Don't Use Too Many Internal Links

Last Update: July 07, 2021

So, those of you who follow the Search Engine Journal blog may already have seen this advice, but I thought it might be useful to summarise it.

In a nutshell, as it says in the title, don't have too many internal links in one post as it may dilute their value. But why have internal links in the first place?

They send a signal to Google as to what your most important pages are, they help the bots crawling your website discover new content and they allow Google to examine and understand your website structure.

Let's look at each example. As regards site structure, internal links help Google understand how your website works. The links should be logical and relevant, naturally leading a reader from one post to another that offers more information on the same subject. If you have tons of links in every post, leading to every other post with no rhyme or reason, Google and your visitors will be confused.

Having too many links can dilute their importance. If you only have one or two links, then Google assumes they are really important and looks at them more carefully. If you have a lot of links, then Google will think that none of them are leading to important posts.

You also need to clearly direct your visitors. So, for example, after reading an informational post, if you want to send your visitor to a relevant product review, then that is the only internal link you should have on the original post. If you offer lots of different internal links, they might fall down a rabbit hole and never end up on your product page.

This isn't mentioned in the Search Engine article, but internal links also help with indexing. When you write a new post, link to it from an older post, ensuring it is relevant, of course. When Google next visits your site, it will land on posts it already knows exists, and will then follow any links to find your new content.

If you follow Jay's training, he has always recommended only having one internal link and one external link in a post.

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YumaBloggers Premium Plus
Did they explain the juggernaut of search engine number 1 ranks called Wikipedia that is almost all internal links? SE Journal makes some of the guesswork of SEO a wild guess I would guess as this is not what Google has said in the past which is ALWAYS link to relevant posts internally and externally to build your page rank.
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DianeScorpio Premium
Hi - well, it's a good point about Wikipedia. You may wish to read the original article which is based on an interview with Google's John Mueller on July 2, and draw your own conclusions.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-cautions-against-using-too-many-internal-links/412553/#close
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Rohan34 Premium
You'll probably find with sites like Wikipedia, they have so much authority anyway that any negative effects of their 'excessive' internal linking is outweighed .

Interesting John Mueller's first words in response to the question of too many internal links harming your site is "Yes and no" :)

Probably worth paying attention to the issue for our less authoritative WA sites I'd say but don't get hung up on it.
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YvonneBray Premium
Great advice Diane. I have to admit I think I am guilty of this. I did an article on using water for your aerogarden. I split up the reasons for not using certain types of water into different posts. For example: borewater, rain water, well water, town water. They link out from one blog. Is that deemed as too many links on one post?
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DianeScorpio Premium
Hi - at the end of the day, I guess it's down to common sense. If they are relevant, I don't see it being a huge problem. Here is what the original article said.

"One internal link can signal to Google that a page is important to the website, but it starts to seem less important as more links are added.

If there are twenty internal links on a page then they won’t all be treated with the same importance as if there were only one or two links."
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YvonneBray Premium
Thanks for your response, Diane. I actually thought about what you said, so I did a link the other way round. I went from the new post to the older post rather than shooting from the old post to the new. This way, I have one link per post.
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JOHNRIDDELL2 Premium
I think Jay's training is exciting. I have been trying to put links on more often in my posts, but sometimes it doesn't make sense. For external links, like references and resources at the end of an article or photos with their own page (that would then contain some URL,) they usually do pull people off from reading what I am saying because those things can stand alone rather than as one part of many other parts paragraph-wise so yeah...Sometimes if you are pointing out a resource or have a CTA, then an extra internal link probably won't matter if it makes sense.
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etseil20 Premium Plus
Hi Diane,

I’ve learned when I started out with publishing posts, to have one internal link and one external link per post (as Jay always recommends). I’m glad to have learned that from the very beginning.

I agree with the points on putting in too many internal links. It doesn’t make sense to confuse Google and the readers on your site. So a great reminder.

Thank you for sharing- very helpful to those who are new members at WA.

Regards,

-Eric
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AOsmand Premium
In the case of an internal link from an informational post to a product review, Is it better for the anchor text to be the name of the review you are sending them to, or a phrase related to the product?
Am I over complicating it? Or can it be just as simple as "read my review on blah blah here"
Or words to that effect.
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DianeScorpio Premium
Hi - one of my previous posts will explain this in greater detail.
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AOsmand Premium
Ok great thanks for that I’ll check it out.
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