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Too many outbound (> 200)

Internal links are links placed inside pages on your site that point to other pages on your site via a hyperlink. You will normally be internally linking to other relevant pages within your silo (unless linking from the homepage directly).

Without internal links users and search engines alike would only be able to view one page on your site and would have no way to access other pages on your site without knowing the full page URL and entering it in the address bar.

The importance of internal linking

  • If internal linking is done correctly, then this will provide the user with an easy way to access other relevant pages to their intent with ease and thus on-page time will increase and bounce rate will decrease. Quite simply put, if you make finding relevant products/services/information for the user easier, then it will increase conversion rates for customers.
  • Without internal links,search engine crawlers will be unable to crawl your website efficiently and thus, will not be able to index any pages that do not have internal links pointing to them. This is obviously not good for search rankings and in order to rank on search engines, you require crawlers to be able to access all your different pages and then show them in the SERP rankings for relevant keywords.
  • The more internal and relevant links a page has pointed to it, the higher the search engines will regard this page in the hierarchy of your site. If a page has no internal links pointing to it from other pages on your site, then search engines will assume this is not a useful page on your site.

What happens if I link to too many different pages on my site from a single page?

Internally linking to too many pages on your site from just one page is not beneficial for search rankings and is actually likely to negatively affect the rankings because:

  1. A page that is linking to another page on your site shares its PageRank with other pages that it links to on your site. If one page links to over 200 pages then the weight of the one page is diluted between the 200 recipients of the internal links. Likewise, if one page linked to only 5 different pages on your site, the link juice and PageRank would only be shared between 5 different pages on your site and thus is a preferable outcome compared to it being divided between 200 pages in the above example.
  2. Aggressive internal link practices have been associated with websites trying to artificially increase their web rankings and flagrant abuse is likely to be picked up by search algorithms and penalties applied.
  3. You should only be linking to other relevant pages on your site that relate to the content you are writing about on the host page (the one sending the internal link to another page on your site). If you link to irrelevant pages on your site you are likely to cause them to bounce from your site and/or decrease time on page stats that affect searching rankings (especially for sites in the top 10). As a rule of thumb, you should ONLY internally link to other pages on your site if those other pages are closely related to a topic/s being discussed on your host page. You will rarely ever need to link to more than 200 other pages from just one page on your site (exemptions being giant product catalogues on e-commerce stores).

Labrika’s "Too many internal outbound links" report

This report shows pages with too many internal outbound links (more than 200)

Please note: If you have a large e-commerce storethen you may be able to ignore pages listed in this report, small sites should not. We would always advise manually combing through any pages found with an excess of 200 internal outbound links.

How to fix pages that shouldn’t have over 200 internal outbound links:

The most popular reason for a site having too many internal outbound links on one page is incorrect menu structure, normally seen in sites that show various versions of their site dependent on user device. A page with multiple versions to show dependent on the device is likely to have many different menus in different locations which in certain cases can easily quadruple internal outbound links on a page. Removing these additional menus would be the quick fix for this scenario.

The second way of reducing a large number of internal outbound links is to make the site menu as small as possible and reduce the levels within the menu. Big menus are common for large e-commerce websites such as Alibaba but for most sites, there is absolutely no reason to have over 200 internal outbound links on just one page and the risks simply outweigh the benefits. Any menu levels you do remove from your menu structure can just be included on pages in the above level to help with good navigation while not having too many internal outbound links on just one page.