External links refers to links of a web page that direct toward a link destination that is on another website. A synonym for “external link” would be “outbound link.” It is the counterpart to internal link, which directs to a subpage of the same website. The number of external links may be relevant for the evaluation of a website by search engines like Google. From the perspective of the website which receives the external link, it is also called a backlink or incoming link.
There are basically two types of outbound internal links:
Every subpage should be reachable with three or four clicks away from the homepage through the navigation.
Similar content is linked through related content links and other topic-specific links on the page.
According to Google you should ideally have no more than 100 outbound links on a page. However, one can assume that article or product detail pages usually contain a maximum of 60 outbound links. Strong start and category pages may have significantly more links.
Links could be called the blood circulation of the Internet. Webmasters and editors recommend other websites using external links. The founders of Google have taken advantage of this fact and incorporated the link as a fundamental part of the algorithm. Accordingly, each outbound external link should be given appropriate importance. It recommends another website to its users and the Google crawlers, and establishes confidence.
Since outbound links are the most important currency for Google, it can be assumed that the use of external links is not penalized. However, one should pay attention to the following points when setting external links:
Outbound links are sometimes considered differently in SEO circles. Every link that directs from one website to another website is called an outbound link. However, there is a differentiation between an outbound external link (which directs to a link destination that is outside of the same domain) and an outbound internal link (which directs to a link destination that is within the same domain). Generally, the terms “external link” and “internal link” are prevalent.
It can be assumed that the number of external (or outbound) links on your website affects link juice or link power and thus the page rank. In other words, the more external links a website or more specifically, a subpage has, the lower will be the link power it can pass on. If you want to benefit from a high page ranking, you should ensure that not too many external links are placed on the link-giving page.
Regardless of the page rank and other metrics, how high the number of outbound links has to be, to ensure that the site in question does not get penalized or what gets interpreted by search engines as a link network is still controversial in SEO circles. But there is no doubt about the fact that unstructured and massive outbound links are harmful for the domain trust of a website. The following would be important for the setting of outbound links:
If you want to make sure that your outbound links are not assessed by Google and other search engines, you should identify the links with the nofollow attribute. This applies equally to advertising links.
Common sense should be applied to limit the number of outbound links. For example, why should a website about dog food link to PC Magazine, credit information pages or auto repair shops? Or why should there be more than two or three outbound links in a post which has fewer than 50 words?
A link is always a recommendation for another website. As an SEO or webmaster, you should always ask yourself if you can stand by recommending that particular website. If there is any doubt, the outbound link should not be set.