Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

Artificial Content Networks and Link Farms – Outdated and Dangerous

As part of an SEO report it is often recommended that a site needs more links from a more diverse profile. When speaking with the clients there is always one person that comes up with the great idea of buying up 50 – 100 domains and using them to link back to the home site.

This may sound like a neat idea on the face of it but unfortunately the search engines are well on top of this spammy method.

Back in the day 2005/2006, Blackhat SEO’s would do this very same thing, buy out a load of domains, interlink them all and use the link juice to artificially increase the rank of their target site, it would have looked a little like this;

link farm

All the sites are inter linked with each one passing one link back to the main site.

Now, back in the day this did work but not anymore. If you think you are going to rank your site using this type of method there are a few things you should know first.

Hurdle One – Registration

OK if your even going to think about using this method you need to be thinking about registration. This is surely going to be one of the first things Google looks at, a whole bunch of sites linking to each other then passing link juice to one site and all registered using the same details?? I smell a penalty.

Let’s say you have this one covered and use fraudulent registration details, which is against the law, but let’s role with it….

Hurdle Two – IP Address

The next thing you should worry about is hosting. If all your websites are hosted under the same IP then your heading for trouble, but let’s look at this in a little more detail. For those of you who may not be familiar with IP addresses let me explain a little.

Your IP address is a unique number assigned to every machine that uses the internet, without it you have no presence and are unable to communicate with other devices.

A typical IP may look something like this each number range is also known as a block.

eg. 145. = block A / 26. = block B / 45. = Block C / 641 = Block D.

Google now takes into account IP patterns in order to establish blackhat activities. Block D is typically related to where your site is hosted, therefore if all the sites are hosted at the same place the search engines will pick up on this fairly quickly.

But even if you get around that the search engines can also look at the C Block, again looking for patterns that may suggest unethical activity.

Hurdle Three – Link Patterns

Even if you have managed to overcome the registration and IP pitfalls you now need to worry about the actual linking patterns between the sites.

If you have 50 sites that all interlink, this looks extremely unnatural and the search engines will jump on it like a ton of bricks.

You could not interlink the sites and instead simply point a link from each back to the target site like so;

linking patterns

Ok so this look’s less unnatural but how are you going to get links to the micro sites in order to have them crawled and indexed? Your now going to be building links to 5 sites?? Plus all these 5 sites will be getting links from the exact same places, again unnatural.

This type of link building is no longer useful and search engines are very savvy to this kind of activity, I highly discourage the use of it and even if you find a way that works today, the chances are the search engines will find you out and it won’t work tomorrow.

So if anyone is thinking about using this technique in some way or form, do it at your own risk.

Line Break

Author: Tim (257 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.



{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: