Today, I received in quick succession three boilerplate letters from one "Tim Kelly", who's proud to be in charge of the various link farms at you-name-it.clickdirectory.info.

He thought, all three times, that one or another page of dansdata.com was "fantastic", and would perfectly suit the content of three of his subdomains, and he'd already linked to me, and I could add my site to his invaluable directories at this page here, blah blah.

Even the more focussed sub-pages of clickdirectory.info contain, of course, a spray of links which struggle to even be relevant to each other. They are, as is normal for link farms, never even a tenth as useful to anybody as would be the first page of results of a Google search for the term in question.

Link farms are not just useless Web pages and sources of spam. If you actually fall for one of these e-mails and swap links with a farm, Google is quite likely to reduce your site's PageRank. Yes, link farms often manage to scrap together a bit of PageRank - but Google hate them.

It's perfectly safe to be linked to by a link farm, but if you link back to them you're declaring yourself to be part of the scam.

3 Responses to “E-I-E-I-O”

  1. nmr8 Says:

    i wonder if it would be hard to customize google searches to not consider a given set of domains.

  2. Chris McMahon Says:

    Any idea how to combat a spammer using your address as the sender? I've been getting bounce messages and complaints about sending spam for weeks now and it's annoying as hell.

    The spam seems to be sent from a number of different IPs (none of them mine), so either my address has been sold to a number of spammers, or it's being used from a botnet.

    Any ideas?

  3. Klyith Says:

    nmr8 - it can be done with user scripts like the Firefox extension Greasemonkey. Userscripts.org has a few examples, most of which seem to work on the same principles. I use scripts that remove about.com (wikipedia ripoff) or experts-exchange.com from google search results. Copying a script and editing for a different domain would be easy.

    But I doubt you can do the same for link farms, there are simply too many domains in play. It's normally better to just let google do the pagerank thing. If you are doing searches where link farms can actually compete with real results (searches for torrents and warez have this problem) it is better to just use a "specialty" search engine.

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