Link juice is the term used in the SEO world to refer to the value or equity passed from one page or site to another. This value is passed through hyperlinks. Search engines see links as votes by other websites that your page is valuable and worth promoting.
There are many ways to earn links from the web through direct and indirect efforts. Direct effort refers to link building strategies, such as document sharing, guest posting, social media marketing, press release publishing and more. The indirect effort is gained from presenting excellent content on your site that causes readers to share it around the web, linking the pages naturally. The link equity that passes from these sites to your site is the link juice, and this link juice differs in its authority depending on the sites linking to you.
What is link equity?
Link equity, once colloquially referred to as “link juice,” is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. This value is dependent on a number of factors, such as the linking page’s authority, topical relevance, HTTP status, and more. Links that pass equity are one of many signals that Google and other search engines use to determine a page’s rankings in the SERPs.
HOW LINK JUICE WORKS?
The working behind link juice is simple. When a link directs to a page, it carries its domain authority, relevance, and other important quality factors. If a web page gets a higher number of links from high-quality sources, it is likely to rank higher. So, it is always beneficial for a site to attract high-quality links and distribute internal links appropriately. When it comes to link juice, it is also important to understand that certain links would never pass the juice. Nofollow links, paid links, links from pages not indexed yet (as we mentioned above), links from pages with irrelevant content, etc., are not going to be helpful.
What is Link Juice and how it impacts on digital strategies
Many important factors impact the ranking of a website on Google. Some of them are well known and are always on the radar of professionals who work with SEO.
However, the less experienced may not be properly aware ofLink Juice.
This technique is associated with one of the main criteria for articles to be in a good position regarding the algorithms: the links in the content.
Link Juice relation with keywords
Keywords are important elements within an optimization strategy, being one of the foundations of SEO.
The more effectively and in greater quantity these terms are used, the better a page will be evaluated in front of the search engines.
Thus, you can take advantage of keywords when distributing the PR by merely doing the link building on these terms.
If they are in the title of your post, for example, the chances of a high PR are much higher. For that, the goal is always to use more fluid sentences in the text, making this link more natural.
Imagine you have a running shoe business and is conducting a Content Marketing strategy. In one of your posts, you have the opportunity to talk about the importance of impact mitigation in racing, directing this topic to the link of a partner.
There are several ways to make this link building. However, there are a few recommended sentences, such as: “Click here to learn more about the importance of impact absorption in racing”.
You generate a link that, despite offering PR, does not communicate with a keyword used in the content.
The best way to do this is to use softer sentences to the content. Something like linking the term in bold, as in: “impact absorption is fundamental to a healthier race”.
Linked keywords generate a more powerful PR for the landing pages!
Link juice comes from:
- Pages that have content relevant to your site.
- Pages that have a high PageRank.
- Pages that have relatively few outbound links.
- Pages that contain quality content.
- Pages that appear high in SERPs.
- Pages that have user-generated content.
- Pages that are popular with social media audiences, i.e. they are mentioned often in social media.
Link juice doesn’t come from:
- Pages that have nofollowed the link to your site.
- Pages with irrelevant content.
- Pages that have a lot of links; for example, ad links or site-wide links.
- Pages that are not indexed in search.
- Paid links.
- Links obtained in a link exchange scheme. (This is where you link to someone’s site in return for a link to your site, which essentially cancels the impact.)
- Links from unranked sites with no content.
How Pages Get More Link Juice
One often overlooked source of potential link juice is your site. In a relentless pursuit of high-value backlinks, many marketers miss pools of link juice concentrated on their most popular pages. Chances are, you’ve got a reservoir of value you can pass on to your internal pages, waiting for you to tap into through internal linking.
As with most on-page SEO elements, internal linking starts with your keyword research (if you need help, there are plenty of free tools out there). Come up with a list of a few keywords you want to target for your page. Find pages on your site that feature those keywords using the site: and intext: operators to get the pages that have the most value to pass. For example, Local SEO Agency BeFound wants to find all pages containing the target keyword ‘Local SEO’ – they could search site:befound.pt intext:”Local SEO”. Narrow this list down to a few high-priority pages with high authority. There are a few tools you can use:
SEO Review Tools: This is a robust tool that finds both domain and page authority for a URL. It will also tell you the total number of external links pointing at your page. Use the Link Checker tool to find the URL, anchor text, and authority information for your external links. They also have a bulkauthority checker that lets you look up ten pages at a time.
Small SEO Tools: A free tool that scores domain and page authority of submitted URLs out of 100.
When you’ve assembled your lists of target keywords and high authority pages, it’s time to drain the link juice. Place links to your target page using your keywords as anchor text. Be careful to avoid hyperlinking only your keyword exact matches as this could end up looking spammy to a search engine. Use synonyms or latent semantic keywords (LSI keywords) when possible.
Finally, you need to remove any unnecessary outbound links from your pages. As we mentioned above, the amount of value a page can pass is divided equally among the total number of links on a page. You can use the rel=”nofollow” tag to avoid passing link juice, but you can’t use it to increase the amount of equity passed by other links on the page. You ca
The following are some best practices for maximizing link juice:
- Make sure the page the link is on is indexable by search engines.
- All links should be do-follow if you want them to send any link juice. Link juice will not pass if the no-follow attribute is added.
- Links pass more link juice when there are only a few other links on the page that the link is coming from. For example, a link from a page with only five links on it is worth more than a link from a page with 100 links on it.
- Links pass more link juice when they have relevant, keyword-optimized anchor text.
- Link juice has more power when it passes between pages that are relevant to each other.
- Links from unpaid sources tend to be worth more than paid ones.
- In most cases, don’t bother with a link exchange. A link from an external site isn’t worth that much if you have to send out link juice from your own site to get it.
- Links from sites recognized as having high authority by search engines are worth much more than links from low authority sites. Remember – quality over quantity!
BENEFITS OF LINK JUICE
A good link profile is essential to increase a web page’s chances to appear more frequently in search results. In other words, search engines usually favor a website that enjoys high-quality link equity. A higher ranking means more traffic, which means more leads and chances of making sales.
Do Traffic Links Pass More Link Juice?
From being in many private testing groups this is a hot debate and it is so hard to isolate tests on this alone. From tests, we 100% know that CTR Manipulation from search, click and engage works really well. But does traffic through backlinks still an ongoing debate.
But my opinion on this is that you should be actively trying to acquire links that generate you traffic through those links because the traffic it generates could turn into orders or subscribers to your brand.
There are also many debates to say the engagement this traffic generates through the links could strengthen your site because these visitors could improve time on site, bounce, and share your site across their social platforms.
Do Nofollow Links Pass Link Juice?
Absolutely definitely not. Nofollow links are removed from the weblink graph.
You still want to try to utilize no-follow backlinks in my link profile strategy though. As they still can pass ranking signals that help your justification of your other links your website receives.
Receiving no-followed backlinks in your link profile helps make your website appear more natural. When you acquire NoFollow links from sites like press releases, Wikipedia, local directories, blog comments, and other sources it gives a “trust” signal for your site’s authenticity.
What Is Link Dampening?
Link dampening is the real-world technology that Google uses to corroborate what we in the SEO community call “OBL” or, Outbound Backlinks.
This term comes from the original PageRank algorithm in which you’d get a value of 0.85 from a page that would go down by 0.15 every time another external link was on the page. It wouldn’t go from 0.85 value to 0.7, it’d go down to something like 0.722 and the third link would drag the overall external link value down to about 0.612 and so on.
This isn’t the exact formula that Google uses to this day, and there is an abundance of other attributes that go into determining the value of the ranking signal a link can pass. However, it’s a good lamens terms way to explain why OBL is an actually important metric and link dampening should be taken seriously when it comes to optimizing the juice of your backlinks.
How Long Before Link Juice is Passed?
- It may take a while to let your backlinks pass link juice but this depends on many factors.
- The time it takes Google to index your backlink before they have ever even seen the link is a huge factor in this and why it can vary so much.
- Then you have to look at how much Google likes to crawl and index the site your backlink comes from – If it’s a large authority site that has well-optimized pages regularly released, then the link will likely be at the top of the analyzing queue to be processed, rather than a site that routinely feeds Google thin or duplicate pages en masse.
- The final stage is the effect that backlink has on your site. There is a number of factors to whether the link will boost or lower your rankings in the SERPs so it is important to understand all these factors below.
Link Juice Distribution Factors
There are now so many factors to take into account with link juice distribution and here below is a guide for you on this:
The term Anchor text is used for describing the keyword used to link between a website.
Anchor text selection is probably still the most important signal in link building.
If you get this right by working with correlation on what is ranking at present you can rank much faster with a great choice of anchors.
But if you get this wrong then the consequences can be very harmful. So we always advise to air on the side of caution with your anchor text ratios and try to mix up these with descriptive anchors to help feed rank brain through hummingbird algorithm.
Google updated one of their backlink patents to include using the surrounding text of your link in analyzing the value and relevancy a backlink should pass.
It makes complete sense for search engines to do this because relevancy is so important nowadays with the hummingbird algorithm feeding rank brain on topics.
The best way to optimize the surrounding content is to try and include partial match wording within the text whilst still maintaining a natural sentence.
The Positioning of The Link
Not only does the quantity of outbound links on a page affect the link juice but also the positioning of where the backlink is placed affects PageRank value.
There is a Google patent called ‘Reasonable Surfer’ which supports this where they weigh the link on the likelihood of the backlink being clicked from the positioning on the URL.
So ideally if purchasing guest post backlinks or buying niche edits then having your link as being the first backlink on the page and above the fold will give yourself more link juice value.
Link velocity is the measurement of how many links your website and page is getting & at what rate per day or per month.
Backlink velocity is generally measured page to page – so it becomes very important when link building to also link to supporting content just as much as your main money pages. Charles Floate actually says “we’re often actually building more links to supporting pages just due to the higher volume of them.”
There are certain techniques that you can use to be able to up your overall link velocity like building trust signal-related links and splitting link-building efforts between more pages on the site whilst optimizing internal linking.
For brand new websites, we preach less is more when it comes to link velocity. Building the trust signals is needed over time like acquiring social signals to allow higher velocities of backlinks to be carried out.
In today’s digital world then I recommend link relevance to be at the top of the priority in terms of selecting where you receive backlinks from.
Topically relevant backlinks are a must-have and you want to be trying to have your keywords in both the page title, page’s HTML headers, URL, and mentions throughout the piece itself from where the link is coming from.
So not just the anchors and surrounding content to be relevant. But in an ideal world the whole article and better still the domain to be as relevant as possible to your niche.
Google still uses a domain’s overall age as a signal for how much authority a link can pass – It’s why brand new sub-domain Web 2.0s pass hardly any juice nowadays without being powered up and aged over the course of months.
From our testing, once your domain has surpassed Google’s overall page cache of 2 years. So being within Google’s cache for 2 years and having a domain age to match, you’ll get the most optimal links out of a website.
Page Age & Page Freshness
This is where the debate around niche edits contextual links vs. new guest posts comes into play all the time.
Whilst it’s ideal for you to have your link consistently within the Google cache, if you do trigger the freshness algorithm around page updates (By updating content, rich media, last updated metadata, links, etc) then you can often miss out on the lost link value of having your link placed on an aged page that hasn’t been updated within Google’s cached version comparison besides that singular link.
Tiered Link Building
Ever since rolling penguin forced the algorithm to base link ranking signal value on a page-by-page basis, tiered link building has become the single most effective technique in a link builders arsenal right now.
Google analyzes your backlinks the same way it analyzes your own pages – It looks at the quality of the domain that page is on, it looks at the backlinks that page has, it looks at the content length, OBL, and a bunch of other signals.
This means that if your backlinks aren’t actively gaining or have backlinks themselves, then you’re often losing a vast amount of signals because you’ll no longer be able to count on the root authority of the backlink’s domain anymore.
Passing link juice to improve your rankings is increasingly becoming harder because of all the factors above you need to try and take into account.
But this was always going to be the case and all that is happening are that the search engines are improving on combating spammy techniques.
If you build high-quality, niche-relevant backlinks then the link juice will flow nicely and help boost your website rankings and therefore traffic.
The best tip to take away from this is to reverse engineer what your best ranking competitors are doing because the correlation of what is ranking currently is a blueprint for you on what you know the search engines like (hence the reason they are ranking).
Gone are the days of purchasing a spammy backlink gig direct to your money pages and nowadays you really need to be looking to hire a specialist link building agency to build your backlinks unless you are an expert in this field.
If you would like a free backlink audit do not hesitate to email contact or email at email@example.com and I can get one of my team to carry out a link audit for you on what you are missing in your link profile.
Regularly check high-performing pages and see if you can improve the existing content and create a new link opportunity within your website.
Using manipulative strategies won’t work. Also, try to avoid links from low performing and harmful sources
Find broken links and fix them
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