Brian Cryer's Web Resources

SEO Tip 9: Be careful with those outbound links

In the same way that inbound links are good for the page’s ranking, outbound links can have a negative effect. Whether or not outbound links do have a negative effect will of course depend on the search engine and where the link goes to.

In general there is no penalty for having links on a page. The main exceptions are where the number of links makes a search engine think your site might be a link farm or where you link to a site which the search engine considers bad (perhaps because its is a link farm).


Be aware that the original Google pagerank (PR) algorithm gives each link a weighting or importance, but the more links a page has the lower is the weighting applied to each of those links. So the more links a page has the less important or significant those links become. This is not a reason for having fewer links, but it does explain why occasionally a link from a low PR page can count more than a link from a higher PR page (assuming the low PR page has few outbound links and the higher PR page has lots of outbound links).

This tip is part of a series of tips on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The previous tip in the series was Tip 8: Get lots of inbound links and the next tip in the series is Tip 10: Make sure its valid!.