Google used to have a guideline that advised webmasters to keep the number of links in a single page to about 100. In the latest Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts explains why they removed this guideline and answers the question, “How many links on a page should we have? Is there a limit?”
The Old 100 Links per Page Recommendation
Cutts explains how they came up with the old 100 links per page guideline. Googlebot and Google’s indexing system used to truncate at 100-101 kilobytes, and “anything beyond that wouldn’t get indexed.” Based on this limit, they thought it was reasonable to expect about one link per kilobyte, or 100-101 links per page.
Google eventually dropped the guideline, but many webmasters still believe that having even 102 links automatically makes Google view the page as spammy. Cutts reminds viewers that this was only a “rough guideline”.
In 2008, Googler JohnMu made a similar clarification by posting the following message in Google Group: “Just for the record, we can process more than 100 links per page :-). We do however recommend the limit of 100 because it generally makes sense for users (and search engines).”
What IS the Current Limit for Links per Page?
Today, Google simply recommends having a “reasonable” number of links. “There may be a limit on the file size that we have now, but it’s much larger,” Cutts says, “And at the same time the number of links we can process on a page is much larger.” Cutts also reminds webmasters that the amount of PageRank that flows through a page’s links is divided by the total number of links on the page.
Cutts goes on to say that having “tons and tons and tons of links” can annoy users or look spammy, and that Google is willing to take action on the webspam side if it looks “really, really spammy.” He recommends having regular users test your website to see if they view the amount of links you have as “strange” or spammy.
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