ADMIN EDIT 2016: This post is from my original blog (blacklink reviews) from way back in 2010-11 when I first learned internet marketing. Things have radically changed since then with how to make money online, what to do, SEO, marketing, and such. But I’ve imported all the old posts from this site for archival sake. Some of the information is still relevant, but many of the specific SEO strategies and quick make money online ideas AND product recommendations I had back then have changed and are no longer valid.
SO please keep this in mind when reading. These are old, outdated posts!
Note 2016, these are old strategies back from another era. I do not recommend following this now or consider creating blog farms with spam links. Don’t.
So I keep getting a bunch of questions about how to create blog farms, how to create link farms and the like. So here’s a post on the subject matter.
A link farm/link network/blog farm is basically a bunch of websites that you utilize for the sole purpose of building links. There are a number of link farm networks out there that you can pay a monthly fee to utilize but the problem is that these invariably become less and less effective the older they become. This is because more and more people start using them and the link value gets spread thinner and thinner. Google itself may find and burn such link farms out of the serps after a while too.
So what’s the solution if you want to ability to get a bunch of links any time you want from quality sites (without going through the painful process of link exchanges, begging for guest posts, etc)? Simple: create your very own link network.
Now this sounds easy but it’s actually a lot of hard work, sweat and good old fashion TIME. So if you are looking for some fast backlinking tactics or get rich quick WSO on the topic, go waste your time on WarriorForums. This is a topic for real SEO’s and people who are actually willing to WORK. The payoff won’t be tomorrow or next month, but in 6 months or a year, the payoff will come.
First of all a disclaimer: Google does NOT like you creating your own link farm of any sorts. They consider it gaming their property and if you are stupid about it, you can risk your money sites in a big way. Now having said that, IF you actually create a farm of sites that contribute real value to the public and they don’t “look” like you are gaming the serps, then it’s pretty save to make one.
I want to make this clear: I am not advocating that you build a network of shitty ass blogs full of automatically updating spun/nonsense content, with laundry list of links stuffed on every post. If you want to create THAT sort of backlink network, go read some blackhat forum. I’m trying to show you guys how to create a legit farm that won’t get deindexed here. It takes a lot longer to build a real network of sites (sites that have real content on them that actually offers some decent information, not a bunch of nonsense), but over the long run, it’s worth it. Ok rant over. Let’s begin.
So here’s what you need to make a powerful and safe link farm:
Planning the Link Farm:
Decide whether you want a general farm or a niche farm
There is a difference. A general blog farm would be a bunch of general topics (health, finance, beauty, tech, etc) that you can use for link support on any topic you might wish. A niche farm is a farm dedicated to specific niche, usually to support a single site or a group of sites targeting a niche.
General blog farms are pretty useful to have as a resource. If you are really trying to conquer a competitive keyword/niche, it’s probably better to devote an entire niche link farm to the efforts as it will be MUCH more effective. If you want a niche farm, then you need to create websites around related terms.
Starting a Niche Link Farm
- Go to google keyword tool and type in the keyword you are targeting
- Write down a list of the related keywords that show up around that keyword. Some people call these LSI keywords. I don’t bother with the fancy name bullshit and simply call them related keywords.
- Target each of these keywords with an entire self hosted website. Target as many or as few as you want. I recommend at least 10. You could have up to 100. Keep in mind the more sites you have, the stronger your farm will be, but also the more expensive to build and maintain the farm. I can’t give you a firm number here — it’s your choice. I will say that 10-30 sites about a specific niche can be very very powerful, however…
Starting a General Niche Farm
Write down a bunch of general keywords/general niche keywords. These would be “health, tech, fitness, money, finance, etc.” You can also go a bit more specific like say “health treatments, payday loans, etc.” Don’t be afraid to mix and match between general and somewhat specific niches.
Create a website about each general keyword. For general niche farms, It’s probably a good idea to have 5 – 10 blogs about each general niche. This means you could have say 10 health blogs, 10 tech blogs, 10 finance blogs, 10 skin care blogs, etc. This means you could say use your 10 general health blogs to support a bunch of sites relating to anything health, 10 finance blogs to link support your finance money sites, etc.
Planting the Link Farm:
Create a bunch of selfhosted domains
What sort of website should you create: static or blog?
- I recommend wordpress for the the lazy or technically dumb
- I recommend static as the all round best choice (also the most work). Most of you will probably not opt to go with static because it’s a lot more time to create a static site than a wordpress blog. I personally feel that static sites fly way more under the radar (and leave less of a footprint) than blogs do which is perfect for farm sites.
In regards on how to create a static html website, this is not an html class so you are going to have to figure that one out on your own. You can (fairly easily) customize one of the many free css templates out there or do what I do and hack together a decent looking site with Xsite Pro 2 which is pretty damn easy.
Some points to note:
- If you use wordpress, for God’s sake, use different themes. Having a large portion of your link farm having the exact same theme = dumb and leaves a footprint the size of Texas. This is the equivalent of taking a loudspeaker and shouting out in the middle of a funeral service. Same deal if you use something like XSite Pro 2 — make sure each site looks different.
- Multiple IP Hosting is pretty important. At least 10 unique C class IP’s. If you are too broke to afford these, then have 3-4 cheap hosting accounts with different companies. I recommend Bluehost, dreamhost, a baby hostgator account, for example. This will give you at least 3 IP’s to work with, which is a far cry better than slapping up your entire farm on say a hostgator reseller account. Ideally, you want every site on a different IP, but I’m realistic enough to know that most of you people are cheap bastards who don’t want to spend that money (don’t get me started on how people end up sabotaging their efforts to make money online because they are too cheap to spend money on things that actually will help).
Add 5-20 pages of quality content to each site
Make sure each site starts out with at least 5 pages of content, preferably 7-10 pages. If at all possible, try and drip out a new post every 2 weeks to a month. This shows Google the websites are active and not “abandoned” which *may* help your rankings over time (not to mention you keep a permanent ranking boost because of the fresh content bonus which is even stronger with the Caffeine update). The idea here is to build up legitimate sites with quality content. I’m not saying you have to write quality content of equal to your money site, but the articles should be informative, unique, and offer some value to the reader.
If you are too lazy to spend some real time building these sites with unique content, unique layout’s etc, then go read some other guide to building a blog farm. I’m not trying to show you how to build an automated POS link wheel out of web 2.0s (like say SENUKE will do automatically) that offers minimal link juice, I’m trying to show you how to build a “legit” link farm that will stand the test of time and will give a serious amount of link juice to help you dominate niches.
- No duplicated content
- No spun content
- posts to be at least 500 words
- 5-10 posts per each site
- About + Contact Page all filled in with a fake picture
- dribble posts for 3-4 months to keep blog alive
- No adsense put on any site
- No google analytics on any site (use statcounter)
Growing the Link Farm
Growing the link farm is the most important part of the process. It’s one thing to set up the farm, add content, ensure the farm is on different C Class IP’s, but it all means nothing unless you grow the farm. There are three things you need to grow the farm:
- Link Build
- Add new content (I suggest having 10 -15 pages of content, put up 5 right away, then dribble the other 5 -10 posts over 6 months to a year)
Link Build to Each Site
This is probably the part that most of you will fail at. It’s the part that will take the most time. But it’s also the part that pays the most dividends.
A link is no longer “just a link.” There are links and then there are “links.” You don’t want a link, you want ‘the link.’
What am I saying with all this nangly fangaly? Simple: you don’t want POS links. You want quality links. To actually get some quality linking power from your link farm, each blog needs to have a decent amount of links.
Now as this is a link farm and not a bunch of your money sites, do whatever you can do to build those links. Automation is the key here if you want to save time. The point is that you need as many links as possible to each site. I doubt you will invest the time to do manual link building for a bunch of farm blogs (which is sometimes the best way to do link building to be honest), so if you won’t, then use every backlink tool possible.
Here are a couple suggestions:
- Comment Spam
- Profile Spam
- Forum Spam
- Use Backlink Networks
- Link web 2.0s to each site
You should try and get a couple hundred backlinks to each “blog.” Taken as a whole, this will lend your entire backlink network some real power.
DO NOT CREATE A BUNCH OF FARM BLOGS WITH NO LINKS AND THINK THEY WILL DO MUCH OF ANYTHING
The value of your link farm is in the backlinks to each blog. Don’t even fucking waste your time with the effort of building a link farm if you are not going to backlink each and every blog. It will be a shitty and worthless link farm if you don’t.
Add new content
While you don’t need to add new content to rank (backlinks are still king), it can certainly help your rankings stay fresh and I suspect prove to the google algorithm that your sites are there to stay (i.e. you gain more trust ranking over time). It can be a pain in the as to add new content to a bunch of blogs, which is why I say you should just get all the content done right away then just dribble a bunch of the content every month. This is much easier if you opt to use wordpress than if you have a static farm since wordpress supports the ability to queue up new posts to automatically post.
It’s certainly a well known fact that if you have an aged domain with plenty of content, it’s way way easier to rank with it than a brand new domain. Same deal with your quality link farm. The older the farm is, the better it will rank and the more juice it will pass on as the content and links to each blog age too. Think of your blog farm like wine — the more aged it is, the better it will “taste.”
We are talking about a link farm here and to reap a harvest you need to wait for the harvest to ripen. It’s a good idea to wait 6 or more months before you start adding links to your money site. If you are impatient, you can add them right away, but I personally prefer to wait for the farm to ripped a bit before harvesting with links.
Remember, the older your farm is and the more backlinks each farm site has, the more powerful your link network will be.
Harvesting the Link Farm
The entire point of any crop is to harvest it. The same goes for a link farm. The more effort you put into building up a link farm, the better materials you use (multiple ip class hosting versus regular hosting, real content versus spun content, self hosted domains versus web 2.0’s, etc), the better the harvest will be.
What do you harvest from a link farm? Why, backlinks of course! So let’s talk about how you should harvest (or link) your farm.
Link to Money Sites from Related Posts/Sites Only
This whole article is about creating a “legit” and safe link farm. This means you don’t abuse your farm blogs with linking.
Indeed, the worst thing you can do once you have your network of blog sites up and running is to go buck wild with links. You should make any link out natural and completely relevant. This is even MORE important with the Google Farmer Update. Contextually relevent linking is becoming more and more important.
A contextual link is a link coming from a source that’s related in content. Google takes semantics into account when examining the value of a backlink. If a link pointing to a site comes from a non-contextually related webpage, the link won’t be counted as much as a link from a highly related website.
So say you have a website about tropical fish. A link from a goldfish website or fish website or best of all a tropical fish website would pass more juice than say a link from a general pet site or dog site or horse site. The worst sort of link would be from a completely unrelated site (say a link to your tropical fish site from a loan website). I’m not saying a link from a loan site to your tropical fish site won’t count, but it’s not as good of a link.
Now keep in mind I’m ignoring the whole issue of site trust and whatnot. You can certainly get a very very good link from an unrelated website that has a lot of backlinks/google trust. But i’ve found it’s not that hard to rank for most terms as long as you get links from a bunch of related sites. Even better if those related sites have authority for the keyword you are trying to rank for…
So how do link out from your link farm?
Say your money site is about “tropical fish”, you would only want to link out from a relevant post. If one of your farm blogs is about say “How to Get Rid of Cancer” and you throw in a keyword link to tropical fish, that link has no call being there. It’s either a paid link or a link farm link. Only link to topically relevant sites. This is why I say link from a related blog — say you have a blog about “pets”, it would total sense to have a post about tropical fish from a pet website with an exact keyword link to a tropical fish site. This is why I say you should create your blog farm either as a bunch of sites targeting a niche (very easy to put in contextually relevant links here) or a bunch of general blogs where you can write a post about anything without it looking like you are link farming.
You can link out to many sites from one blog, but do it naturally. Only 1 link per post with a ratio of 3 posts with no links to 1 post with links. That means of you have 10 posts, that means you only link out with 3 links. If you have 20 posts, you link out with 6 links. Don’t link to a single site more than 2 times per blog!
This is just a rule of thumb, but the less links you have coming from each site, the stronger each link will be. What do you think is more powerful? A blog with 10 pages of content and only 3 links or a blog with 100 pages of content with 300 links coming out?
Linking to Other Sites in the Farm
You can certainly cross link some of your sites in the farm (especially if they are on different IP’s) to increase the link juice each blog has, but be smart about it. Say you have 30 blogs in your farm. Having each site send out 29 links (a link to every other site in the network) is a bad call. It would be very easy to find out that you have a link farm going on. The thing to remember is to be careful with how you link sites together. This is a link farm and not a crappy web 2.0 LINKWHEEL. There is a big difference. My suggestion is that you just randomly link each site to another 5 sites. Use a random number generator if it makes it easier. This will pass enough link juice laterally around the blogs in the link network without making it too obvious. And if you have more than 10 blogs, a fair number of those links will be 1 way links too.
And no, I don’t count these links as part of your 3:1 link ratio which applies only to the money site.
Converting Farm Sites to Money Sites
You may find that after a while, your farm sites start getting real traffic on their own. You can try monetizing with affiliate links to see if money can be made. If you start making some money, then you can promote your farm site to be a money site in it’s own right. That means you will need to throw on a shitload more content and put some real time into it. Since most of your links will likely be spammy, you will also need to flush out the backlink profile with some completely legit links.
And that’s how to create your own link farm folks.
I’ve laid out plenty of information here so I’m NOT going to be answering questions about this topic, sorry.
I’ve probably already said more than I should about this process as it is.