|Internal linking limits - 200? What's preferred?|
| 5:13 pm on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I've got a question for the Google experts out there. I've been doing some general SEO copywriting of several site pages, in order to take advantage of our good contexual content. I'll usually add a link or two into the paragraph content, where appropriate, to take advantage of the keywords... and link them to level 1, 2 or 3 pages within our site. I'm beginning to wonder if this is worth the effort. I'll explain why.
I've been a big believer in Google Webmaster Tools. It has helped me identify many areas where improvements have been made. I was looking at the Links section lately. "Pages with internal links" listing view shows several of my pages have exactly 200 links. I began to look at those 200 pages, and they are not exactly the best pages in the site. This has raised a bunch of questions.
1.) Is Google just not showing me all of the internal links to the page, or is it limiting the number of internal links to that page to 200 (maximum)? I assume this would be a great way to limit database generated spam sites.
2.) If Google is limiting links to 200 per page, how do they determine what links are more important and from what pages? Perhaps it's determined by date "Last Found" as shown in the listing? Most of the pages in the 200 have "Last Found" dates less than 3 months old. Could this be related to the Last Modified date in the site's Google sitemap XML file?
3.) If I have a header navigation section, in my main template design, with links to my top level pages, will those links get the same or less relevance/preference as compared to links in paragraph textual content? Do you think Google is smart enough to determine repetative navigation links from content links?
4.) If the above are true, to a certain extent, it would fall in line with many claims that minimizing (or focusing) links (especially navigation) can be very benificial. I've seen that reducing and focusing the links on what matters has helped our rankings. What do you think?
| 1:26 am on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Google hasn't said there's any specific limit for how many links they will process per page - although I'm sure there's a cut-off some place or other. However they do recommend keeping it to under 100 per page.
In practice, I've found that better performance all around comes from even lower numbers, like in the 40 to 60 area. Among other factors, too much anchor text blurs the semantic clarity of the page's relevance.
Note, even heavily interlinked Wikipedia pages are down in the 100 link area or so.
| 2:32 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I think you may have misunderstood the original post tedster. I read it as a question regarding the WMT data which only displays a maximum of 200 links per URl in the report rather than a question about how many internal links a page should have.
I can't imagine that having a lower amount of pages linking to a certain page on your own site will increase it's value. Too much varied anchor text can mess things up, but surely the home page is your most valuable and on every site I build I have every single page linking to the homepage.
All my pages hit the 200 max in WMT a long time ago and I have only seen increases in ranking as time has gone on and my site has gone from 100 pages to 650+ so far this year with the same navigation panel going on each page.
| 3:10 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
My apology - I did misread the opening post.
|Is Google just not showing me all of the internal links to the page, or is it limiting the number of internal links to that page to 200 (maximum)? |
WMT is only a reporting function. It is not the actual data that Google uses for ranking calculations, so don't read too much into the 200 link cutoff.
|Do you think Google is smart enough to determine repetative navigation links from content links? |
Yes, and they have been doing that for quite a long time now.
|I've seen that reducing and focusing the links on what matters has helped our rankings. What do you think? |
If it's done intelligently it can help the best internal internal pages to rank better. We've got an active discussion about PR Sculpting [webmasterworld.com], so let's keep that part of this discussion in that thread.
| 4:04 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Thank you for re-replying Tedster. From what I've been able to research, WMT is only going to report, at most, 200 internal link sources for a page. It typically reports more than the Google `link:` search, but it still has a limit.
| 4:16 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I see the same. That's the degree of detail we get to work with from G.
| 4:19 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|I see the same. That's the degree of detail we get to work with from G. |
It makes you wonder why they limit it to 200. Could be a sign... ;)