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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?
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.
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.
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)?
Do you think Google is smart enough to determine repetative navigation links from content links?
I've seen that reducing and focusing the links on what matters has helped our rankings. What do you think?