Facebook has a really nice design along those lines, which I think we can emulate.
I am starting to think that the "<page> was linked" should not be subject to individual notifications at all. In the Facebook example, and in Twitter, etc., individual notifications are sent only in the cases of human-to-human contact: someone left a comment, or followed you, or re-posted your post.
Pages you created in the past being linked by others are a different kind of interaction that is not human-to-human, but more akin to, for example, someone visiting a blog page that you wrote some time in the past. For example, I've had 149 page views on my blog today, and if I got an email for every one of those, I would be complaining. I don't even have all that many pages on mw.o, but I'm still getting a dozen emails a day roughly so far. (Note that blogger does send email when someone leaves a comment on a blog post: again, direct human contact is the trigger.)
I think it might make more sense to treat "<page> was linked" actions the way blogger treats page views. Keep a count over time of how many times each page gets linked, but don't push a message out for activity that is not direct human contact.