Yep, here I go again and perhaps this time I will actually insult people but hey … I think this message is important.

Will your blog be considered a link farm by Google?

You might be surprised by the answer but it also might be too late. If you have participated in Viralink, Viral Tags, Viral Images etc., you might be running dangerously close to that definition. And instead of getting higher ranking – you might actually get penalized by SE. Now let me explain.

I participate in Viralink and still consider it a great way to build your [tag-tec]technorati[/tag-tec] popularity. But I have done it after careful consideration. From my days as webmaster I know that when you create a link building strategy you always build you link pages that they contain no more then 30 links per page. Many reputable sites will simply refuse to exchange links with you if their link is placed on page with more then that number of outgoing links. All this is done to avoid being penalized if search engines decide to label it as “link farm”, I highly suggest you look up the definition on Google.

Now, consider this: Viral tags and other strategies rely on interlinking the participating sites, over a hundred when matrix is full (now is the time you quickly glance over “link farm” definition). Add to that all other outgoing links on your blog to MyBloglog, technorati (if using tags), and other useful offsite services and what do you think your chances are of being marked as “link farm”? I’ll let you re-read the definition and answer it yourself.

But the part I have just described above is not the worst thing you can do. What I have seen recently is that some blogs (couple I have visited had a PR5 and higher) create ONE blog entry and on very same post they participate in Viralink, Viral Tags, Viral image. That can potentially turn into OVER 400 outgoing links just on that post page!

And now is the time for a kill! Do I think you should stop participating in these viral link exchanges? Absolutely not! I have personally participated in Viralink and I think it is a great way to increase your technorati rank and popularity. I have benefited tremendously from the idea and highly recommend you join me!

What to do to avoid penalties? Answer to this one is actually a lot simpler then you might think.

  • If you participate in these viral exchanges – dedicate a separate post for each one of them!
  • If your blog main page presents summary of the post and not full entry – make sure that the actual links that go with each system go AFTER “more” tag.
  • If your blog displays a full post entry – I highly suggest you make sure that your front page does NOT display all these links. Split the post using “more” tag or separate posts entries that they are not shown on any one page together.

Is there any alternative? Yes, good old content text links or one-way links. If your blog popularity important to you and you don’t mind parting with $49, do what I did – purchase 5,000 one-way links coming from content sites while it is still available.