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  1. #1
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    Be wary of dodgy link farm directories

    It's interesting to note that google appears to be back slamming many of the rubbish link farm directories that have proliferated over the past several years. For a good summary of what has taken place, check this out: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/what-make...ns-of-bad-ones

    In an earlier post discussing the lack of quality directory scripts available (and the fact that most of them were nothing more than scripts to develop generalzed junk link farm spam directories) I predicted penalties would be forthcoming:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...0&postcount=43

    Will the next logical move be an extension of penalties against those sites appearing in these spam link farms made with the likes of phplinkdirectory and phplinkbid scripts? Decide for yourself, but I'd be looking to remove any sites I had appearing in spammy generalised link farms that exist for no other purpose other than to distribute PR.

    By the way, has anyone noticed a sudden increase in the number of directory sites available for sale in the marketplace listings...... caveat emptor applies I believe!!!!!

  2. #2
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    I've always stayed away from link farms. Penalizing the sites that are listed in them...I don't know if they should do that or not.
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  3. #3
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    Yes there do seem to be a load of directories for sale.

    Perhaps the reason for this is Googles crack down

  4. #4
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    I think what Google did was filter out the sites trying to manipulate search engine rankings.

    Has nothing to do with directories.

    I don't know if that seomoz article talks about sites like text link ads which don't come up for their own name.

    Not a very credible source for information, alot of it is Opinionated.

    Google actually says in their guidelines to submit to directories....


    The following snippet is from Google's guidelines.


    When your site is ready:

    * Have other relevant sites link to yours.
    * Submit it to Google at http://www.google.com/addurl.html.
    * Submit a Sitemap as part of our Google webmaster tools. Google uses your Sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
    * Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is online.
    * Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

    Full Guidelines here
    http://www.google.com/support/webmas...n&answer=35769

  5. #5
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    I think you'll find that the article, quite rightly in my opinion, makes a clear distinction between directory sites and spam link farms.

    Directory sites that focus on a particular topic or sub-topic are worthwhile. These are sites that tend to be edited by individuals with a degree of knowledge relating to the particular topic covered by the directory. Often, these sites offer content beyond the mere listing of businesses / websites. These niche directories are not open to all and sundry. For example, a directory of dog breeders would not be open to businesses selling laptop computers. These directories serve a purpose by being repositories of detailed information on a particular niche topic area.

    On the other hand, link farms tend to be general in nature. They usually cover every topic under the sun. Often, the only criteria that is used to determine whether a particular site is accepted comes down to whether the site owner is prepared to fork out some cash or provide a reciprocal link. These sites are often built with special purpose link farm scripts such as phplinkdirectory or phplinkbid. These sites generally offer very little in the way of unique content, but rather exist for the sole purpose of spreading page rank to those prepared to pay for it. The owners of these sites generally have no particular skills or knowledge to offer the public at large. Their sole motivation is to maintain and enhance their own existence. The sales pitch generally used by link farms is that they can help improve your page rank by listing with them. When you're surfing the net, these are the sites that most people want to avoid because invariably most of them are absolute rubbish!!! It is this kind of spam (and that's exactly what link farm sites are) that google is trying to help your average internet user avoid. And they deserve some applause and acknowledgement for taking this step. Long overdue in my opinion.

    Your google quote is quite useful....

    Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

    You will note that google don't advise you to obtain links from junk-spam-link-farm-sites that have nothing to do with your site's area of focus and that are edited by people with no particular mastery beyond the capacity to breathe in and out all day long....

    While the article may be opinionated, I respect the author's views. I consider them worthy of sharing with others at sitepoint. There are lessons for all of us to take away from this. Obviously, you will take out of it what you choose to. Best of luck.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard cpvr's Avatar
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    I always stay away from link farms period. They don't help you at all.
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  7. #7
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    the main difference between a link farm and a directory is...

    Link farms should be a thing of the past. But is the main difference between a link farm and a directory?
    Answer: Itís the amount of text comparing to the amount of links.
    A link farm contain mostly link whereas directory conation mostly text

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member svajdlenka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madaboutu View Post
    Link farms should be a thing of the past. But is the main difference between a link farm and a directory?
    Answer: Itís the amount of text comparing to the amount of links.
    A link farm contain mostly link whereas directory conation mostly text
    I am not sure with this definition. Standard directories contains a lot of links together with a lot of text. It helps to use details mods and etc. Now also many directories owners use possibility to submit articles, or use articles from article directories to change rate between links and texts. But this can also use link farms to avoid penalization from Google.

    To recognize link farm is sometimes more difficult. It is good before submit to check category, where you want to submit your page, and check existing links there. This is impossible to do with auto submitters program. That is why I use only manual submission.

  9. #9
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    I believe as long as you do not link back to a directory, no harm can come to your web-site being listed in a directory. Whether some good comes out of it is a different issue.

  10. #10
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    For anyone that needs additional information and / or verification, Matt Mickiewicz' thread, which contains a link to a recent Google interview, is well worth checking out. Matt Mickiewicz is one of Sitepoint's founders. Here is his thread:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507987

  11. #11
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    Your google quote is quite useful....

    Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

    You will note that google don't advise you to obtain links from junk-spam-link-farm-sites that have nothing to do with your site's area of focus and that are edited by people with no particular mastery beyond the capacity to breathe in and out all day long....

    While the article may be opinionated, I respect the author's views. I consider them worthy of sharing with others at sitepoint. There are lessons for all of us to take away from this. Obviously, you will take out of it what you choose to. Best of luck.

    Well just by going thru Google's quote, they mention the ODP and Yahoo! Directory.

    Could be hand selected because one is free and the other is paid.

    I don't think Yahoo! Directory has much to do with any specific site which it lists and the same goes for the ODP.

    Now lets go a step further and type in 'link farm' into Google's search.

    This is what I get as the number 1 result

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_farm

    Well a vist there starts out with

    Link farms were developed by search engine optimizers in 1999 to take advantage of the Inktomi search engine's dependence upon link popularity. Although link popularity is used by some search engines to help establish a ranking order for search results, the Inktomi engine at the time maintained two indexes. Search results were produced from the primary index which was limited to approximately 100,000,000 listings. Pages with few inbound links continually fell out of the Inktomi index on a monthly basis.
    Apparently the definition of a link farm comes to reality.

    On digital point forums, a member named nintendo showed us a new site less then a month old with over 100 million pages indexed.

    So we got to see something in reality.

    Now, apparently Yahoo! directory, dmoz, and alot of other directories were established before 1999, so according to wikipedia, there's still some research left on your part.

    Now maybe if the guy who wrote that article at that seo moz thing would have done his research correctly, he would of realized that what he's writing in doesn't have much substance to it.

    But he surely does have an audience comprised mainly of people which want, I emphasize the word want to believe that everything written there is correct.

    I mean what if he had mentioned Sitepoint in there which is a much less busy forum then Digital Point like he did?

    IMO Stuff like that is not considered professional.

    When your out writing articles, which people are going to pay to read, u gotta do your research right. Just shows the effort which you put into your product.

    Pumping out words may work initially, but in the long run they do more harm then good.

  12. #12
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    linkspub.com - You seem to be off on a tangent. Your use of language is imprecise at best. I am quite honestly struggling to work out what it is you're trying to say. Until such time you rephrase your last post I am unable to comment.

  13. #13
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    linkspub.com - You seem to be off on a tangent. Your use of language is imprecise at best. I am quite honestly struggling to work out what it is you're trying to say. Until such time you rephrase your last post I am unable to comment.
    Actually not at all.

    It's very precise and I'm sure the readers understand what I wrote.


    Bascially you started an article
    It's interesting to note that google appears to be back slamming many of the rubbish link farm directories that have proliferated over the past several years. For a good summary of what has taken place, check this out:
    And I used facts and pretty much debunked your statements along with the references which you gave.

    What you might want to do is look up the meaning of Link Farm and see if a directory physically can be one.

    Again, there will always be people who Want to believe something or are influenced to believe something different from reality.

    I'm going to leave it at this and let you try to do some more research on directories and link farms.

    Also, citing good references will give more weight to your own post.

    take care

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by linkspub.com View Post
    Bascially you started an article
    I did not author the article I referenced in my opening post. However, anyone who reads this article should be able to grasp what it is saying. They should also be able to determine whether it was intelligently written. I am of the opinion that it is a well structured, balanced and thoughtful article. Obviously, it is open for others to disagree with this opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by linkspub.com View Post
    And I used facts and pretty much debunked your statements along with the references which you gave.
    I am not sure what you feel you have debunked! You seem to be hung up about the difference between a link farm and a directory. In the context of this discussion, I use the term spam link farm and spam directory interchangeably. Perhaps to be more precise we should be referring to these awful sites that serve no other purpose than to distribute pagerank as spam link farm directories. That way there should be no room for any uncertainty as to what they are. However, ultimately the debate around definitions doesn't really serve any purpose. After reading the article, most people would be well aware of what is, and what isn't, a spam link farm directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by linkspub.com View Post
    I'm going to leave it at this and let you try to do some more research on directories and link farms.
    The weight of your arguments, and their general lack of coherence, does not inspire me to conduct any additional research into this matter.

    Best of luck to you too!
    Last edited by hairybob; Oct 13, 2007 at 03:00.


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