An external link is any hyperlink that points at any domain other than the domain that the link exists on. In other words, if you own a website, an external link on your website is any link that points to a website owned by someone else (or one of your other websites, if you own multiple on other domain names).
There is quite a bit of debate about how many external links is too many on a single web page, or if there is even a such thing as “too many external links”. Similarly, there is debate about the “optimal” number of external links on a page.
Many experts will simply state that you should keep the number of external links on your site to a “reasonable number”, and often that reasonable number is said to be 100.
Google’s own “Quality Guidelines” document once said “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)”, which is more than likely where this number came from.
Since this was published multiple experts have explained that this is a guideline, and not a strict rule. If some of your pages have 102 or 105 external links, I wouldn’t panic.
However if some pages are reaching 150 or 200 external links, then we would recommend reviewing the page and taking a close look at whether every external link on that page is actually valuable to your users.
Need help explaining this to your boss, or web developer?
Use our concise explanation below to explain this issue via email:
Some pages on our website link to over 100 other website, which could be considered excessive.
We should only be linking to other website when it provides value to the reader, and not excessively adding links to pages where it isn’t appropriate.
I’m going to do a review of these external links, and make sure the sites we link to are all still relevant. If I find some aren’t relevant anymore, or not a great source to link too, I’ll have the link removed.