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).
- Consider what links are on each page. Remove unnecessary links to other pages – but do not remove links where this compromises the usefulness of the page or navigation through your site. Remember its only unnecessary links which are worth pruning, especially if these are to off-site pages.
- Where links are included make the link as descriptive as possible, and avoid using unclear link descriptions such as “click here”.
- Do not link to sites or pages that might be considered to be “link-farms”. These risk getting your entire site penalized.
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!.