The Complete Idiot's Guide

Growing Your Business With Google
By Dave Taylor

Does Google Consider My Site a Link Farm?

Just finished your Google book and I'm dismayed to discover that my web site may be a link farm not a portal. The goal of this now updated site is to have students talk to other students via reviews of the handout links by doing "reviews", like Amazon.com

My Google rank is currently 7, so I must be doing something right, but a link: report only shows 70 links to the site. Yet I know that there are many more. What gives? Is my site considered a link farm? and thereby not getting indexed by Google?

Thanks for your note and I'm glad that you're finding value in Growing Your Business with Google. Now, on to your questions...

First off, let me reiterate that a link farm is commonly believed to be a site where its only purpose for existence is to have an ever-increasing database of links, typically without any underlying rhyme or reason. For example, if I had a link on this page that led you to my "best of the Web" area where anyone could submit and have added a link to any site, regardless of category, Google and other search engines tend to frown upon that.

The reason's simple: if inbound links are considered a vote of confidence or an indication that a highly-linked site is somehow better than one with less links, the assumption is that each link is added by someone maintaining a site - or writing a blog entry - that found the content worthy of recommendation. underlying all the fancy algorithms and secret formula, that's the core idea behind Google.

So you can see how having a site that exists purely to have two-directional links (because that's the other half of a link farm: a requirement that every site you point to also points to you, making these huge, artificial webs) really does nothing to indicate what sites are better or worse than other sites.

Having said all that, a PageRank of 7 is quite good, so clearly...



Category: Google Q&A   (Article #4375)
Comments

This is a very useful and succinct answer. Thanks.

I have a related question. Someone told me that Google penalizes sites for using the word "link". In other words, if on my home page, I have in my directory the word "link" to connect visitors to my links pages, I will be penalized. I've found nothing to corroborate this. Do you know?

Posted by: Connie Barrett at February 1, 2006 3:58 PM

Thanks Connie. I have to say I'm skeptical that using the word "link" is going to penalize you, but perhaps it's true. If the rest of your site is really great, though, I can't imagine it'd be a problem...

Posted by: Dave Taylor at February 1, 2006 10:57 PM

So, should I avoid all outbound links completely?

Posted by: samuel at April 26, 2009 7:51 PM

Definitely not, Samuel! You should just link to sites that make sense with links that make sense. If you have a site about camping, don't link to a dozen casinos. But if you want to link to a few national park sites, isn't that logical and reasonable? :-)

Posted by: Dave Taylor at April 26, 2009 8:02 PM

My company has 5 websites for different businesses (building material, natural stone, IT & computer, import/export). Within last 3 weeks, keyphrase rankings in Google search all dropped significantly - from 1st page to 5th and beyond. We did participate in linksmaster.com for link exchanges. Has that caused our sites being penalized by Google? Please advise. Thanks.

Posted by: Jon Wang at July 27, 2009 1:47 PM

I do have a comment, now that you mention it!









Remember personal info?


Please note that I will never send you any unsolicited email or communication. Ever. I hate it just as much as you do.

While I'm at it, please note that by submitting a question or comment you're agreeing to my terms of service, which are: you relinquish any subsequent rights of ownership to your material by submitting it on this site.









Growing Your Business with Google
Buy The Book!

Site Contents
Blogging News
Google Q&A
Growing Your Business
Inside The Book
Reviews and Testimonials
Search Engine News
Updates for Readers
Buy the book!
About Dave Taylor
Contact

Subscribe!



Subscribe in NewsGator Online


Get Updates via Email!
sent monthly


Search




Archives by Category
Blogging News
New Wordpress release, a must-have for security and features
Google Friends Newsletter for April, 2006
What's your opinion of these blogs?
Crafting the Ideal Business Blog Comment Strategy
Come up to speed on Business Blogging @ The Blog Business Summit

Google Q&A
AdSense moving to video ads?
Should I integrate AdSense in my site design?
Does domain name affect search engine ranking?
Why don't I rank highly for all relevant searches?
Stuck in the Google sandbox or delisted?
Coming soon: Google Shopping?
Can I add new Web sites to my Google AdSense account?
How to read Google AdSense reports
Can I have AdSense and other Ads on my site simultaneously?
Does AdSense for Search pay less than AdSense for Content?
How do I target AdWords to specific Web sites?
Can DNS changes affect your Search Engine Results Placement?
Google AdSense adds "Advertise on this site"?
Exactly what does Google PageRank mean?
Does Googlebot visit more often because of my blog?
How do I optimize my Web site for a specific key word?
How much do I need to bid on Google AdWords for keywords?
Why Text Links are Better than Graphic Links
Does Google Consider My Site a Link Farm?
What's New at Google?
Paid for SEO but I still have PageRank 0?

Growing Your Business
Welcome, Entrepreneur!
Join me in Chicago for the System Seminar and learn even more about Internet marketing
Learn about business writing with a free ebook
Announcing the Growing Your Business with Google workshop!
How to Get Started with Google AdSense
How quickly should companies respond to customer email?
LinkedIn + BusinessWeek poll = connection spam?
Tips for getting more traffic to your blog
Search Engine Friendly, or Easy Navigation?
The Table of Contents

Inside The Book
Foreword, by Guy Kawasaki
Introduction to the Book
Increasing Your Business Visibility (chapter 1)
The Benefits of Increasing Your Visibility (Chapter 2)
What Is Google Anyway? (Chapter 3)
Learning about Google Search (Chapter 4)
Disassembling the Google Search Engine (Chapter 5)
What's Your Core Business? (Chapter 6)
Living in an Online World (Chapter 7)
Your Business Website (Chapter 8)
Assessing Your Competitors (Chapter 9)
Keeping Track of Customers (Chapter 10)
The Basics of Building A Good Business Site (Chapter 11)
Developing Online and Offline Content (Chapter 12)
Stretching Your Marketing Dollars (Chapter 13)
Secrets of the Online Marketing Masters (Chapter 14)
Content, Content, Content! (Chapter 15)
Becoming a More Popular Site (Chapter 16)
Becoming an Online Expert (Chapter 17)
Advertising Your Business with Google AdWords (Chapter 18)
Making Money with Google AdSense (Chapter 19)
The Advantages of Affiliate Programs (Chapter 20)
Avoiding Dumb Online Promotional Mistakes (Chapter 21)
Growing and Expanding Your Content (Chapter 22)
The Future of Findability (Chapter 23)

Reviews and Testimonials
Falesa Adkins says...
Mark McGuinness says...
Holli says...
NetworkWorld's James Gaskin says...
Craig Swanson says...
Andrew Sikorski says...
David Teten says...
Dan Janal says...
Robin Stavisky says...
Skip Uldriks says...
Don Bell says...
Vincent Wright says...
Andrew Goodman says...
Denise O'Berry says...
Thomas Duff Says...
Kevin Farnham says...
David Karlins says...
Tom Peters says...
Janet Attard says...
Jim Sterne says...
Gregg Stebben says...
Nick Usborne says...
Robert Scoble says...
Chris Pirillo says...
Rajesh Setty says...
Brad Fallon says...
Bill French says...
Debbie Weil says...
Andy Mindel says...
Andrew Goodman says...
Initial "Growing Your Business with Google" Press Release

Search Engine News
Google Friends Newsletter, Sept 2008
Bill Gates: The Age of Software-Powered Communications
Google Friends Newsletter - April 2007
Beta announcement of Google AdSense Referrals
Enabling Secure Anywhere Access in a Connected World
Google Friends Newsletter
Google Launches Hosted Communications Services
AdWords now has fraud analysis accessible to advertisers
Google doesn't support click fraud. But isn't that obvious?
Welcome to Google's online payment system, Google Checkout
Google now offers Ad Scheduling for AdWords
AdSense click fraud done by robots?
AdSense: Google's Hidden Payroll
Fun new Google service: Movie info
Google agrees to pay $90 mln in click fraud suit
Latest news from Google: Google Friends Newsletter
Nofollow: Another salvo in the Spam Wars
Google Toolbar Gets Personal
Yahoo Search redesign scheduled?
Note from the Google AdSense Team
What's the future of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising?
New Google AdWords Keyword System Released

Updates for Readers
Blogging for Search Engine Results
Why does advertising site Chitika audit commission payments?
Google Adsense Update: Section Targeting
Understanding "link:" results (book errata)

Join the List!
Join my author info mailing list, where you'll learn about my upcoming books, speaking gigs, and more!


Book Links
RDF XML
Powered by
Movable Type

sitemap | link to us!