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If rel_nofollow" causes search engine to ignore a link, does it matter how many outbound links are included on a page?
Why are all those links on one page anyway?
100% of wikipedia's outbound links are nofollow, so if the question is whether too many outbound links with nofollow attribute is harmful, I don't think that it is.
I thought the rule of thumb was that you shouldn't have more than 100 outbound links per page
Search engines don't totally ignore links with a nofollow - they still crawl them, they know they're there and they still affect PR calculations.
... matt cutts made it pretty clear on a video just last month - and he was talking about nofollowed wikipedia links:
Do they keep stats on rel="nofollow" links, just privately held data? I'm sure they do. Even in the video, Matt mentions that nofollowed links make up a very small percentage of all links on the web. So they watch it, and they know about it - they just don't evaluate urls based on it. Google doesn't even use nofollow links for url discovery.
Google does NOT use nofollow links.
The only way a nofollow link 'counts' at all is as a link on the page to prevent PR sculpting, so if you have 10 links on a page and nofollow 5 of them, the 5 followed links do not pass extra weight. That's it. That's all. Nothing else.