It’s here, it’s finally here! After years of waiting, counting each and every link like a search engine optimization teetotaler, the chains of Google have been broken and we can finally spread our wings and link to our hearts content! Right? Right…?
Well, not exactly.
This week’s installment of Matt Cutt’s Google Webmaster Help video series has him answering a question about the Webmaster guidelines. As you may now, until recently the guidelines said that anything more than 100 links per page would lead to an automatic penalty. This week, some astute SEO noticed that that stipulation was gone from the document, and asked Cutts what exactly was going on. Cutts responded by saying that they’ve been easing off the 100 links per page Webmaster guidelines since way back in 2008, and it was officially removed just recently.
Does this mean we have carte blanche to link as many times as we want with no repercussions? Unfortunately, it does not. Google will still be punishing people with an unnaturally high amount of links, they’re just removing the blanket penalty threat so that legitimate news and other aggregator sites can flourish without fear.
Cutts also makes an interesting point about PageRank. This may be old news to some of you, but I’m going to share it for those who are unfamiliar. A site only has so much PageRank to pass. If you link to one other site, that other site gets 100 percent of the page rank. If you link to two, they both get 50 percent, four nets 25% a piece and so on. This means that you can legitimately link to as many places as you’d link, and you can be linked to from large sites like that, but they aren’t very powerful by themselves. For instance, a site like Alltop where your page is one of hundreds, even though it has good authority, it’s not as powerful as one good link from a lower authority but relevant blog.