What Is Link Juice
1. What Is Link Juice?
Link juice (sometimes, the term “link equity” is also used) is a slang expression that SEO professionals use to describe and measure how much power/authority/value a link conveys to another site or page, enhancing it.
Every link has a certain value. This value (juice) can be distributed among different pages by linking them. The idea can be illustrated like a pyramid of goblets: if you pour too much liquid into the top goblet, it will begin to spread evenly across the containers on the next level and so on.
2. How Does Link Juice Work?
Let’s imagine that there are two identical web resources. Site A has received one link from an external source, and site B has no links. All other things being equal, website A will rank higher because it has the link juice passed on by the external site.
What happens if site B also gets one link? The result will depend on the amount of value, or juice, that each link passes.
An example is in the diagram below. Site A receives links from four sites, and Site B — from only two sites. Since A receives links from more sites, it is likely to have a higher ranking in search results than B. Disclaimer: Here, we assume that the sites that link to A and B have the same authority.
But it is important to understand another aspect: if the sites referring to A also refer to other sites, their juice will be evenly distributed among all the donor sites. If sites that link to B only link to it, the situation changes dramatically. In this case, Site B will already have a better chance of ranking higher.
1.1. Link juice, PageRank, and dofollow
PageRank was one of the indicators that Google used to determine what position pages should have in search results. A high PageRank meant that a page had a lot of backlinks from authoritative sites. In turn, a low PageRank meant that there were fewer backlinks to the page or many links but low-authority sites. Now, Google algorithms have changed, and PageRank has become just one of many ranking factors.
The term “link juice” might refer to how PageRank moves from one page to another through links. If you got a link from a page with a high PageRank, you would automatically see your page rank go up. So, PageRank and link juice are close concepts but not the same thing as some still think.
Another essential aspect to keep in mind is that link juice is passed through dofollow links, which have great value for SEO. Nofollow links do not pass link juice, but you shouldn’t dismiss them either as they still have their value for SEO by diluting the link profile and indicating that it is natural.
1.2. Internal links
Search engines value the presence of both external (backlinks) and internal links on a web page. However, internal links are often neglected.
In fact, you should care as much about internal links as external ones. First of all, this is because they allow users to stay longer on the site while still moving from one page to another.
When it comes to link juice, linking pages to each other increases their value, so it becomes even more important to implement this strategy for internal site links. We’ll address this question further below.
3. How to Get More Link Juice?
Since link juice is very important to a page’s search ranking, optimizing your website’s link profile is an integral part of SEO. This work can be divided into two parts:
- Maximizing existing link juice.
- Getting more links.
Let’s look at which methods to use below.
3.1. Linkbait content
One of the most effective ways to generate more links for your SEO is to create the most useful and high-quality content worth linking to. This is where the “skyscraper technique” that we’ve described earlier in other materials comes in handy.
This tactic is to find popular content in your niche that is already linked to by enough sites and make it better:
- Expand the topic more broadly. For example, if the piece compares 10 services, review 20. Add more details and examples.
- Update the material. Supplement it with relevant information, forecasts for the future, new research, etc.
- Make the content more appealing by adding visual elements, infographics, videos, and tables.
3.2. Internal linking
You can pass link juice within the site. If your website has a page that performs particularly well (lots of visitors, great browsing time, good design, and lots of quality inbound links), it can pass link juice to a web page that performs poorly.
To optimize internal links for a particular page, make a list of keywords and their LSI synonyms related to the page content and other pages relevant to the content topic. You can use the site: and intext: search operators to find such content.
Add links to the landing page from pages that appear first in the search. Ignore any pages that are irrelevant to the topic of the content you are boosting. Consider removing less relevant links from pages from which you pass the juice so that more link value goes to the target page.
Don’t use the same anchor text and keywords every time. Dilute the anchors with synonyms so Google doesn’t assume you’re a spammer.
3.3. Work with the niche audience
After publishing quality content on your site, it’s a good idea to share it with your audience. You can do this with email newsletters, publications on social media or thematic groups, forums, etc. Make the content visible to your audience.
There is another way to work with your market, which is not very common in Ukraine — niche edit. The essence of the method is as follows: a link to your site is inserted into a piece of content on someone else’s site. This practice is also called a contextual, or curated, link.
For example, using your site, you sell elliptical trainers, and you have a great article describing how they work, what muscle groups they are designed for, and how to properly select and use the equipment. Next, you find a blog of a fitness trainer who has developed a set of exercises that include exercising on an elliptical trainer. You reach out to them and ask them to link to your article in the text of their post, arguing that their audience would benefit from learning more about how to choose the right fitness equipment.
This way, you get backlinks, traffic, and link juice flow to your page. The main thing is to monitor the quality of the resources you refer to so that they are reputable and not over-spammed with outbound links.
3.4. Guest posting
Guest blogging can be compared to a show where a little-known band plays to entertain the mega-popular one. The little-known band is your site, and the venue for the performance is a popular resource in your niche.
Here are some secrets to quality guest posting:
- Choose a trustworthy resource that has an organic audience or, better yet, a social media audience as well.
- Create quality, unique content. Important: Don’t duplicate existing posts on your site as guest posts; it won’t do any good.
- Place a link in the guest post to the landing page of your site that you want to boost. Don’t link to the home page — it’s ineffective.
- Follow up on guest post comments — this will improve interaction with your audience and generate more traffic as a result.
Well-designed guest posts published on authoritative sites will bring not only backlinks rich in link juice but also good traffic.
3.5. Robots tags and sitemap
Using Robots tags and the Robots.txt file is a great way to prevent search engine crawlers from crawling and indexing low-value pages. Add commands to the HTML code of the page, instructing the search engine to either not crawl the page at all or crawl but not index it.
Make sure that no page is further than 3 clicks away from the home page. For example, if your site has fewer than 800 pages, no web page should be more than 3 clicks away from the home page. If there are more than 800 pages, you can increase the tolerance to 4 clicks. Search engines interpret the distance from the home page as a signal of page importance — the farther away, the less important. This affects visibility in search.
Include a sitemap on your homepage. A sitemap is a great way to show search engines all the pages on your site and their position relative to the home page.
3.6. Nofollow links
You should also use the nofollow tag to instruct search engines not to pass link juice to pages that are less important. Nofollow is no longer as effective in SEO as it used to be, but it is still worth using.
4. What Affects Quality?
Now that you know more about link juice, let’s look at what affects its quality and what mistakes to avoid.
4.1. Link relevance
The more pages you have, the more likely it is that you will link to a page that no longer exists, which will result in a 404 page.
If you remove any pages, make sure you remove any links leading to them as well. If you don’t, the link will lead to a 404 page, which means that some of the link juice from the original page will be wasted.
4.2. Location of a link on a web page
Link location also affects the amount of link juice passed to the landing page. There is a Google patent called Reasonable Surfer, which is responsible for estimating a link based on the likelihood of clicking on it.
If you are creating backlinks from guest posts or ordering niche edits, try to place the link closer to the top of the page, which will provide more value and link juice.
4.3. Number of links on the page
A link from a page that leads to hundreds of sites has less value than a link from a page with few outgoing links.
This is because the link juice is shared between each of the links, resulting in less of it going passing each individual link.
If a page links to four domains, each gets about 25% of the total available value. But if it links to 20 pages, each page will only get about 5% of the available link juice
5. Why Is Link Juice Important for a Website?
The main benefit of link juice is higher organic search engine rankings. Want to appear higher in Google search results? Make sure you’re getting relevant, high-quality links for your pages.
Here are a few reasons to pay proper attention to quality link juice distribution:
- A website or page can rank higher in search results and attract more traffic. This improves the visibility of your brand or business online.
- Link juice can increase the authority and credibility of your website or page. As a result, it increases credibility in the eyes of search engines.
- Link juice affects the overall condition and quality of a website, which is an important factor in SEO.
The higher your ranking, the more likely it is that users from Google searches will click on links to your site. Ultimately, this increases website traffic.
More traffic is directly proportional to more revenue, which provides a higher and better return on all investments in a web resource. Overall, link juice is a great way to achieve SEO success for your website.
o better understand the topic, let’s make a quick memo and list the sources where link juice can come from and which pages may be useless when working on boosting your site’s rankings:
Link juice is passed by pages:
- with content relevant to your site;
- with a high PageRank;
- with a relatively low number of outbound links;
- with quality content;
- that rank high in search results;
- that are popular with the social networking audience, i.e., they are often mentioned on social networks.
Link juice is not passed by pages:
- that do not contain links to your site;
- with irrelevant content;
- with a large number of links, such as advertising;
- which are not indexed in search;
- with links acquired through backlink exchange schemes;
- from not authoritative sites.
Remember: it may take some time for your backlinks to pass link juice. It depends on many factors, with Google’s indexing speed being the main one.
Try to get backlinks from large authoritative sites that regularly publish well-optimized content. Such sites are usually first in line to be indexed by search crawlers.
Applying the right link distribution techniques within the site and between pages from other domains will guarantee excellent results for search engine ranking.