Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Yahoo Goes After Link Farms and Shady Links

Yahoo has filed a new patent with the name “Link based spam detection”. It’s another attempt from Yahoo to improve the relevancy of their search results by detecting links from link farms and other shady link sources so they can discount them. Links from such sites don’t count for your site’s link popularity if the search engines can identify them.

Yahoo uses PageRank and TrustRank to rank your web site, which is amusing because both terms are trademarks of Google.

How Yahoo tries to identify spam sites by using PageRank and TrustRank

In the patent application, Yahoo explains how they want to find spam farms  with the help of PageRank and TrustRank:

“A spam farm is an artificially created set of pages that point to a spam target page to boost its significance. Trust-ranking (“TrustRank”) is a form of PageRank with a special teleportation (i.e., jumps) to a subset of high-quality pages.

Using techniques described herein, a search engine can automatically find bad pages (web spam pages) and more specifically, find those web spam pages created to boost their significance through the creation of artificial spam farms (collections of referencing pages).

In specific embodiments, a PageRank process with uniform teleportation and a trust-ranking process are carried out and their results are compared as part of a test of the “spam-ness” of a page or a collection of pages.”

What does this mean to your web site?

Search engine engineers are not stupid. And search engine algorithms are evolving faster than ever. For that reason, it’s increasingly important that you don’t use “quick fix” solutions to get links to your web site.

If a service promises hundreds of links to your web site quickly and easily, then chances are these links are from a link farm. Search engines don’t like link farms and it’s been reported that some web sites even get penalized by participating in a link farm system.

Focus on organic link building and get high quality links that are beneficial to you and your web site visitors. If you use high quality links then you don’t have to be afraid of link-spam filters. With these links, search engines will see your web site as a useful resource and that will result in high rankings for your site.

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