Link building-why link farms are bad

As SEO (search engine optimzation) gains more publicity we have more and more that clients ask for back-links;. Some have even subscribed to the idea that they want to go to link farms and get thousands of back-links.  This strategy use to be the method of gaining page-rank, but this is by no means the preferred method now.   No one can argue that links are important, but they need to be contextually relevant links.   Just having unrelated links on a page really does not contribute to increasing your rankings.

Matt Cutts from Google, who is in charge of their web-spam team, recently commented that one of the new releases of the google bot will be targeting the link farms.  So what does this mean to site owners?  If you are doing white-hat methods, you will actually gain rankings as some of the folks using black-hat will get seriously demoted.   Those that are employing black-hat methods, take warning and start taking corrective actions now. Matt has stated that Google’s mission is to promote quality websites over spam-laden ones.   So having good quality articles that are designed for good context is way more important in the long run than those link-farms.

Does this mean that one should not use back-links?  You should absolutely use them. But they need to be contextually relevant to your site.  Plus the quality of the inbound links is much more critical.  A back-link from a PR7 (see here for PR definition) site is going to carry much more weight than one from a PR0 or PR1 site.  It would take thousands of links from a lower quality site to equal the weight given by that PR7 site.

So in short,  get good contextually relevant back-links and stay away from link farms.  Concentrate on having good quality content that is geared to your viewers and focus  less on what the bots see.  SEO is a marathon not a sprint.  Good SEO takes time and patience. are important, but they need to be contextually relevant links.   Just having unrelated links on a page really does not contribute to increasing your rankings.

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