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As SEO becomes more and more prevalent in this day in age; the majority of Americans are completely clueless as to what it involves, or how very prevalent it is to their everyday lives. What turns many people away from SEO is all the jargon involved, such as web directories, Link Farms, Silo’s and any more.

DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) is an internet service that takes your domain and gives it an IP address. This makes it possible for people to access your website by typing in the domain name instead of the website’s IP address.

An internet service which translates your domain into an IP address is called the Domain Name System, or ‘DNS’. What this does is make it possible for others to access your website by typing in the domain instead of the site’s IP address.

TLD’s

While there are many different domains available, only a select few are considered top-level domains. Top level Domains, or TLD’s, such as .com and .org are widely viewed as the smartest strategic choice, when deciding on a domain when the end goal is to obtain organic traffic. DotGov claims that “while many TLDs are generic, meaning anyone can obtain a domain name, .gov is a sponsored TLD, where the US Government acts as the sponsor for other US-based government organizations. These organizations are the only ones that can obtain a .gov domain.”[5] This is why many consider .gov to be among the most trusted Domains available.

Silo’s

One word often mistaken in SEO jargon is the word ‘silo.’ Although many believe Silo’s to make content easier to find, It’s been said those saying this would be wrong, content silos do not make website content easy to find. In reality, most of the time Silo’s will actually result in the site being harder to find and losing sales due to the complexity. [1]

Directories & Link Farms

There are a number of key differences between link farms and web directories. The most prominent difference between the two is that web directories are valued by the search engines, while link farms are considered to be spammy. Link farms are generally built by webmasters who wish to cheat the search engines. They try to jam a bunch of links on a page with the hope that it will rank well. In most cases, it doesn’t, and the search engines may ban websites that feature this. And even though Google heavily penalizes sites for this, it is still being done to avoid the how long SEO will normally take[3]. Web directories are much more legitimate says firms such as Seeking Alpha[7]. They are designed to help people find what they are looking for on the web.

A web directory could be likened to the traditional yellow phone book directory. You essentially have a lot of sites which are placed in various categories in a web directory. When you go to the category page, you will have a list of different sites. Each website will contain a title that comes in the form of a link, and they’ll have descriptions that tell you what the website is talking about. By looking at these descriptions, you’ll be able to decide whether you’re interested in visiting the site. Link farms are the exact opposite. They have a bunch of links on a page that don’t have any descriptions. If you use the web a lot, it is probable you’ve seen these websites. Thrive Global describes Link Farms as serving “to increase traffic by linking several web pages to another page (in this case your site) in order to drive up oncoming traffic from these other pages. The blackhat version of this service will do more harm than good and is devastatingly efficient due to its numerous deployment options.”[4]

They are easy to spot because they don’t have any information that is useful. They are generally a bunch of random links on a page that will take you to different places on the web. Because search engines are interested in helping humans find what they are looking for on the web, it is easy to see why they look down on link farms. If a search engine has too many link farms in its index, people will become annoyed when trying to find useful information, and they will eventually begin looking for other search engines to use. Many black hat (or unethical)[6]SEO people use link farms in an attempt to get to the top of the search engines.

While this is great for them, it is not so great for the search engines. Which is why you’ll often see heavy Google updates to prevent this type of behavior.[2] And this is precisely why search engines ban or penalize sites that have link farms. It is bad for their business, and it can hinder them from being successful. Web directories can be thought of as mini search engines. The main thing that separates the two is that many web directories will be edited by humans rather than an advanced algorithm or neural network. Web directories assist search engines because they make it easy for them to to crawl websites and add them to the index.

[1] Search Engine Land, “Stop the silo madness! Effective site architecture for SEO and findability”, https://searchengineland.com/stop-the-silo-madness-effective-site-architecture-for-seo-and-findability-313018

[2] SEO Roundtable “Google Names The 3/12 Update The ‘March 2019 Core Update’”,
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-march-2019-core-update-27259.html

[3] Search Engine Journal, “Google Names The 3/12 Update The “5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Hiring an SEO Vendor”,
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/things-wish-knew-before-hiring-seo-vendor/285999/#close

[4] Thrive Global, “Protect your Business from Negative SEO”, https://thriveglobal.com/stories/protect-your-business-from-negative-seo/

[5] – Dot Gov, “Domain Management”, https://home.dotgov.gov/management/

[6] Inc., “To Dramatically Improve Your Company’s SEO, Start With This Easy 4-Step Process”, https://www.inc.com/dakota-shane/to-dramatically-improve-your-companys-seo-start-with-this-easy-4-step-process.html

[7] Seeking Alpha, “SEO For Financial Advisors: Explained In 5 Easy Steps”, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4198678-seo-financial-advisors-explained-5-easy-steps

Darrel Wilson, SEO Tutorial For Beginners 2016 | What Is SEO and How Does It Work?, Youtube