"Old McSpammer had a farm, e-i-e-i-oh,
And on that farm he built some links, e-i-e-i-oh

With a backlink here, and a backlink there,
Here a link, there a link,
Everywhere a link, link..."

Thanks to Scott Willoughby at moz.com for that little gem. Be sure to check out his video below on why he thinks it is a bad idea.

Link farming is the practice where you gather a bunch of websites and have them link to each other. On the surface it seems like a good idea. If I have a bunch of websites all linking to me then it will increase my search engine rankings. Right?

Wrong!  Search engines are smart these days.  They are looking for naturally occurring patterns to links.  Pages full of links are somewhat artificial.  They have been abused in the past by people trying to improve their rankings by any means possible.  So now if you appear in a link farm, you may well be penalised. 

Search engines do still love links but they must be natural and relevant.  For example if I got a link from Adobe it would cause my rankings to rise significantly because Adobe has a stainding withn the web community.

What's the secret? There is no magic bullet that will give you instant ratings.  It has to be done the old fashioned way. i.e work.  SEO is an ongoing thing.  You need to keep your content relevant and fresh.  Give search engines a reason to come back.