, the norm has changed, and quality of links vs. quantity has become the new standard. In fact, search engines’ emphasis on quality links can be viewed as an extremely positive step forward for the Internet as a whole. By establishing these types of guidelines, websites across the worldwide web are being encouraged to provide links that offer actual usefulness and value to the viewer reading the page. The viewer benefits from acquiring a quick and easy tool to obtain more information they may be looking for, while the website can enhance its own SEO value at the same time. Again, adding links and “link-building” are not by definition bad things or unethical tools to use—but how you use those tools and ensuring your website is employing them thoughtfully, judiciously, and with an eye toward a positive viewer experience can make a world of difference on multiple levels.

Could my website be considered a link farm?

Bear in mind that, if your website is overloaded with links and risking the wrath of search engines because of it, it may not be your fault. As noted above, things were different way back when. Plus, you may have understandably put your trust into a content marketing company that didn’t always play by the rules, and how could you have known? The good news is: this problem can be fixed with link removal and new link building strategies that get rid of low-quality links and sprinkle high-quality alternatives throughout your content.

Rosemont Media Can Help!

Rosemont Media has built its solid reputation among medical and dental marketing companies on a strict adherence to ethical SEO strategies and a commitment to high-quality website design. We have seen many changes over the years, and we’ve successfully adapted to them while implementing advanced techniques that have helped many of our clients soar to the top of search engine rankings. If you think you may have a “linking” problem, we can help you fix it!

Contact our team of experts today for more information.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on October 13, 2015.

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