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Link farm

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Link farming refers to the practice of creating a network of websites that link to each other with the goal of manipulating search engine[1] algorithms. Originating in 1999, it was initially used by search engine optimizers to stabilize website[2] listings on Inktomi, which operated two indexes. The practice evolved when Google[3] gained popularity, to boost a website’s PageRank[4]. However, misuse of link farms by dishonest webmasters necessitated the implementation of quality control measures. As a response, search engines began filtering link farms from their indexing and search results. Link farming is closely related to other practices such as click farming, cloaking[5], content farming, doorway pages, and keyword stuffing.

Terms definitions
1. search engine. A search engine is a vital tool that functions as part of a distributed computing system. It's a software system that responds to user queries by providing a list of hyperlinks, summaries, and images. It utilizes a complex indexing system, which is continuously updated by web crawlers that mine data from web servers. Some content, however, remains inaccessible to these crawlers. The speed and efficiency of a search engine are highly dependent on its indexing system. Users interact with search engines via a web browser or app, inputting queries and receiving suggestions as they type. The results may be filtered to specific types, and the system can be accessed on various devices. This tool is significant as it allows users to navigate the vast web, find relevant content, and efficiently retrieve information.
2. website. This text primarily discusses the concept of a 'Website'. A website is a collection of interconnected web pages, usually including a homepage, located on the same server and prepared and maintained as a collection of data by a person, group, or organization. Websites are a cornerstone of the internet, serving as hubs for information, commerce, communication, and entertainment. They can have various forms such as business sites, gaming sites, academic platforms, or social networking sites. Websites have evolved over time, from text and static images to dynamic, interactive multimedia platforms. The development and functionality of websites are governed by web standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Websites are also influenced by advancements in web server technology and design principles such as responsive design.
Link farm (Wikipedia)

On the World Wide Web, a link farm is any group of websites that all hyperlink to other sites in the group for the purpose of increasing SEO rankings. In graph theoretic terms, a link farm is a clique. Although some link farms can be created by hand, most are created through automated programs and services. A link farm is a form of spamming the index of a web search engine (sometimes called spamdexing). Other link exchange systems are designed to allow individual websites to selectively exchange links with other relevant websites, and are not considered a form of spamdexing.

A diagram of a link farm. Each circle represents a website, and each arrow represents a pair of hyperlinks between two websites.

Search engines require ways to confirm page relevancy. A known method is to examine for one-way links coming directly from relevant websites. The process of building links should not be confused with being listed on link farms, as the latter requires reciprocal return links, which often renders the overall backlink advantage useless. This is due to oscillation, causing confusion over which is the vendor site and which is the promoting site.

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