Link farming: The perniciousness of Web ads

I just spent a few minutes clicking around trying to find the Web site of a particular business. After four or five attempts to click through on links that I *thought* would go to the actual Web site of the business, I gave up. Every link took me to another link farm or worse, actually just clicked back through to the same page I left. Of course, each time I clicked, another list of Web ads got loaded into the page I landed on, and that's what much of the Web has become--just a snarled mess of link farms. The link farm sites don't have to be well-designed or particularly useful, because it costs almost nothing to build these sites, and even if only one person out of a hundred clicks on an ad, you can make money with it.

All those ads you hear on the radio and see on TV about making money on the Internet--there are really only two scams. One scam makes you a dealer for cheap, over-priced junk that you try to get friends and relatives to buy, and the other is building link farms.

And it is not just "I hope I get rich on the Internet" link farms that are part of the problem. There are a lot of well-financed commercial ventures that engage in this circular linking as well.

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