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I heard I have to keep internal links with relevant anchor texts on a website to just a few because too many internal links might "confuse" the bots. So generally I have to build DOfollow internal links just to DOindex pages. This way (at least in my case) I can keep internal links as few as possible.

But what about from visitors aspect, I cannot tell them something like "Go there and find something there" or "check navigation menu, click on some X subject and you will see it there" because this might result in an exit of websites so I would have to build internal links with good and clearly understandable anchor texts for visitors also. Is is OK if I put on that kind of internal links NOfollow attribute so I still meet this requirements about having "as few as possible" dofollow internal links (pointing to DOindex pages)?

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2 Answers 2

Whomever told you this is wrong.

  1. Only use nofollow on links that you don't trust. These links are usually provided by third parties (i.e. blog comments) and may be spammy. Otherwise, do not use nofollow. After all, Matt Cutts said linking to external sites can be a positive ranking factor.

  2. Using nofollow on internal links is a bad idea. PageRank is still passed to those pages but is then discarded since the links are nofollow. This only hurts you and never helps you. This includes using nofollow on links to sign up forms, contact pages, etc. Those pages still have value to you as they can "pass" PR around your site as well as use internal links to your benefit. (Matt Cutts clearly states that using nofollow on internal links is a bad idea).

  3. There is no such thing as too many internal links confusing the search engines. Although there is an upper limit to how many links should be on a page, it only is because search engines will only read and parse up to a certain amount of content before it stops. So unless you have over a hundred links or so don't try to minimize your internal links.

  4. Internal links are a big tool for SEO. They count as "votes" and pass PR to your other internal pages. The anchor text used also is very helpful for your page's rankings.

Wikipedia is a great example of internal linking at its best. Every article links to every other article relevant to that topic at hand. The can be dozens of internal links on one page. Those links a big reason why Wikipedia ranks so well. (The fact that they have a lot of incoming links doesn't hurt, either).

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Google suggests no more than 100 links per page but I have seen and used around 200-300 internal links per page and not had any issues from Google. SEOMoz has also said that sites work fine with over 100 links on a page but they suggest sticking to below 200-300 in order to make sure all of your links are parsed. –  RandomBen Nov 4 '11 at 14:06
    
Agree. The page rank sculpting technique of using nofollow on internal links stopped working somewhere around 2007-2008 but it's still given out as SEO advice by some and used by a lot of WordPress themes. –  jfrankcarr Nov 4 '11 at 14:26
    
@RandomBen I believe that advice was from when Google only indexed a few kB of a page. I really don't think it's anything to be concerned with. –  DisgruntledGoat Dec 4 '11 at 22:57
    
@DisgruntledGoat - I agree that you shouldn't be too concerned but Google has never given updated advice on this and regardless having more than 200-300 links on a page can water down your link juice to each link and can make the page hard to use. –  RandomBen Dec 5 '11 at 14:45

In addition to John Conde's answer, I'd add the following points:

  1. You should try and keep the anchor text consistent on links to the same page - this strengthens that term for the linked page.

  2. The only time you should use nofollow on internal links is if they are to pages you really don't want indexed (say admin pages, sign-up, etc) or to "duplicated" content - for example if your site creates URLs for tags, sometimes you might want to exclude them from search results as the content is the same as the post page - however these should be backed up with noindex meta on the linked pages so direct entry doesn't index them either - these are the sort of links that could cause very large loops, so it's advisable to restrict them.

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Duplicate content should be handled with canonical URLs, not nofollow. –  John Conde Nov 4 '11 at 13:57
    
I'm thinking more a listing of posts tagged with a term - the indexed page would contain 10 posts that are effectively duplicating one or more archive pages of content - there is no-one canonical URL for that page. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 4 '11 at 14:02
    
@Zhaph: In that case you should just have the noindex (and perhaps nofollow) robots meta tag on the page you don't want indexed (the 'tags' page). I see no benefit in including nofollow on links to that page and that would also be harder to maintain. –  w3d Nov 4 '11 at 14:23
    
@w3d - cheers, indeed, I prefer the NOINDEX option (which is the route I took) for exactly that reason, and the one I gave in my answer - just because you've added a NoFollow, that won't stop someone else linking to it. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 4 '11 at 15:02
    
Talking only about internal links; Its good to save link juice for pages where you really need them. So isn't it suggestable to put dofollow attribute of internal links only to the ones that point to doindex pages? Yes or no (maximum number of links per page has nothing to do with this)? Of course I need to put keyword to anchor text but in case if I have to (do I have to? this hasn't been answered yet) and if is recommendable to save link juice and have dofollow links to just doindex pages, can I still put anchor text with keyword and use nofollow? I cannot use just "click here and see". –  dolphin Nov 5 '11 at 13:57

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