Today is in important day for us, and we're not talking about the Royal Wedding either.
This is Daily Golden Nugget #200
In honor of this milestone, we're going to talk about that old limitation of the number of links on a single web page. The limitation used to be 100 links on any given page.
Once upon a time, Google stated that having more than 100 links on a single web page was a bad idea. Their limitation was created simply because they could not handle more than that.
As time passed, many of us SEO professionals analyzed other good reasons to keep to that limitation, namely to control the flow of PageRank on your website. PageRank is one of the factors that help you rank higher in Google. If you can collect a lot of PageRank for your website you could rank higher.
Imagine that every web page on the internet has PageRank equivalent to a cup of water. Every link from a page will transfer some portion of that water to the page it links to. The water would be divided up evenly between all the outbound links on a single page. It doesn't matter if the links go to another page on your site or to some other website. PageRank always flows.
If you have 100 outbound links from a page, that cup of water would be split into 100 droplets. That's not much. Google counts all these little drops of water. Your SERP ranking will be higher if you have more collected drops of water than anyone else. The more links you get, the more water you get, the higher your SERP ranking should be.
To control the way water flows throughout your own website you should consider how you structure your navigation. If you have too many links on a page you will lower the amount of water your transfer from page to page.
However, new web browsers and CSS programming techniques easily allow for hidden blocks of dozens of links. You might have tabs at the top of the screen, or a menu drop down with every page of your site hidden behind a simply mouse hover. This new technology could account for 100, 200, or even more hidden links on a single web page, and maybe even every page of your site.
Although this over-linking will drastically reduce the amount of water transferred to other pages, Google wants you to know that they now allow understand how to read these pages. Although they also won't guarantee that they pay attention to all the links.
So go ahead and freely design those web pages to have 200 links in your hidden navigation menus. Although we don't like this idea, it's valid and will not work against your SEO efforts.
However, you still should still stay away from creating a link farm type page where you list hundreds of links to other websites. These types of pages will work against you because Google assumes you are paying to post all those off-site links.
Happy 200, and congratulations to William and Kate.