“Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.”
– from the Google webmaster guidelines 1
What is a reasonable amount of links per page?
This can be a hard question to answer because what is “reasonable” really depends on many factors.
It would be reasonable to have twenty or thirty links on a three page website about a hotdog stand, and it would be reasonable to have 500 links if you are a major news site like CNN.
For the vast majority of people reading this, I would say 100 links is the true upper limit of links you want to have on a page (and this is what Google used to recommend).
You should think of your users
It is important to realize that visitors are usually on the internet to find information quickly.
- If you have dozens of links to resources covering one subject, consider making a new page on that subject and moving your links to that page. This allows a more user friendly way for your visitors to find what they are looking for.
- In general the more links you have on a page, the more organized you need to make that page. Some sites (like Google.com for example) have pages that have more than 100 links, but those pages are well organized and are clearly laid out so that users may find what they are looking for.
- Even if your page is well laid out you may still want to reorganize that page if it has over 100 links.
You may also wish to consider how well your webpage is linked to. If a webpage has many quality links pointing to it, that webpage can have many links (even more than 100) but it is important to remember reasons why you shouldn’t have a huge amount of links on any given page…
If a web page has more that 100 links it is often not easy for a user to navigate and can be made more clear by creating another page.
There is also an opinion in the web community that pages with 100 links or more are often “link farms”.
On the other hand, some web pages have over 100 links and are valid resources of good information
In the early days of the internet it was quite common for people to have lists of links that had hundreds of links to other resources. This was mainly due to the fact that it was difficult to find information on the internet so when people found something relevant to their field they would make a link to it to help themselves and others find it again.
The internet is much easier to sort through now. Most of the times visitors do not appreciate a page full of links. I know that I do not like it when I am on a page
and I have to search though hundreds of lines to find what I am looking for.
The Google webcrawler (called Googlebot) has the capacity to follow pretty much how ever many links that are found on the page.
When the Google webmaster guidelines first came out, the reason they suggested less than 100 links was because that was all Googlebot would follow.
That is no longer true. There is no hard upper limit of links that Googlebot will follow anymore.
If you are worrying about pagerank, it is also good to remember that the more links a page has on it, the more diluted the pagerank will become. If you have 1000 links on a page, then each of those links will only have 1/1000 of the pagerank each.
This guideline is speaking of a webpage not a website. Your website can have as many links as you want and still follow this guideline as long as there is no one page that has an unreasonable amount of links.
Make all of your pages with your visitors in mind. Use links in a clear manner that is not overwhelming to a visitor.
How to determine if your website is following this guideline
Use the Google guideline tool to determine how many links you have on a page.
The tool will show a warning if you have over 100.