General Question

Carol's avatar

What's the deal with "backlinks" and sites that give you hundreds?

Asked by Carol (731points) April 2nd, 2012

I have found many sites that offer free backlinks.
1.) Are they safe? Are some safer than others?
2.) Is there a way to pick and choose the backlinks you want? They seem to come in numbered list form.

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10 Answers

dabbler's avatar

They are just ways to boost search engine ranking. More backlinks get you a higher rank on that factor for example on Google.
Any site offering a backlink just for the heck of it is contributing to the noise of the internet.
It’s more useful for most of us if they actually mean something.

ETpro's avatar

They are poison. Any voodoo SEO approach only works till the Google engineers figure out what’s being done to game the SERPs and adjust the algorithm to penalize for the chicanery. That now happens in seconds rather than days. Backlinks from related sites that are genuinely given because you have quality content that site’s visitors might want help SEO. They have a bit of SEO juice. Unreciprocated links are better than the “mutual admiration society” sort. They have a bit more juice. Links from sites with higher Page Rank outweigh links from low PR sites, which all link farms are. Best are links from what Google considers authoritative sites. Of course, those are the toughest to get, as well.

gambitking's avatar


Backlinks are not poison. Without backlinks, the internet would not exist as it does. Some backlinks are bad, not all of them are. Backlinks also aren’t nearly as bad as spammy stuff like adsense ads, affiliate marketing ads, pop-ups and banners. They’re pretty subtle most of the time, and serve an SEO purpose rather than a traffic funneling purpose.

Furthermore “Links from sites with higher PR outweigh links from low PR sites” – this is not a true statement, and it is ambiguous because you’re not telling us which engine you’re talking about, and you didn’t consider any other factors in that statement, such as relevance and anchor text.

For example, by your statement, you’re saying you think that a backlink from a PR3 website about Lawnmowers, with the anchor text “cheap tile flooring” that goes to your Umbrella website is better than a PR2 link from a Rain Gear website that says “Umbrellas” and goes to your umbrella website…. just because it’s higher PR? Which one would you prefer to have?

And one more thing “All link farms are low PR sites” – also untrue.

Also, for the laypeople out there, SEO is Search Engine Optimization, “SERPs” is “Search Engine Result Pages”. PR is PageRank. That should clear up the cryptic acronyms for some.

Now then, @Carol… one item I will agree with ETPro about is that you should avoid sites like that. There’s actually quite a few reasons why, and a couple of them have been covered already. Backlinks are a huge, integral part of getting more traffic to your website, and every site owner should build backlinks, but you have to tread very carefully. It’s quite a science really, although many MANY people either don’t know much about it, or don’t feel there’s much depth to the task and so they fly by the seat of their pants. For some, this might work just fine for them. For others, they might want to do a better job and simply dont know how. And still others know they need help, and seek it out.

Whatever your situation, if anyone wants some tips, advice or help with backlink building, feel free to PM me. But for your answers, those backlinks you mention probably aren’t safe, if they come in a list, you might not want them, and you probably don’t get to pick and choose.

Let me know if you have further questions, just message me!

dabbler's avatar

I think @ETpro was referring in particular to “many sites that offer free backlinks” probably not to links in general. I’d agree those are junk/poison/noise. Links of all sorts as best when they mean something.

ETpro's avatar

@gambitking Sorry, I was actually answering the OP. The question was about getting backlinks from linkfarms, not backlinks in general. If anyone read my answer to mean that ALL backlinks are bad, that is certainly not what I meant.

AlbertKinng's avatar

Case closed. But in the other hand you’ll never know wich backlinks are good for you… Is certainly a risky road.

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