The term link juice or link equity is used to describe the strength of a backlink that connects one website to another.
Because Google prioritises serving up results that people are looking for, it looks at various signals to determine how trustworthy and valuable a given page is. The quality of referring domains is a major determining factor in how much a backlink will raise a target page’s rank, making link juice an important factor when trying to improve organic search rankings.
There are many ways to build links, such as guest posting, broken link building, and partnerships with industry thought leaders, but the backbone of any good link building strategy is hosting high quality, authoritative, and useful content on your website.
How Does Link Juice Work and How to Get Link Juice
There are a range of factors that can determine the link juice in a single link or a backlink profile as a whole.
Though gaining links from sites that follow Google’s E-A-T principles (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is the main thing to think about when trying to positively affect link juice, there are a number of negative influences that can drag down link equity which SEOs must be aware of.
The first big thing that negatively affects link equity is 404 errors, which happen when you delete a given page on your website and forget to set up the relevant 3xx redirect. Though 404s will not discount all of the link equity from any backlinks pointing to the original URL, by properly applying 301 redirects, you can ensure the link juice from the backlink will be passed on to the redirect destination.
Another factor that greatly affects link juice is duplicate content. When Google or other search engines crawl two identical pieces of content on different locations of your site, they categorise such pages as duplicates, and select only one for indexing. This means that if you have two separate sets of links pointing to each page, half of your potential link juice will be wasted.
Disavowing backlinks also affects a link juice. Although link disavowal is usually only used for toxic backlinks, it’s important to have a good handle on what links and domains are being disavowed to ensure you’re not accidentally blocking potential link equity.
Link Juice or Link Equity FAQs
Why is link equity important?
Link equity has a significant impact on a site’s potential to rank, as it helps Google determine the value of a given link based on the authority of the referring domain, the page it’s pointing to, and other factors.
Do nofollow links pass link juice?
Because the rel=”nofollow” attribute instructs search engines to treat the link it’s attributed to differently, nofollow links will not pass the same link juice onto their target pages – but do act as a signal to Google.
Questions to ask your link builder