Homepage --> SubCategory --> Subpage
We are in the process of redesigning our business model and site strategy. Instead of linking directly to the external website, we are considering liking to a profile page. The profile page would provide a very brief company description and would then link to the external website. Thus, the site structure would look like:
Homepage --> SubCategory --> Subpage --> Profile Page
Will this new structure have any impact on how well the subpages will rank in the major search engines? Before, the subpages contain 20 links each to external websites (and rank fairly well in the SEs). Now, the subpages will have 20 links to individual company profile pages. These profile pages will then link to the external website.
The benefit seems to be that the profile pages have an opportunity to be picked up by the search engines. The potential drawback is that the subpages aren't linking to 20 external websites, but rather they are linking to profile pages hosted on the same domain.
Any forseeable impact on search engine rankings? I hope I have explained myself sufficiently, and I look forward to your reply.