What is Link Farming and How does it affect SEO?


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Have you ever seen a website that looks like it was created just to stuff as many links as possible into one page? Does their content seem vaguely familiar – almost copy-pasted from other websites?

Have you wondered why certain search engine results are clogged up with these types of domains? It’s because of link farming, an SEO practice so frowned upon by Google. In this blog post, we’ll explain what link farming is and how it affects SEO.

What is Link Farming

Link farming is a method of manipulating search engine rankings that have been around since the early days of the internet. It involves creating hundreds or even thousands of low-quality web pages that are designed to link back to other websites in more official-looking ways, making them seem more relevant to search engines.

Unfortunately, although this may have worked before, modern search engines like Google have seen straight through it and now recognize it for what it is – an attempt to game the system – so often these pages bring no benefit at all. 

How to Identify a Link Farm?

Trying to find a link farm may feel like trying to locate a needle in a haystack. To make your search easier, look for websites that appear to have been created solely for the purpose of creating backlinks, meaning there is no original content or valuable resources.

The page titles and keywords of these sites often have no correlation or use confusing text. The website also likely has multiple external links that could be considered suspicious; if these links all lead to other websites owned by the same organization, then you have uncovered an example of link farming.

Be vigilant when browsing; identifying link farms can help keep your website free of potential fraudulent activity.

Why Does Google Hate Link Farming?

Google hates link farming because it creates an online environment with low-quality content and websites filled with only links that are generated by automated software, often referred to as ‘linkjacking’.

This is a major problem when search engine optimization and rankings are taken into account; as Google provides its services to ensure a good user experience and high-quality websites.

Link farming can damage a website’s reputation and put SEO efforts in vain; especially since the links created have no real value or approval from Google itself.

When done correctly, link building can benefit website visibility but link farming could result in search engine penalties that could take precious time to undo. In short, link farming goes against the core values of Google.

What is a better alternative to link farming?

If you want people to actually visit your site, link farming probably isn’t the best way. Instead, consider quality link building using content-rich websites that host articles and blogs related in some way to your own offerings.

Quality links are valued much more highly than those involving irrelevant, unrelated sites; and savvy search engines will know if you’re trying anything underhanded.

So stay ethical…and choose your linking partners wisely! These are some tips to get you started.

Carefully evaluate your link choices

Link farming presents an interesting conundrum for marketers. It’s a great way to boost search rankings and drive traffic, but only if it’s done right. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into link farming, make sure you evaluate your choices carefully.

It can be tempting to take a shortcut and buy low-quality links from dubious sources, but that can do more harm than good. Quality is key here—spend your bandwidth looking for reputable sources, who have built up large networks through years of providing consistently solid content.

That way you know your links are good for your bottom line – and won’t be hurting yours in the long run!

Identify the distinction between link farms and directories

Link farms and directories may appear to be the same thing, but in reality, they are different beasts entirely. A link farm is a site that serves as a platform for websites to list links to their own site in an effort to boost their SEO ranking.

While this can sometimes lead to some quick success, such tactics, unfortunately, come with a serious risk of being banned in search engine results due to the tendency of link farms to foster low-quality content.

On the other hand, a web directory is an organized catalog of websites separated by category which can prove useful for people searching for a certain type of service or business.

The key difference between them lies within the intent; link farms are discouragingly spammy but web directories remain helpful for users looking for specific pages on certain topics.

In fact, sites like MOZ maintain Google’s trust due to implementing quality standards and guidelines meant to display accurate information.

Prioritize acquiring organic links

Organic link-building may quite literally be the gift that keeps on giving. Forget diamonds and roses or expensive trips – links are what should really be at the top of your priority list! After all, organic links are one of the most sustainable internet marketing tactics out there.

Once acquired, links can provide value for years with minimal effort, so it definitely pays off, in the long run, to focus on building them. The best part about working on links? Getting noticed online is always a good thing!


Link Farming is a black hat SEO technique that should be avoided at all costs. If you’re caught Link Farming, your website will likely be penalized by Google, which can seriously affect your traffic and ranking.

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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