The Link Farm Game

Crude attempts at better search engine placement

Please Note:

While this page attempts to document the link farms of the various guides and debt collection companies it is not possible to maintain a full and accurate list. So many clone domains have been registered that we will inevitably miss some, and some of the domains are now coming up for expiry, meaning we may include sites that actually no longer exist. Sites have also been moved between servers so IP information may become outdated. If you are researching these link farms it is advisable to check all the data yourself.

Last Updated early 2005

Late in 2003 OVAG International AG suddenly stopped collecting money for the Lüdenbach Guides. They have various businesses around the world that are not directly connected with the guides such as healthcare in the US and it appears the bad publicity was not conducive to growing these concerns... A new company, Premium Recovery AG appeared, employing some OVAG International staff and took over all the Lüdenbach guide work previously managed by OVAG International. StopECG has been unable to locate any evidence that this separation is anything more than cosmetic.

At the same time OVAG International also pulled a trick on the search engines. Large numbers of similarly named domains were registered on their behalf, and many were cross-linked. This gave the appearance to the search Engine Robots that OVAG International had a popular website, which was linked to by many others with similar content. Most of the sites had content that was merely a slight variation on a theme, the contact link usually points to Ovag's primary domain email. This is a form of search Engine Spamming known as a link farming

Take a look for yourself

Quite a little crop, isn't it!!

On each site you will see a link to 'friends' or 'Partners' which leads to the link farm page. Also you may notice that the sites usually have slightly different wording and that OVAG's name is highlighted repeatedly in the text, usually as OVAG AG | OVAG INTERNATIONAL AG

In OVAG International's Case Links popped up in some interesting places, even on a sex website! (These have now been removed)

By doing this Ovag was able to temporarily leapfrog the opposition sites in some search engine results and make it harder for people to find information about their long standing association with the Lüdenbach guides.

In February 2004 Premium Recovery AG started a remarkably similar collection of Links

And in August 2004 the link farm game spread to the European City Guide Primary site

In January 2005 the ECG removed these links from its primary site, however the individual websites remain.

In June 2005 the European City Guide uploaded another bundle of clone sites IP addressed checked on 28th June 05 IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address IP address

These pages included a new aspect of the link farm trick, Look at:
And you will discover a selection of news stories automatically garnered from other sites. Every day a number of stories are added; the first few lines of the story are reproduced on the ECG's website followed by a link to the full story. Past days are archived so that a huge body of apparent content is built up on the site. The news stories appear to be collected at random by automated software; they have little, if anything to do with the ECG. However the net result is that the ECG's pages will appear on a much wider range of search terms. It is unclear what they hope to gain from this!

Gravis Inkasso Gmbh Did not want to miss out on the party starting around Feb 2005 They started Farming as well. In the summer of 2005 the following domains were cross-linked on various Gravis pages

However in the Autumn of 2005 all were removed, and when we last checked at the start of October 2005, Gravis's domains existed with blank frontpages and no content. We do not know why

So far the link farms for the guides have had little bearing on their search engine placement

Other related Link Farms

Construct Data, The FAIR Guide

TVV VERLAG Br@ncheninfo Fax directory

Novachannel AG, Tourist Directory

We will continue to monitor the link farm shenanigans.....

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