(1) The process of exchanging reciprocal links with Web sites in order to increase search engine optimization. The idea behind link farming is to increase the number of sites that link to yours because search engines such as Google rank sites according to, among other things, the quality and quantity of sites that link to yours. In theory, the more sites that link to yours, the higher your ranking in the search engine results will be because the more links indicate a higher level of popularity among users of the Internet. However, search engines such as Google consider link farming as a form of spam and have been implementing procedures to banish sites that participate in link farming, so the term link farminghas garnered negative connotations across the Internet.
Also see How Web Search Engines Work in the Did You Know . . . ?section of Webopedia.
There are many service providers who promise to help you boost your link popularity by automatically entering you into link exchange programs they operate, often linking your page with Web sites that have nothing to do with your content. But users should be aware of the repercussions of this action as the major search engines penalize sites that participate in link farming, thereby reversing their intended effect. A link farmis a Web page that is nothing more than a page of links to other sites.
(2) In Unix systems, a link farm is a directory tree containing links to files in a master directory tree of files.