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How to Find and Fix Pages With no Outbound Links

4 min read

Outbound links are essential for SEO as they guide users and search engines to other pages. They signal credibility and relevance. Without them, your site’s SEO and user experience suffer. But identifying pages lacking outbound links can be a challenge, especially for large sites.

Here’s how to find and fix such pages efficiently.

Why Pages With No Outbound Links are Bad for SEO

Technically, these pages are called dangling nodes. But only a computer science geek would use that term! Dangling nodes are bad because they don’t link out to anything else on the web and thus end up hoarding Page Rank. Dixon Jones offers a great explanation of how this happens in How PageRank Really Works: Understanding Google.

Just to be clear. These are not orphaned pages — which happen to be those with no incoming links. Rather these are pages with no outbound links. 

MarketMuse strips out boilerplate text (like menus and footers) and only analyzes the content portion. So strictly speaking, these aren’t dangling nodes, as there could be links in those other sections.

But they are dead ends from a user perspective. Unless that page is a signup to purchase, the lack of links to other internal pages effectively stops the buyer journey. That’s the last thing any content marketer wants to aim for. And if it’s not good for your customers it’s not good for search engines.

Identifying Pages with No Outbound Links

There are many tools, both free and paid, that you can use to identify pages with no outbound links on a website. However, they won’t find pages where there are no outbound links within the content. All the software mentioned considers the whole page, including menus and footers, when conducting their analysis. Though useful in other ways, these tools don’t address this specific issue.

Free Online Tools

  • Sitechecker: This free tool allows you to analyze your website and identify pages with no outbound links. You can enter your domain and the tool will crawl your website, providing a report on internal and external links.
  • Ahrefs Broken Link Checker: This free tool from Ahrefs is primarily focused on identifying broken links. Enter your website URL and the tool will highlight any broken links. Potentially some of those pages could have no outbound links at all.

Browser Extensions

  • SEO Minion: This Chrome extension provides various functionalities for SEO analysis, including identifying broken links and highlighting internal and external links. While not solely focused on identifying no-outbound link pages, it can be helpful in quickly checking individual pages.

Paid SEO Tools

  • Ahrefs Site Explorer: This paid SEO tool offers an on-site SEO checker that can identify various issues, including pages with few or no outbound links. 
  • SEMrush: Similar to Ahrefs, SEMrush is a paid SEO platform that offers website audits and reports on various aspects of your website’s health. It could be helpful in cases where you have a broken internal link.
  • Screaming Frog: This desktop software offers a comprehensive website crawler that can be used to analyze your website and export various data points, including internal and external links. While not specifically designed to identify pages without outbound links, you can filter the exported data to find them.

In the next step we’re going to fix these pages.

Fixing Pages With No Outbound Links

The best way to fix the issue is to link to semantically relevant pages on your website, using the Connect Application. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to Connect in the Research Application.
  2. Enter the topic of your page and let MarketMuse work its magic.
  3. It returns up to 10 anchor text suggestions. Each anchor text itself will have up to 10 internal and external URLs to use as a link for the anchor text.
  4. Update your page using a few of the suggestions as you deem editorially appropriate. There’s no hard and fast rule here, do what you feel is best for your audience.
MarketMuse connect application showing an internal linking suggestion consisting of an anchor text and associated URLs.
The Connect application provides up to 10 anchor text suggestions and corresponding links.

While you’re at it, consider adding some links to external sites as well, if the page doesn’t already have them. The suggestions are right there in the Connect application under the External tab.


It’s hard enough moving website visitors down the funnel as it is. So don’t block them through lack of internal linking. Use MarketMuse to quickly identify and fix those pages. Your visitors will thank you for it and so will search engines.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.