Link Farming: The Dark Side of SEO


Every website owner is now aware of how crucial link building is to their continuing SEO campaigns.

Search engines use backlinks as important indications that your site is worthwhile. They serve as evidence that people not only visit your website and read your material but also find it valuable enough to link to it and spread the word about it.

However, Google and other search engines are becoming more intelligent. They are aware of the difference between a natural backlink that was earned and a quick fix with no real worth.

One of the more controversial strategies that some marketers still employ to acquire a large collection of backlinks rapidly is the usage of link farms. Link farming, however, ultimately causes much more harm than benefit.

What is Link Farming?

A website that just exists to link to other websites is known as a “link farm.” By including black hat links in already published content or by accepting guest posts, the owner buys links.

 The owners of these websites may easily generate revenue by engaging in link farming.

In the knowledge that their website would ultimately fall at some point, link farms try to sell as many links and articles as they can.

Although link farms can resemble ordinary websites, there are a few tell-tale signs that something is wrong.

This could comprise:

  • Low-quality content
  • Articles relating to irrelevant niches
  • Plenty of questionable external links
Link Farm

How Can I Detect a Link Farm?

While some link farms are simpler to detect, others first appear to be authentic websites.

But closer inspection always exposes them for what they are.

Look for features like the following to determine whether a website you’ve identified is actually a link farm in disguise:

  • A low Google PageRank score indicates that Google does not value the website.
  • Information that is really brief or badly written and has no value for readers.
  • Issues that seemed odd and irrelevant were covered.
  • Whole pages are nothing more than contextless lists of links.
  • Illogical or simply made up of random letters and digits domain names.

The likelihood that you are looking at a link farm increases as you see more of those characteristics.

Legitimate websites have a unified layout and stick to a shared topic. Despite the fact that the websites themselves aren’t particularly well-run, they make sense and you can understand what the owners are attempting to achieve.

Why Google Disapproves of Link Farming

Link schemes, according to Google, are deceptive and aim to lower the caliber of search results. Therefore, whether they are incoming or outgoing, you will probably suffer the consequences.

There are some scams that hurt your website more than they help. The situation becomes out of control if Google decides to take manual action against you.

Google may penalize websites that disobey its webmaster quality standards with a manual action. A manual action report is sent to you by Google when a human reviewer of your site discovers unethical behavior and asks you to fix the problem. That’s not all, though.

Your organic traffic will drastically decrease, as you will observe.

How to Remove Fake Links Created by Link Farming

This could be helpful if you do get a manual action from Google or wish to double-check your backlink profile:

  • Open your link report from Google and download it.
  • Check the websites manually for suspicious links and verify their legitimacy.
  • The problematic links you discover can either have no-follow properties removed or added. When rating your website, a no-follow link instructs Google to disregard the designated links.
  • If you are unable to delete a link, tell Google to disregard it by disavowing it.
  • Once you’ve finished sweeping the backyard of your website, send Google a reconsideration request.

Of course, saving yourself all this time and hassle requires good backlink selection.

How to Recognize a Link Farm in a Link-Building Service

To develop connections for clients, certain link-building firms engage in link farming.

They do this because they can save time and money by skipping the manual outreach and creation of high-quality content that are part of the link-building process.

Instead, they may simply use link farms they either control or are affiliated with to add backlinks to boost your DA.

It’s a straightforward victory for the link builder, but the clients’ money is completely wasted.

The problem is that it might be challenging to predict the website backlink-building services that would use to establish links. The following red flags should cause you to pause:

  • Links that are guaranteed: There are no links that are guaranteed in link building; it is up to website owners to determine whether or not to connect to your site. A provider may be employing a link farm if it promises links on a specific sort of website or website of a certain kind.
  • Fast links: Building backlinks requires effort. You must first look for appropriate websites, then bargain with the owners before producing pertinent content. Be wary of firms that guarantee quick outcomes.
  • Low cost: Successful link building costs money. Writing guest posts and doing manual outreach may be pricey.If the price is suspiciously low, the service could be establishing links quickly.
  • Links from link farms don’t work; they produce no results. If the service can’t offer thorough reviews or case studies demonstrating how it has impacted a site’s search engine ranking, it is most likely a red flag.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine with absolute certainty if a service will create spammy backlinks. If something seems too good to be true when it comes to link building, it generally is.

We advise discussing the approach your link-building service provider will take to create connections to your website with them. You may also request to view instances of how their work has affected the search engine rankings of previous and present clients.

Links to Replace Link Farming (What to Do Instead)

Although link farming undermines your SEO efforts, you need a substantial number of high-quality backlinks to compete online. Many websites have millions of backlinks, making it seem hard to go through. 

What you can do instead is as follows:

Review Your Backlink Profile’s Links

You’ve observed how poor links affect SEO campaigns. No random link can be accepted into your profile. Verify the legitimacy of your inbound and outgoing links instead.

Check your backlinks sometimes to see if there are any spammy websites connecting to you. Remove the link from a website if you don’t trust it. It is recommended to disavow the link if you cannot delete it for whatever reason so that Google won’t link you with it. A punishment for it is the last thing you want.

Form a Team to Focus on Organic Lead Generation

Don’t misunderstand me: sharing links with respected peers is perfectly acceptable. You already know that their sites are real and that they put effort into them. However, organic traffic is still the best.

It is therefore preferable to produce content that benefits your visitors. You may hire reputable companies like Marketing Lad to handle the task of generating white-hat leads for your company. In this manner, you free up time to concentrate on expanding your company and delivering your services to customers without a hitch.

Produce Excellent Content

In keeping with the previous concept, only valuable and high-quality content will encourage visitors to connect to it. If you can identify user issues and offer simple fixes, you’ll probably increase the number of backlinks to your website.

Content is king, as you may have heard if you’ve been managing your website for a long time. But of how cliché it may sound, content is essential if you want to rise to the top.

But to pull it off, you’ll need a content-writing expert.


Black hat SEO tactics like link farming must be avoided at all costs. Your website will probably receive a penalty from Google if you are found to be Link Farming, which will negatively impact your traffic and rating.

P.S: Read our SEO Question Answer Blog here!

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