Before you proceed to the connection between internal links and SEO, I suggest you read through Why Are Internal links Important?
Meanwhile, here are basic concepts regarding internal linking and search engine optimization.
- Not all internal links are created equal. For an internal link to count, it should be located on the body of the page. Moreover, internal links, found within the sidebar, footer, and elsewhere, are not considered valuable. Yes, you may use them for easier navigation, but as for the link value, they will be considered not important.
- Next, update your old and outdated pages and insert links of newer pages. Furthermore, you should add old links to latest post. In short, you should review your internal links. From time to time, insert relevant links into the page and group related items together.
- Use internal links to boost pages, which need publicity. For sure, some pages are more popular than others. So, pass popularity of your strong pages to other less visited pages. For instance, if a page gets clicks and views, then edit this page and add internal links to redirect users to the related pages within your website. Of course, you can’t just insert any link you. Still, you need to consider timeliness and relevancy to the topic. Avoid adding links for the sake of inserting internal links.
- Lastly, consider the anchor text (or the display text) of your internal links. The anchor text should indicate what the link is about.
Google’s take on internal links
In a YouTube video, Matt Cutts clarified that too many links do not typically hurt the website’s rankings. As long as you are not exaggerating, the website should be fine. For instance, when you have 5,000 internal links in a page with the same anchor text, that’s too much. If you want to watch the video explanation, watch Matt Cutts here.
Additionally, in the Google Webmaster Guidelines, Google points out the importance of writing descriptive anchor texts. I posted some helpful tips on Best Practices for Both External Links and Internal Links.
For more information on how Google tackles internal links, you better follow the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. The guidelines are constantly changing so it’s best to keep notes on their latest guidelines to know what is safe or what is not.
Bing’s recommendation on internal links
Aside from Google, there are also other dependable search engines out there. If you want to rank high on other search engines, then you might want to take into consideration the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. In fact, Bing specifically states that:
Links are traditionally regarded as a signal of website popularity, the best way to get other sites to link to you is to create high quality and unique content.
If you ever get confused about internal links, just look at Wikipedia. The website is an ideal example of a website that uses internal links very well. You will see that Wikipedia are inserting multiple internal links in one page alone.