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Question About Link Farms, and Similar Sites


ndtlevel3
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Hello, I am new here, and would like to introduce myself before I rant. I am a NDT Level III technician, who owns a web site. NDT is nondestructive testing, which means my carreer is testing material without destroying it. This is testing methods such as radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, etc. I won't post a link to my site because I don't want any of you to think I am a spammer. But if you go to google and do a search for NDT Level III, my site will be the first one that pops up.

Of course, I have problems with spammers, and would like to learn how to help control them here. I have been doing some research, and was questioning the function of certian sites that appear to be link farms, but I doubt they are really linked to the sites they seem to be promoting.

These sites, or posts on the sites, typically list a multitude of links, but as I say, I doubt many of the sites they reference are involved in link farming.

I could post examples, but don't want you to think I am linking you to spam. But if you do a google search for greenwoodz and gun (greenwoodz gun) you will find several sites pop up, many n different languages, that are nothing but sites where people post and list numberous sites. The reason I don't think they are link farms is because some contain some respectable site links, along with the trash. They almost appear to be link directories, rather than link farms.

Could some one tell me, what is the function of such sites?

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I was here, read the post, even did a Google .. don't really have time to play the guessing game at present .. just posting such that the 'ignored' feeling won't be the initial impression. What you're asking is going to take some time to figure out what pages you're trying not to identify, where those pages are linked 'from' .. which could possibly would answer your 'why' question .... someone's 'personal' page of links, something else ... looking at a Search Engine result page is actually taking data 'ouf-of-context' as that indexed page may or may not have any identifying data that explains why it exists, therefore, backtracking is needed to see if one can dicover the reasoning behind it ... and I am out of time at present .. having a specific link to look at might have helped ... but ..

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NDT is nondestructive testing, which means my carreer is testing material without destroying it.

Too bad about the last 3 words, otherwise we could come up with some spammers for you to clamp into the Charpy tester (I wonder, are they still using Charpy testers these days?).

These sites, or posts on the sites, typically list a multitude of links, but as I say, I doubt many of the sites they reference are involved in link farming. (...) Could some one tell me, what is the function of such sites?

This is my conjecture, totally unencumbered by any expert knowledge. I did the recommended Google search and looked quickly at a couple of the results. They do seem to follow the pattern of what I (at any rate) would call a link farm -- lots of miscellaneous (and suspicious) links piled in one spot with no apparent rhyme or reason, lots of odd redirections, many "soundalike" domains (e.g., "disneychanel.com" (sic)). My understanding is that the link farmers hope to get certain sites (i.e., their own) linked from as many different other sites as they can, as this is generally reckoned to raise their ranking in a search-engine query.

The search engine operators don't like this sort of manipulation very much and have taken to calling it "spam" of one sort or another ("search engine spam," "link spam," etc.). However, this kind of activity won't rate much notice from SpamCop or its users if it does not involve unsolicited e-mail (which is how we define "spam" hereabouts).

Certainly smells like SEO chicanery to me, although I don't know enough about this topic to sort through the chaff. In any case, they haven't mail-spammed me (yet) so my own inclination would be to leave them to their "business," however impenetrable that might be.

-- rick

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New to me, but I would be inclined to go along with Rick's analysis. I note the kindly words in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_farm and a depressing taxonomy in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamexing The case against being put in http://www.searchengineguide.com/krause/2002/1219_kk1.html and http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol5/promo_no7.htm

I suspect network admins will be rather sick of the whole thing, but apparently proponents will do anything to increase their domain appraisals/valuations, hoping for something like http://leapfish.com/domain_name_appraisal....l=microsoft.com - yeah, $24,987,503.00 is worth having except it is "funny money" until a real sale is made. Unless you can get credit on site appraisals? I hate to think about that. Anyway, domain registrars would have to be the only sure winners in these games, though only a cynic would suggest they actively participate. 'Scuse me while I light my lantern and go looking for an honest registrar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope should that last be a little impenetrable.

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Hey, these leapfish guys say that my domain is worth $8,094! Talk about sweat equity!

One of the Yambo sites (sssdo.hk) can't be priced by leapfish because of robots.txt exclusion at the site (imagine -- Alexy doesn't want anyone spidering around his websites).

On the other hand, sssdo.hk scores about half the points that rickconner.net does, so maybe it is worth $4,000? If Alexy just bundled up all his hundreds upon hundreds of bogus domains and sold them, he'd have enough money to retire on without pestering us anymore with fake drug ads.

-- rick

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I appreciate the responses, very much. I want to explain a little more about why I am interesting in whatever these people are doing.

A few months ago my computer went down. I had some funds coming in and decided to wait to buy a nicer home computer, so I just used my work computer for essential stuff, and let my web stie discussion forum sit unattended. I had not had much trouble in the past maintaining it and didn't see any harm in doing so for a while. When I got back on, I was surprised to see that the site was filled with literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of posts that looked very similar to these posts (I give the following site as an example of how they packed my discussion forums)

http://www.haefi.org.cn/zxfw/index.asp?user=&page=10018

As with the example site I posted above, there were in addition to the multiple links, comments such as "nice site", "great work", "nice place", etc, such as in the example post.

I never joined or bought into any sort of SEO, and could not possibly have been part of any link farm scheme. But apparently when word got out to these sorts of spammers, they flooded my site with their posts (again, typical to the link I provided). It took hours to delete them all.

They were a problem for a while, until they apparently figured out the site admin was back. Now days, I just get one or two of the more typical spammers a day, because I blacklisted so many.

Recently, I have been helping with setting up another site, and noticed a competator with very high search engine rankings seems to appear to be using this sort of spammer. But I doubt there is any reciprocity between my competitor and these odd spam sites. Unless, of course, potentially my competitor bought into some sort of SEO program that offered to boost search engine performance by posting their link on thousands of sites. And yes, the competition has links in literally thousands of such sites.

So, I am wondering, if these are not real "link farms" because there is no reciprocity between the sites, what is their function? Could this sort of stuff actually contribute to SEO without reciprocity? I need to look at the strategy to build up another site, and am wondering, if the competition is doing this, and it is working for them, and these are not technically "link farms", should I do it?

Oh, BTW rconner, they still do the Charpy, but as you say, that's destructive! :D

Thanks again for the help.

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So, I am wondering, if these are not real "link farms" because there is no reciprocity between the sites, what is their function? Could this sort of stuff actually contribute to SEO without reciprocity? I need to look at the strategy to build up another site, and am wondering, if the competition is doing this, and it is working for them, and these are not technically "link farms", should I do it?
Probably only Google could tell you how their ranking system works, everybody else may be largely guessing. Same goes for Yahoo, MSN, et. al. I don't think, however, that link reciprocity necessarily has to be in the picture here.

For instance, if you were a naive search engine (naive as in unsophisticated, not naive as in stupid) and you found out that, say, "www.rickconner.net" was named on hundreds of websites all over the world (and, being naive, you would have no idea how these mentions got placed on all those pages), you might conclude that "www.rickconner.net" is a darned popular site (even if no one actually ever goes there).

So, if you imagine an equally naive SEO empire builder, he might decide that using any means to get his URL distributed throughout the net would be the way to go. He would particularly want to get his URL mentioned on sites that already have higher ranking than his, which by an (again) naive theory might let him leech off their popularity. He would use automated tools to find and hammer blogs, bulletin boards, guestbooks, referrer logs, and the like. He also might set up a couple of link-laden websites of his own, and then hide them behind a multiplicity of empty redirecting domains, to make himself look that much bigger.

That's the only way that I can account for behaviors like those we see here and elsewhere (like on my webpage that I cited above).

Should you do this as well? For my part, I say no. It looks too much like abusive behavior, and might attract the attention of the search engines (who would squash you like a bug). Surely you would not want to have your business associated with the types of obvious and sleazy-looking posts you pointed out to us. Anyway, it seems to me that the measure of a good business, in the long run, is not a transient and ill-gotten search engine ranking, but the usual boring stuff like value, customer satisfaction, etc. Easy for me to say, I am not a web advertiser.

-- rick

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Rick, many, many thanks. I appreciate it a lot. If you ever need anything inspected through nondestructive means, drop me a line, I will do it for free if it is within reason. You might have to pay shipping. Like, I can't inspect the Eiffle tower, but could do a crankshaft or a few connecting rods for your drag racer for free, or such! Just drop me a note if I can do anything for you!

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