At What Point Does Interlinking Become Too Much?

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I lost 25-30% of my traffic since the last update, and I am looking to make a few tweaks.

I altered the structure of a few pages and have already seen the benefits. Now I'm starting to wonder if I'm interlinking too much, and the effect of interlinking on SEO.

Typically:

I place 3-5 links within the body of the content
Manually add 3-10 (usually 5-6) links to the bottom of the page within the article
Mediavine add links to 3 posts that also seem to be within the content
After the post, 9 links from the category are added via a plugin.

My website is large enough with almost 600 posts, so the interlinking is related the vast majority of the time, though sometimes loosely.

Would this be having a negative effect at all?

I know Wikipedia interlinks like crazy. But I rarely come across sites that have 15-20 internal links within an article, though most of mine are added at the end of an article.
 

Ryuzaki

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I place 3-5 links within the body of the content
Manually add 3-10 (usually 5-6) links to the bottom of the page within the article
I do the two following methods above. 3-5 links within the body and 5 at the bottom on every post. I manually choose them all so the relevance is there (and I can ensure every post is getting linked to at some point). When I publish, I go back to older posts and interlink to the just-published article, too. These are all static links that never change or rotate or are selected randomly by a theme or plugins.

So, though I'm not allowing plugins to add more related links to categories, ultimately I end up with 10+ internal links per article.

What do you imagine the negative effect would be? The only thing I can think of is if you're trying to do silos with extremely tight relevancy, or if you're trying to funnel link juice to specific pages. The more internal linking, the more you're going to redistribute page rank around until all pages get an equivalent amount. That's fine by me on this kind of site.

By the way...

I lost 25-30% of my traffic
Me too, and so did a ton of authority sites I looked up to see if I was doing anything wrong or if the core update just did it's usual thing. Looks like a ton of respectable, high DR sites got whacked pretty good. We'll claw it all back in a future update eventually. It's always the stupid pattern of Google screwing up and eventually returning site's traffic curves back to the best fit line. It'd be cool if they screwed it up and gave us traffic for once instead of always taking it.
 
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What do you imagine the negative effect would be? The only thing I can think of is if you're trying to do silos with extremely tight reevancy, or if you're trying to funnel link juice to specific pages. The more internal linking, the more you're going to redistribute page rank around until all pages get an equivalent amount. That's fine by me on this kind of site.

I was thinking that by linking so much, I'm inevitably reducing the very tight relevancy when it would be better to add fewer but more targeted links.

Me too, and so did a ton of authority sites I looked up to see if I was doing anything wrong or if the core update just did it's usual thing. Looks like a ton of respectable, high DR sites got whacked pretty good. We'll claw it all back in a future update eventually. It's always the stupid pattern of Google screwing up and eventually returning site's traffic curves back to the best fit line. It'd be cool if they screwed it up and gave us traffic for once instead of always taking it.

Very frustrating, especially as you said in another post that it always seems to happen during these high RPM periods.

But my traffic has grown more than I expected over the past year, so I shouldn't complain too much, and it's not realistic of me to expect the upward curve to have continued indefinitely.
 

socialpatterns

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You probably shouldn't get crazy with the number of internal links. Think more about user experience and helpfulness rather than search engines. I think the more significant issue though is the keywords in the anchor text. Post-2018 you have to be more careful with overoptimizing and using excessive exact match KW in your anchor text (internal links).