As you’re typing up blog posts with internal and external links, the question “Can you have too many links on your website?” may have crossed your mind.
But can you really have too much of a good thing? This does seem to be the case regarding links. Google is not a fan of keyword-stuffing – it only makes sense that they’d have a similar attitude towards a high number of links.
So, how many links, are too many links? Drumroll please..
The magic number is 100!
No, we didn’t make that up out of nowhere. The number was mentioned in 2009 by Matt Cutts, former head of the Google Webspam team.
Since then, Matt posted a video in 2013 to update us on the subject:
What are you risking?
Luckily, even if you do use an excess of 100 links you’re not risking one of Google’s terrifying penalties. This is what Matt Cutts had to say in an interview with Moz on the subject:
The “keep the number of links to under 100” is in the technical guideline section, not the quality guidelines section. That means we’re not going to remove a page if you have 101 or 102 links on the page. Think of this more as a rule of thumb.
Originally, Google only indexed the first 100 kilobytes or so of web documents, so keeping the number of links under 100 was a good way to ensure that all those links would be seen by Google.
These days I believe we index deeper within documents, so that’s less of an issue. But it is true that if users see 250 or 300 links on a page, that page is probably not as useful for them, so it’s a good idea to break a large list of links down (e.g. by category, topic, alphabetically, or chronologically) into multiple pages so that your links don’t overwhelm regular users.
Even though Google bots now have the ability to crawl more content, we recommend airing on the side of caution and keeping it under 100 links.
PageRank is divided by the number of outlinks (external links) used. The more you use, the less potent each is.” #SEO@osc_webdesign
And what about your website visitors?
Like Matt said, hundreds of links on a single page will likely be overwhelming and hurt user experience. As long as you always put users at the center of your SEO strategy, you shouldn’t have to worry about penalties or having too many links.