Lately we have had quite a few clients who did not know that their sites are link farms. They were kept in the dark by the fraudulent SEO companies and freelancers cheating them about the links created. We at Lowcostseo always tell everyone not to take any shortcuts in getting to the top as its easy playing safe using White hat SEO techniques and harder to cheat their way to the top. Google and other search engines do not like sites that artificially increase their page ranks by simply buying and adding lots of links to it. This is what we call Link farms. People who do not know, please understand that linking to such farms will lower your page ranks and also lead to your site getting devalued and penalized too.
Now, one client asked me how to check if a site has been linked to a Link farm? and he said this is from an inexperienced individual.point of view. I told him an easy trick in doing so, download the Alexa toolbar or visit Alexa.com. Here enter the domain name and you will see the links there and also the Page rank too. If you notice a site with hundreds of backlinks and zero pagerank and see that the site has been there for a while then its a sure sign the something is wrong here. You will then notice despite that many backlinks that site's pagerank is still zero and that will give an indication of foul play on the site. Also i suggest to install a toolbar to keep an eye on the page ranks on various sites so that you will understand how Google sees those sites with regards to importance and quality links too.
The higher the pagerank the less likely the site will be a link farm so keep this in mind. You may want to link into sites that have higher page ranks then yours. The rule of the thumb is that if the site has a pagerank of zero then simply don't link to it. In most cases when the site has page rank zero, it could be due to several factors:
1. Either it is a link farm or a bad neighbourhood
2. The site could be a new site and not yet ranked
3. The datacenter used to check the page rank must be down.
if you are unsure whether you site is a Link farm or not then contact us and we'll have a look for you for FREE.
Here is an image from Techgyd showing what exactly is a Link Farm.