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Directory - Linkfarm
Posted 06 September 2004 - 01:10 AM
But I still have some arguments or questions left:
We have several travel sites all related with the same topic of real estate but they are set up for different cities. As we started up with one city which is well listed in the SEs we made crosslinks within all these sites and furthermore if somebody asking for link exchange we generally asl for linking to all of the pages - as they are all travel related. So this comes quite near to the definition what you guys say might be the definition of a linkfarm (and I am definitely sure that it is not as these are my sites.. ) or a "bad neighbourhood". So in this case what would you recommend: go on the same way or better not to do so - besides we had good experience on it?
But as mentioned above these are all our opinions and what really concerns is what the SEs think about it...
And as things look like, I am soooo much surprised that there seem to be NO clear definition of what is one and what is the other - besides often quoted DOs and DONTs with directories/linkfarms.
After all this discussion the only argument that seem to be valid is the above quoted QUALITY of the website you are cooperating with.
So next time a student ask me I will not look like this ( ) but neither will have a clear definition of things - as with most of the SEO topics....
Posted 06 September 2004 - 08:14 PM
That is pretty much how I feel about the "Define spam / linkfram / cloaking / PageRank selling" questions.
I understand that isn't very helpful, so I will try to expand, but remember what the Satchmo said as you read this:
1. Linkfarm - a bunch of links with little or no objective usefullness thrown together for the purpose of helping link pop counts.
2. A directory - a categorised, well thought out and useful resource that is organised and structured, with preferably a rejection / exclusion policy of some description.
3. Free for all (FFA) - a place where you get links just byy posting. These are link farms of the worst kind.
Basically, IMHO, do what you think is right, not what you think is deemed to be right. Always assess the risk of a decision, and decide the best course of action based upon that.
Remember: more traffic can lead to better revenue, but no traffic is certain to reduce your revenue substantially. Increasing rankings may do the former, but a ban is guaranteed to do the latter. Teh more important rankings and search traffic are to your business, the worse the impact of a ban will be.
Posted 07 September 2004 - 10:12 AM
Another analogy (to illustrate directories versus link farms) is art.
- I can't define it but I know art when I see it!
- Is it art or is it pornography?
- It may be art but there is still a difference between good art and bad art.
It appears that good judgment and (un)common sense would be an asset in making this determination.
P.S.- Does anyone know whether search engines use human editors (as well as automation) to make this determination?
Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:38 AM
A link farm provides a scam for site managers.
I have yet to see a site and not know which it is.
And Google can usually spot the difference, too!
Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:58 AM
As an example, if I sent an unsolicited commercial email to someone, some people would consider it spam, but most would not. After all, someone has to send the first email or make the first contact in a business relationship. But if I sent 1000 (or a million) it would almost certainly be considered spam. In this case, it's a matter of degree and intent, not technique.
SE spam is a little more difficult, since "spam" is actually the wrong word to use and generates a lot of confusion. I think "fraud" or deception would be better, though that would not cover some types of SE spam.
Even here, I suspect that it's a matter of degree. Two sites linking to each other are in a system where 100% of the members are linking to 100% of the other members, yet no one here is considering that to be spam. Add another one so it's three, and most people would still not have too much of a problem - sites like microsoft, internet.com and so forth have many related properties and it makes sense to link them for visitors, regardless of the SE stance on it.
But when you have 20, you start to wonder what's going on. At a thousand, it's pretty obvious. Exact same scenario - different levels of participation.
And yet if you tried to write an algo for that how would you do it? Look for cross links and then say that any more than 5 is a link farm? What if I am a movie studio and have 6 films out, and each mini-site links to the others? Link Farm? Why is it not a link farm at 5 but is at 6? What if you made the cut off 25? Why is it spam at 26 but not at 25? You can see the issues here. Arbitrary limits are unfair and restrictive - you go from indexing sites to dictating their business and marketing practices, so you have to be careful.
At the same time, it's obvious link farms exist and should be squashed. A human can often figure it out, but even experienced webmasters and SEO's can disagree in many cases - who decides then?
This all builds a case for human intervention, but if you did that then how could you do it?
If 50 people work 12 hours a day, 300 days a year, at one minute per page, it would take 396.77 years to check the pages in the Google database (assuming the number isn't higher than what it's claiming on the front page, which it probably is), and I sure hope no one actually launches a new site, buys a site, changes management direction or edits a page during that time, because then they would have to go back and check all THOSE pages too.
It's got to be done automatically, or you end up being stuck with cherry picking only the worst offenders. But how?
Edited by mcanerin, 23 September 2004 - 11:04 AM.
Posted 23 September 2004 - 01:13 PM
so finally seems to be that the humans are still cleverer than the SE in this point and there seems to be some hope for the human race in the world of computers...
Posted 24 September 2004 - 02:45 PM
Just had a similar problem the other day from a site claiming to be a directory stating that my site had already been included in one of their categories and requesting a link to their site e.g. 'widget.com' (NOT the directory site'widgetdirectory.com' ) or they would remove my link after one week.
Had a look at the directory site anyway and found that though health related it was not really that useful IMHO. in addition the category they had put me in was not particularly relevant. So decided to label it 'junk' and file it in my 'thunderbird junk file'. Best spam sorter/email client I have used.
I like to operate on the principle "If in doubt - don't"
Posted 26 September 2004 - 05:26 AM
Those definitions are not 100% accurate. I don't think a directory has to be in alphabetical order in order to be a directory. I am also not sure that they must be human-organized. However, directories are organized links - and they are organized in a way that help Web surfers find things. Link farms, on the other hand, are simply interlinked pages of lists (usually very long lists) of links that are not organized at all, or organized in way that is not useful to the common Web surfer.
Edited by Jill, 26 September 2004 - 10:37 AM.
Posted 26 September 2004 - 10:42 AM
Personally, I am finding the Jupiter Media network of sites to look pretty link farmy to me.
This one may get me in trouble, as I speak at the Jupiter Media SES conferences, but geez...look at all the unrelated links/ads they have all over their sites.
People looking for SEO/SEM advice and articles aren't generally interested in most of the crap they are "advertising" there. Everyone knows that they are advertising there just for the link in an attempt to subvert Google's PageRank system. And they're doing a heck of a job of it.
It's not just Jupiter of course. Large news sites are doing the same thing. Pretty much any site that has a high PR is doing it. I don't blame those that are doing it, cuz heck if it works, then why not?
But I think it's wreaking havoc with G's results and I would imagine they are looking for ways to combat this sort of thing. I know I would be if I were them.
(BTW, if I ever start selling off-topic ads all over my pages, someone please just put me out of my misery. I really think it sucks.)
Posted 26 September 2004 - 10:53 AM
Over at SEW forums and SEW, what do these current ads have to do with search engine marketing?
Cell Phone Plans
Compare Book Prices
Maybe "Web Hosting" and "Domain registration" are somewhat close, but the rest?
Posted 26 September 2004 - 01:19 PM
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