Google blogger Matt Cutts recently confirmed Google’s stance on internal linking, stating that pages should generally have less than 100 links. Matt points to Google’s design and content guidelines, which states the following:
If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.
Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).
The original reason that Google provided this recommendation was that Google used to only index around 100kb of a page. If the page exceeded 100 links, it usually exceeded 100kb and the remaining links would be ignored or truncated.
These days, there are a couple of other reasons Google still maintains this policy.
Firstly, if you’re showing users over 100 links on any page, there is a good chance they might become overwhelmed, not find what they’re looking for and leave. Google calls this a ‘bad user experience’.
Of course, there are some instances (such as providing a large resource library) where you might have a completely valid reason for having over 100 links. Because of this, Google won’t automatically consider these pages spam, but they might choose to nofollow or not index some of these links.
The second reason you may want to consider limiting your links is based on SEO. The more links you have on a page, the less PageRank each link will pass because you’ll be dividing the PageRank of that page between hundreds of links.
Keeping on the topic of linking, Matt has just released a new YouTube video on the topic of nofollow and its impact on Google’s algorithms. You can check it out below:
Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.