Link farm

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Link farm

On the World Wide Web, a link farm is any group of web sites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group. In graph theoretic terms, a link farm is a clique. Although some link farms can be created by hand, most are created through automated programs and services. A link farm is a form of spamming the index of a web search engine (sometimes called spamdexing). Other link exchange systems are designed to allow individual websites to selectively exchange links with other relevant websites and are not considered a form of spamdexing.

Search engines require ways to confirm page relevancy. A known method is to examine for one-way links coming directly from relevant websites. The process of building links should not be confused with being listed on link farms, as the latter requires reciprocal return links, which often renders the overall backlink advantage useless. This is due to oscillation, causing confusion over which is the vendor site and which is the promoting site.

History

Link farms were developed by search engine optimizers (SEOs) in 1999 to take advantage of the Inktomi search engine’s dependence upon link popularity. Although link popularity is used by some search engines to help establish a ranking order for search results, the Inktomi engine at the time maintained two indexes. Search results were produced from the primary index which was limited to approximately 100 million listings. Pages with few inbound links fell out of the Inktomi index on a monthly basis.

Inktomi was targeted for manipulation through link farms because it was then used by several independent but popular search engines. Yahoo!, then the most popular search service, also used Inktomi results to supplement its directory search feature. The link farms helped stabilize listings primarily for online business Web sites that had few natural links from larger, more stable sites in the Inktomi index.

Link farm exchanges were at first handled on an informal basis, but several service companies were founded to provide automated registration, categorization, and link page updates to member Web sites.

When the Google search engine became popular, search engine optimizers learned that Google’s ranking algorithm depended in part on a link-weighting scheme called PageRank. Rather than simply count all inbound links equally, the PageRank algorithm determines that some links may be more valuable than others, and therefore assigns them more weight than others. Link farming was adapted to help increase the PageRank of member pages.

However, the link farms became susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous webmasters who joined the services, received inbound linkage, and then found ways to hide their outbound links or to avoid posting any links on their sites at all. Link farm managers had to implement quality controls and monitor member compliance with their rules to ensure fairness.

Alternative link farm products emerged, particularly link-finding software that identified potential reciprocal link partners, sent them template-based emails offering to exchange links, and created directory-like link pages for Web sites, in the hope of building their link popularity and PageRank. These link farms are sometimes counted in black-hat SEO strategy.

Search engines countered the link farm movement by identifying specific attributes associated with link farm pages and filtering those pages from indexing and search results. In some cases, entire domains were removed from the search engine indexes in order to prevent them from influencing search results.

Blog network

A blog network, also known as a link farm, is a group of blogs that are owned by the same entity. A blog network can either be a group of loosely connected blogs, or a group of blogs that are owned by the same company. The purpose of such a network is usually to promote the other blogs in the same network and therefore increase the search engine rankings or advertising revenue generated from online advertising on the blogs.

In September 2014, Google targeted private blog networks (PBNs) with manual action ranking penalties. This served to dissuade search engine optimization and online marketers from using PBNs to increase their online rankings. The “thin content” warnings are closely tied to Panda which focuses on thin content and on-page quality. PBNs have a history of being targeted by Google and therefore may not be the safest option. Since Google is on the search for blog networks, they are not always linked together. In fact, interlinking your blogs could help Google and a single exposed blog could reveal the whole blog network by looking at the outbound links.

A blog network may also refer to a central website, such as WordPress, where a user creates an account and is then able to use their own blog. The created blog forms part of a network because it uses either a subdomain or a subfolder of the main domain, although in all other ways it can be entirely autonomous. This is also known as a hosted blog platform and usually uses the free WordPress Multisite software.

Hosted blog networks are also known as Web 2.0 networks due to their rise to popularity during the second phase of internet development, known as Web 2.0 when interactive social sites began to rapidly develop.

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Page hijacking

A hacker may use an exploit framework such as sqlmap to search for SQL vulnerabilities in the database and insert an exploit kit such as MPack in order to compromise legitimate users who visit the now compromised web server. One of the simplest forms of page hijacking involves altering a webpage to contain a malicious inline frame which can allow an exploit kit to load.

Page hijacking is frequently used in tandem with a watering hole attack on corporate entities in order to compromise targets. bandar ceme terpercaya

Cloaking

Cloaking is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent HTTP header of the user requesting the page. When a user is identified as a search engine spider, a server-side script delivers a different version of the web page, one that contains content not present on the visible page, or that is present but not searchable. The purpose of cloaking is sometimes to deceive search engines so they display the page when it would not otherwise be displayed (black hat SEO). However, it can also be a functional (though antiquated) technique for informing search engines of content they would not otherwise be able to locate because it is embedded in non-textual containers such as video or certain Adobe Flash components. Since 2006, better methods of accessibility, including progressive enhancement, have been available, so cloaking is no longer necessary for regular SEO.[citation needed]

Cloaking is often used as a spamdexing technique to attempt to sway search engines into giving the site a higher ranking. By the same method, it can also be used to trick search engine users into visiting a site that is substantially different from the search engine description, including delivering pornographic content cloaked within non-pornographic search results.

Cloaking is a form of the doorway page technique.

A similar technique is used on DMOZ web directory, but it differs in several ways from search engine cloaking:

  • It is intended to fool human editors, rather than computer search engine spiders.
  • The decision to cloak or not is often based upon the HTTP referrer, the user agent or the visitor’s IP; but more advanced techniques can be also based upon the client’s behaviour analysis after a few page requests: the raw quantity, the sorting of, and latency between subsequent HTTP requests sent to a website’s pages, plus the presence of a check for robots.txt file, are some of the parameters in which search engines spiders differ heavily from a natural user behaviour. The referrer tells the URL of the page on which a user clicked a link to get to the page. Some cloakers will give the fake page to anyone who comes from a web directory website, since directory editors will usually examine sites by clicking on links that appear on a directory web page. Other cloakers give the fake page to everyone except those coming from a major search engine; this makes it harder to detect cloaking, while not costing them many visitors, since most people find websites by using a search engine.

Black hat perspective

Increasingly, for a page without natural popularity due to compelling or rewarding content to rank well in the search engines, webmasters design pages solely for the search engines. This results in pages with too many keywords and other factors that might be search engine “friendly”, but make the pages difficult for actual visitors to consume. As such, black hat SEO practitioners consider cloaking to be an important technique to allow webmasters to split their efforts and separately target the search engine spiders and human visitors. Cloaking allows user experience to be high while satisfying the necessary minimum keyword concentration to rank in a search engine.

In September 2007, Ralph Tegtmeier and Ed Purkiss coined the term “mosaic cloaking” whereby dynamic pages are constructed as tiles of content and only portions of the pages, JavaScript and CSS are changed, simultaneously decreasing the contrast between the cloaked page and the “friendly” page while increasing the capability for targeted delivery of content to various spiders and human visitors.

Cloaking versus IP delivery

IP delivery can be considered a more benign variation of cloaking, where different content is served based upon the requester’s IP address. With cloaking, search engines and people never see the other’s pages, whereas, with other uses of IP delivery, both search engines and people can see the same pages. This technique is sometimes used by graphics-heavy sites that have little textual content for spiders to analyze.

One use of IP delivery is to determine the requestor’s location, and deliver content specifically written for that country. This isn’t necessarily cloaking. For instance, Google uses IP delivery for AdWords and AdSense advertising programs to target users in different geographic locations.

IP delivery is a crude and unreliable method of determining the language in which to provide content. Many countries and regions are multi-lingual, or the requestor may be a foreign national. A better method of content negotiation is to examine the client’s Accept-Language HTTP header.

As of 2006, many sites have taken up IP delivery to personalise content for their regular customers. Many of the top 1000 sites, including sites like Amazon (amazon.com), actively use IP delivery. None of these have been banned from search engines as their intent is not deceptive.

Doorway page

Doorway pages (bridge pages, portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages or entry pages) are web pages that are created for the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes (spamdexing). A doorway page will affect the index of a search engine by inserting results for particular phrases while sending visitors to a different page. Doorway pages that redirect visitors without their knowledge use some form of cloaking. This usually falls under Black Hat SEO.

If a visitor clicks through to a typical doorway page from a search engine results page, in most cases they will be redirected with a fast Meta refresh command to another page. Other forms of redirection include use of JavaScript and server side redirection, from the server configuration file. Some doorway pages may be dynamic pages generated by scripting languages such as Perl and PHP.

Doorway pages are often easy to identify in that they have been designed primarily for search engines, not for human beings. Sometimes a doorway page is copied from another high ranking page, but this is likely to cause the search engine to detect the page as a duplicate and exclude it from the search engine listings.

Because many search engines give a penalty for using the META refresh command, some doorway pages just trick the visitor into clicking on a link to get them to the desired destination page, or they use JavaScript for redirection.

More sophisticated doorway pages, called Content Rich Doorways, are designed to gain high placement in search results without using redirection. They incorporate at least a minimum amount of design and navigation similar to the rest of the site to provide a more human-friendly and natural appearance. Visitors are offered standard links as calls to action.

Landing pages are regularly misconstrued to equate to Doorway pages within the literature. The former are content rich pages to which traffic is directed within the context of pay-per-click campaigns and to maximize SEO campaigns.

Doorway pages are also typically used for sites that maintain a blacklist of URLs known to harbor spam, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Deviantart.

Cloaking
Doorway pages often also employ Cloaking techniques for misdirection. Cloaked pages will show a version of that page to human visitor which is different from the one provided to crawlers – usually implemented via server side scripts. The server can differentiate between bots, crawlers and human visitors based on various flags, including source IP address and/or user-agent. Cloaking will simultaneously trick search engines to rank sites higher for irrelevant keywords, while displaying monetizing any human traffic by showing visitors spammy, often irrelevant, content. The practice of cloaking is considered to be highly manipulative and condemned within the SEO industry and by search engines, and its use can result in massive penalty or the complete removal of sites from being indexed

Redirection
Webmasters that use doorway pages would generally prefer that users never actually see these pages and instead be delivered to a “real” page within their sites. To achieve this goal, redirection is sometimes used. This may be as simple as installing a meta refresh tag on the doorway pages. An advanced system might make use of cloaking. In either case, such redirection may make your doorway pages unacceptable to search engines.

Construction
A content rich doorway page must be constructed in a Search engine friendly (SEF) manner, otherwise it may be construed as search engine spam possibly resulting in the page being banned from the index for an undisclosed amount of time.

These types of doorways utilize (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Title Attributed images for key word support
  • Title Attributed links for key word support

In culture

Doorway pages were examined as a cultural and political phenomenon along with spam poetry and flarf.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique, considered webspam or spamdexing, in which keywords are loaded into a web page’s meta tags, visible content, or backlink anchor text in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines. Keyword stuffing may lead to a website being banned or penalized on major search engines either temporarily or permanently. The repetition of words in meta tags may explain why many search engines no longer use these tags.

Many major search engines have implemented algorithms that recognize keyword stuffing, and reduce or eliminate any unfair search advantage that the tactic may have been intended to gain, and oftentimes they will also penalize, demote or remove websites from their indexes that implement keyword stuffing.

Changes and algorithms specifically intended to penalize or ban sites using keyword stuffing include the Google Florida update (November 2003) Google Panda (February 2011) Google Hummingbird (August 2013) and Bing’s September 2014 update.

History

Keyword stuffing had been used in the past to obtain top search engine rankings and visibility for particular phrases. This method is outdated and adds no value to rankings today. In particular, Google no longer gives good rankings to pages employing this technique.

Hiding text from the visitor is done in many different ways. Text colored to blend with the background, CSS “Z” positioning to place text “behind” an image — and therefore out of view of the visitor — and CSS absolute positioning to have the text positioned far from the page center are all common techniques. By 2005, many invisible text techniques were easily detected by major search engines.

“Noscript” tags are another way to place hidden content within a page. While they are a valid optimization method for displaying an alternative representation of scripted content, they may be abused, since search engines may index content that is invisible to most visitors.

Sometimes inserted text includes words that are frequently searched (such as “sex”), even if those terms bear little connection to the content of a page, in order to attract traffic to advert-driven pages.

In the past, keyword stuffing was considered to be either a white hat or a black hat tactic, depending on the context of the technique, and the opinion of the person judging it. While a great deal of keyword stuffing was employed to aid in spamdexing, which is of little benefit to the user, keyword stuffing in certain circumstances was not intended to skew results in a deceptive manner. Whether the term carries a pejorative or neutral connotation is dependent on whether the practice is used to pollute the results with pages of little relevance, or to direct traffic to a page of relevance that would have otherwise been de-emphasized due to the search engine’s inability to interpret and understand related ideas. This is no longer the case. Search engines now employ themed, related keyword techniques to interpret the intent of the content on a page.

With relevance to keyword stuffing, it is quoted by the largest of search engines[when?] that they recommend Keyword Research and use (with respect to the quality content you have to offer the web), to aid their visitors in the search of your valuable material. Google discusses keyword stuffing as Randomly Repeated Keywords.

In online journalism

Headlines in online news sites are increasingly packed with just the search-friendly keywords that identify the story. Puns and plays on words have gone by the wayside. Overusing this strategy is also called keyword stuffing. Traditional reporters and editors frown on the practice, but it is effective in optimizing news stories for search.