Does Google penalise over-optimization of internal linking?

September 24, 2022 | Link Building

Internal Linking is an indispensable part of Search Engine Optimisation. With a robust internal linking structure, websites can help their visitors gain additional knowledge about a subject. Furthermore, visitors can navigate through your site conveniently.

However, there is a question that worries SEO professionals constantly: Does over optimization of Internal Links leads to any penalty?

Gary Illyes (from Reddit’s AMA for Google) gives you a straight forward answer “No, you can abuse your internal links as much as you want AFAIK.”


Matt Cutts, Google’s Ex-employee, also addressed this issue (in a video) about internal linking.

Here’s the transcribed part:

‘Typically not. Typically, internal website links will not cause you any sort of trouble. Now, the reason why I say ‘typically not’ rather than a hard ‘no’ is just that as soon as I say a hard ‘no’ there will be someone who has like five thousand links – all with the exact same anchor text on one page. But if you have a normal site, you know…a catalog site or whatever…. you’ve got breadcrumbs…you’ve got a normal template there…that’s just the way that people find their way around the site, and navigate, you should be totally fine. That’s not the sort of thing that I would worry about.”

So, if you are creating a strategy for your internal linking structure, you can put as many links as necessary, but there is a line, you cannot fill your pages with links by hyperlinking almost every word. This will not only affect the readability but also your bounce rate as well.

Just remember as long as you are doing it for the users, Google is happy!

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