|This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.
Although external links on content pages provide useful information, Wikimedia projects are not search engines or link repositories. They should be kept to a useful minimum, and provide relevant and non-trivial information that isn't present in the page. Where possible, consider using content in links to expand the page or create new pages. Supporting references or footnotes need not be kept to a minimum, but they should be separated from other external links.
Many sites are commercial in nature. Although this provides motive to spam them on wiki pages, there is no problem with commercial sites that are useful references. Many major newspaper websites contain heavy advertisement, but they are nonetheless good references. In the end, the best criteria to consider are the content on the site linked to and its relevancy to the Wikimedia page linked from.
In this section we show a very outdated table with the number of external links (EL) on local Wikipedias together with links to guidelines.