you sick and tired of receiving "I just visited your website. I linked
to it on this page. I would love it if you would link back to mine"
emails? When you go to the page to locate your URL, if you manage
to find it at all, your site is in the company of hundreds of others.
Does this help your website? Will anyone ever go to that page with
the hundreds of websites and miraculously click on just yours?
pages with countless links to other websites were created during the
fervor of link popularity when it was thought that the more links
that linked to your website, the higher your website ranked in search
engines such as Google. It was also thought that a reciprocal link
between sites, any site, counted in your favor. Link farms sprung
up, and website owners have been bombarded with reciprocal link requests
ever since. Software and entire websites were launched to make creating
link farms easier. But, many SEO professionals refused to use them,
finding them to be a waste of time and website real estate, and an
obvious desperate measure. My advice to my clients was from a usability
perspective. Pages listing hundreds of websites leading OFF your website
was illogical, especially if your website was trying to generate sales
leads or sell products or services. The appearance of link farm pages
made some websites appear unprofessional.
didn't take long for search engine databases to become clogged up
with pages upon pages that did nothing more than link to websites.
This was their only purpose. Since search engines and directories
want to provide relevant search results with quality pages for their
users, link farm pages became quite a nuisance. Search engines began
to penalize websites containing link farm pages. The workaround for
that was to disconnect the link farm pages from the main site, but
keep the game going in an effort to convince people to link back to
Farm Request Checklist
The gig is up. Here's a checklist based on my own experiences, and
those of other webmasters who contributed their thoughts on the subject
in a recent Cre8asiteForums.com
thread on this subject. If any of these seem obvious to you, link
at your own risk:
site has no possible connection to your subject matter whatsoever.
The page they put
your link on isn't linked to FROM any page, meaning it's floating
out there in never-never land and is a ploy to get you to link to
The page where they
put your link is on a URL a mile long and several directories deep
so engines will never find it.
The page looks like
a farmer's field with nicely arranged rows of links to hundreds
of sites which aren't necessarily organized in any logical manner,
but that doesn't matter because someone told them the link is all
It's a link and a
link only. No description. No proof the person ever actually reviewed
They don't seem to
know that links leak PageRank in Google, not the other way around
or that the link that does you the most good is the one that shares
space on a page with about 2 other outbound links, not 3596 other
Signs they'll accept
anything that shows evidence of being a "live" link. A true Directory
has criteria, frets about the quality of sites it links to and doesn't
have people out begging for links. Instead the reverse is true,
with people begging to be let in.
They ask you for
a link on your links page, even though you don't have one.
Watch for scams such
as sub-domain one-way traffic feeders where the page your site is
linked to isn't part of the main website. Study the URLS carefully
before you decide to accept a link request.
the negative approaches to link requests, there's definitely good
reasons to seek them. If you see a website that offers something of
value to your target audience, by all means, link to it. I always
appreciate hearing from well researched inquiries. I can tell when
someone has studied my website and has shown me a great spot on theirs
to link mine. They take the extra step of pointing out on my website
where they think their website should be linked. Most times they're
that it's not just the number of links back to your website that contribute
to your rank jackpot. What counts is where your URL is placed, the
amount and quality of its neighbor links and whether or not the page
is even linked to the main domain at all. And that's just for starters.
There's a lot more to linking and influence on rank that just a few
basic guidelines. If you really want your website to rank well, build
a good website that people find useful and want to return to, study
branding and how that can help you, and of course, like everything
else in a competitive environment, promote and market it effectively
Kim Krause, SEO/Usability/Web Site Rescue Consultant
search engine optimization/marketing and usability/user interface
news, resources, tools & tutorials to build & promote your web site,