Avoid Using FFA Pages to Increase Link Popularity

by on 07/31/2009 in SEO Tips

You want to avoid using FFA (Free For All) pages and link exchange programs as most search engines, such as Google says that FFA sites are an artificial and illegitimate way to increase link popularity. Google considers “link farms” spam, and will ban your site for participating in an FFA or link exchange program.

A free for all (FFA) link page is a web page set up ostensibly to improve the search engine placement of a particular web site. There are many automated programs that will place your link on hundreds of FFA sites, hoping that the resulting incoming links will increase your ranking in Google. This is far from the truth! In fact, you could be penalized by Google. Many SEO experts do not place much value on FFAs. Here’s why;

  1. Most FFAs only maintain a small number of links for a short time, too short for most search engines to pick up.
  2. The high “human” traffic to FFA sites is almost completely from webmasters visiting the site to place their own links manually.
  3. Search engine algorithms count more than link numbers, they also check relevancy which the unrelated links on FFA sites do not have.
  4. Another drawback to FFAs is the amount of spam e-mail webmasters will receive from members of the FFA. Using an FFA can be considered a form of spamdexing.

It’s best to manually submit your website to well known and trusted directories. If you’re submitting to a directory, check the directories Google Pagerank. If the directory has a Pagerank between 3 and 9, it means that the directory has sites linking in that are relevant. The higher the Pagerank the better.

What factors make a directory worth submitting to

  1. The directory and all its pages are indexed in Google.
  2. The directory is linked from high PR pages or many relevant pages.
  3. The directory ranks for its own name or phrases which it apparently promotes.
  4. Is the directory human edited?
  5. What’s the age of the directory? The older the better. This is an indication that it has survived the test of time.
  6. A “Similar Pages” search in Google shows other directories. Lets you know if the directory is looked at by Google as a directory at all or not and to some extent lets you know if the directory has a network of other directories which may cause duplicate content, interlinking problems.

We would like to hear your feedback.

7 Responses to “Avoid Using FFA Pages to Increase Link Popularity”

  1. Good information Frank, thanks for calling attention to this.

    • Frank J

      Jul 31st, 2009


      Glad to help and hopefully no one falls victim.

  2. TyleW

    Jul 31st, 2009

    Very good post Frank. As a company, we are doing most of our linking/seo stuff ourselves lately, so this is a very good reminder. I have come across a fair amount of these “FFA” sites and know exactly what you are talking about. Great tip on the directories too, that is something we are currently working on.

  3. Social Media Optimization

    Jul 31st, 2009

    Wow, Wonderful information Frank. However following it will take lot of time, but it is worth to save your site.

  4. Vic of BusinessAccent

    Jul 31st, 2009

    I agree with all the contents of the post. We have to really carefully choose where our website or blog be linked. By considering PR, rank, and relevancy, e can assure that we can have good links.

  5. Mary

    Aug 1st, 2009

    As TyleW says, there are alot of FFA type sites around. It is also important to remember that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. For Example, you will probably get emails saying that they will submit your website to 10,000 directorys for $50 and it will be completed in 24 hrs. That is clearly a waste of your money and the links will be anything but useful.

    • Frank J

      Aug 1st, 2009


      Many of or most automated programs are scams.