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Say I have a page detailing WordPress development services we offer, one of my content writers has turned every single utterance of WordPress into a hyperlink to the official WordPress site.

Now there is evidence that external links do not hurt rankings and in some cases can help it, but if the same external link is repeated a dozen times on a single page will Google flag that as stuffing and penalise us for it?

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First of External links helps in SEO is misunderstanding concept.

Google use page expert score while ranking page with other 200+ factors.

Answer - If you just point to Google or Wordpress on every keyword or as you said in every webpage then probably you're lossing your PageRank (If you think PR is dead then it's wrong, they just stop updating on their toolbar). It means you're lossing more PR and getting less PE score.

If you write some articles on specific topic, and then you link some reference or evidence or any kind of article to non-affliate website, then it's impact in Page Expert Score as per hill top algorithm.

Google have solid algorithm to detect weather it is affliate site or not. I mean if you create too many website and link to your other website then Google will give you too less PE score, that is why Blackhat guy (Called PBN website) links to their website by hosting their website on different host, and use different name everywhere for example on search console, analytics or any of Google products. But normally google will find them with their trustrank algorithm and they will penalize after 1 or 2 years. Google spam algorithm are very slow and needs human input as well, hence it take some time like 1 or 2 year to detect smart blackhat guy.

In old white paper I have read if your title keyword is matched to non-affliate site then it will assign higher Page Expert Score, for example If your title is " How I will get my AdSense Payment" and you link to "AdSense Payment FAQ" page, then Google will give you some Page Expert(PE) Score. But not only you will get, the targeting page will also get higher PE score. PE score is given slower when the links are linked on some paragraph tags for example <p>,<span>,<li><aside> etc, because may be someone just trying to rank with some kind of widget links.

If you still confuse, please look out on Hill top algorithm. Yes Google accuire that somewhere in 2003 (Not sure about the year, but they are using) and both guy are currently doing job in Google

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When there are multiple links to a same target page, Google will only take just one.

Previously, Google took the first one found, however, that has been updated to use a link with the best semantic clues that still signals importance. Using more than one link, especially if you are trying to signal different keywords, you run the risk that all links being ignored.

As well, the whole PR6 with 2 external links sending PR3 has never been true. This is not how it works. Any authority score (PR) will be capped over a certain limit. All links will be evaluated semantically and for link quality and given a score of 0-.9. Factoring the PR cap with the link value, the value of any external link is sculpted algorithmically to create a more natural curve. Having more than one link significantly reduces the values passed from page to page.

This practice is horrible for search.

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