Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is StaticOff using Black Hat SEO?

Link farms are an old technique for artificially inflating your web site's search engine ranking. The general idea is to toss up a relatively useless site that consists of nothing but links to other sites, most of whom pay for inclusion in the link farm. This technique is part of the "Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" toolkit. Google is constantly refining it's algorithm to reduce or eliminate the impact of Black Hat SEO techniques.

More refined versions will have shoddy articles or a line or two of ad copy about a product. Think of these sites as the web equivalent of a channel dedicated to showing nothing but commercials.

When doing research about StaticOff I noticed that a lot of the sites lining to StaticOff looked a lot like such link farms, or look like sham sites created just to link to StaticOff.

For example:

This site contains a link to and image to the product. All three URLS have similar content and they link to each other. All three URLS are based on free web site services, so the person who started this particular link farm didn't even need to spend much money on it. The site "Content" is little more than links to other pages, most of them just jumbled together under general headings, without so much as a comment on WHY a particular link is supposedly worthwhile.

everything-network looks like a textbook example of a link farm, offering little to nothing beyond pages of links.

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