What is Link Farming and Why it’s a Red Flag


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Link farming is the process of creating a link farm. So, what’s a link farm? It is a group of websites or a single site that solely exists for creating links to other websites.

Link farms will fool you, especially the newbie link builders. These may appear to have high domain ratings and produce valuable content. Yet, the fact is that they’re sham sites that are created and added to some legitimate websites’ backlink catalog.

Link farming is a form of black hat SEO tactic that artificially boosts your page rank. Yetm Google disapproves it. In addition, getting involved in link farms results in Google penalties. These penalties hard to overcome. So, beware of this scheme. 

How to Distinguish Link Farms

At a glance, link farms are just like any other legitimate sites. However, if you carefully examine them, you will be able to identify link farms as distinctive to legitimate sites. So, how can you tell exactly which one is a link farm and which is not?

Here are some of the things that you need to watch out for.

  • Google PageRank score is low. This is Google-backed proof of the site’s trust issues.
  • Seemingly random and unrelated covered topics
  • Irrelevant written content
  • Nonsense domain names consisting of just random numbers and letters
  • Link listings in whole pages without context

The more of these red flags you observe in a certain site, the higher the possibility of a link farming scheme. 

However, Google algorithm has become very intelligent in detecting this black hat SEO strategy. Websites involved in this shady tactic are penalized by Google, whether you are directly or indirectly engaged to it. You are then left with almost 0% chance to recover once charged with Google penalties. So, think twice and keep watch where and how you build links.

Link Farming Strategy Replacements

The risks of getting involved in a link farming strategy are very high and hard to recover from. So, what would you do instead? The best move is to think of white hat SEO alternatives that generate proven results.

Choose links carefully

Careful link building is not always an easy task. Keep in mind that when you link your content to specific websites, you are recommending them to your target audience. For this reason, you should choose to link to high DA sites within the same niche as yours.

Don’t rush into requesting links from other site owners unless you are 100% sure that these are highly reputable. Beware of link sellers. Remember that if some people sell links to you, it’s more likely that they are selling links to other people. If so, it means that you’re seriously risking yourself in link farming territory.

Site Directories and Link Farms – What’s the Difference

You may say that site directories and link farms may be confusing and have the same appearance at a glance. Yet, they’re not. You should know the different features or characteristics to easily distinguish them from one another.

Directories naturally exist to give all the needed information for searchers. These can boost your ranking in SERPs if you position your site in the right directory. On the other hand, link farms won’t provide details of what you really need to find.

Organic Links

Link exchange is popular between sites within the same niche but nothing can ever replace the wholly organic backlinks. So, how do you get these organic backlinks?

Building a cache of well-crafted evergreen content providing genuine value to your visitors is the best way to get organic backlinks. So, focus on writing content that your target audience will surely love to have, like giving answers to current issues, trends, or infographics, among others.  Always update your content. Make it more interactive, valuable, and shareable.


Link farming is a black hat SEO tactic that you must avoid at all costs. Never risk your chance to get penalized by Google. Give your website a boost to get into the top ranks in SERPs. Consider your link options carefully. Submit your website to site directories and beware of link farms. Go for organic backlinks with purely relevant and evergreen content to help your audience as well as your own business in getting more credibility.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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