How many links on a page should we have? Is there a limit?

How many links on a page should we have? Is there a limit? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from London. Seda wants to know, how many links on a page should we have? Is there a limit? OK, so let me give you the background on this. It used to be the case that Google Bot and our indexing system would truncate at 100 or 101k. And anything beyond that wouldn’t even get indexed. And what we did is we said, OK, if the page is 101k, 100k, then it’s reasonable to expect roughly one link per kilobyte and, therefore, something like 100 links on a page. So that was in our technical guidelines. And we said, this is what we recommend. And a lot of people assumed that, if they had 102 links or something like that, that we would view it as spam and take action. But that was just kind of a rough guideline. Nonetheless, the web changes. It evolves. And in particular, web pages have gotten a lot bigger. There’s more rich media. And so it’s not all that uncommon to have aggregators or various things that might have a lot more links. So we removed that guideline. And we basically just now say, keep it to a reasonable number, which I think is pretty good guidance. There may be a limit on the file size that we have now, but it’s much larger. And at the same time, the number of links that we can process on a page is much larger. A couple of factors to bear in mind is, when you have page rank, the amount of page rank that flows through the out links is divided by the number of total out links. So if you have 100 links, you’ll divide your page rank by 100. If you have 1,000 links, you’ll divide your page rank by 1,000. So if you have a huge amount of links, the amount of page rank that’s flowing out on each individual link can become very, very small. So the other thing is it can start to annoy users, or it can start to look spam-my, if you have tons and tons and tons of links. So we are willing to take action on the web spam side, if we see so many links that it looks really, really spam-my. But if you compare our old guideline of 100 links and you look at what the web looks like now, it’s quite common to have 200 or 300 or 400 links on a page, as long as the page is long, it has value add, there’s substantial amount of substance and real stuff on that page. So the short answer is really not to worry about it, or not to limit yourself to 100 links anymore. But at the same time, it is quite useful to pull in a regular user and just do a very simple user test, and just make sure they don’t view it as strange or spam-my or you’re stuffing a ton of links on the page. And as long as you meet those kinds of criteria, then it’s not the sort of thing that I would stress out a lot about.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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