Carefull with external links

After speaking to an SEO guy a couple of months ago and he was telling me that having more than 5 outgoing links to external sites can hurt your websites search engine rankings. It makes sense really, but I am wondering if this statement he made was true.

nope, it isn’t, unless they are part of a “bad neighbourhood”

you wouldn’t link to sites in a bad neighbourhood, would you?


Jeez - no wonder this industry has a worse name than used car salesmen…

Anytime someone:

  • states a number in reference in SEO - “keyword density of 3-5”, “no more than 4 keywords in the title”, “limit outgoing links from a page to 5”…
  • guarantees number one spot (there’s no such thing anymore)
  • adds a $ value to a volume activity - “500 backlinks for $5”, “3000 forums for $20”…

Then you know they are full of BS.

Absolute rubbish. Why do you think that “it makes sense really”? The web is all about links, if sites didn’t link to each other we wouldn’t have a web at all. If Google was to arbitrarily penalise you for including relevant links then they would be shooting themselves in the foot, as it would make it much more difficult for them to spider, index and rank pages.

No, you shouldn’t have millions of links, particularly not if they are not relevant to your site’s content and audience, but if there are sites that are relevant and are likely to be useful, do link to them!

Well, if a site had millions or even hundreds of links then it would be acting as a link-farm, just to pass link juice to another site. Something that Google can do without.

It’s not that a website should not have links, it’s that when placing too many links your diluting the value of the links you have, if that makes sense. This is what I initially thought when he told me about the 5 external link rule.

I am not a SEO guy, so anything I say is only presumption based on what I heard.

There’s a big difference between a link farm and a site that has a few dozen relevant outbound links. What can make a difference is the way the links are presented - if the links are contextual, that looks better than just having a long list of links.

with even hundreds of links, there is no link juice

If it is a site people love so much that they keep returning is it really even going to matter?

It’s complete rubbish as said by others. Parts of the google algo are designed to reward sites that link out to quality resources. Rule of thumb, if it adds value to your users then link to it.

I suppose that nails the myth then. :stuck_out_tongue:

I will put links on were applicable then. I was thinking of adverts mainly. Some people demand ads on their site, but I previously explained that it might not be safe to bombard them.

Sometimes, the seo guy is correct. Just make sure everything you do seems natural, as natural as possible.

Advertising links are different.

If you are selling test links then you need to use nofollolw to stay within googles terms of service.

My rule:
Google tries very hard to reward sites that are useful and helpful for people - so if what you do is useful and helpful, it will most likely be positive for SEO

You should keep advertising to a minimum anyway (if possible)… the more invasive you are with adverts, the more you dilute the quality of your site (in terms of the balance of useful content against trying to push for extra income. I’ve never been afraid to link to useful sites with stuff I’ve produced, it’s all about doing it proportionately so that you’re not exploiting your sites resources for the benefit of other peoples work (in the sense of link farming where you offer a free-for-all). :slight_smile:

well Linking from your website to another website means your vouching for it and if your vouching for a bad website ---- you’ll suffer from it. so its partially true