One important aspect of your search engine optimization program is how you structure your internal links. It does raise the question whether or not you can have too many internal links on the one page?
I have never seen a formula for links, keywords, or any other search engine optimization tactic. Common sense would tell you that internal links should meet certain criteria such as:
- Relevance: One of the most important criteria. Linking pages that are not relevant could be counterproductive.
- Anchor Text: If you are going to link to other pages on your site then be sure to use the right anchor text.
- Quantity: Here we go – how many? Sorry, not the answer you are looking for! It appears to be accepted now that search engines will only follow the one link to a page. Having more than one link to the same page, even with different anchor text, will not be followed by the search engines.
That still hasn’t answered the question. Really, there is no real answer, however a balance is needed and to avoid being accused of sculpting, a ratio of less than 50% is probably the safest approach. There are times when you are going to exceed this. Most bloggers appear to get away with ‘best of’ posts or ‘weekly recaps’ where they link to older posts. Their link ratio could be as high 60-70% internal.
Internal linking to pages that are relevant is always going to be the most important issue. If you are helping the visitor find more information then there is no reason to expect a penalty from the search engines. Search engine optimization is always going to be a matter of achieving a balance between what is right for the visitor and what is appropriate for the search engines.