When searching for the best practices to help your website stand out among the ranks, you may have come across the phrase “link juice.” But what does it mean, and what links are “juicy”?
Most importantly, how can it benefit your business?
Simply put, link juice is a non-technical term in SEO. It refers to the authority or power a link confers from one site to another. The more authoritative and trustworthy a site is, the more powerful any “link juice” that comes from it will be. That’s why securing high-quality links from authoritative sites is so important.
Secondly, we really recommend you not use this term in any professional context. SEOs can often struggle to get buy-in from decision makers at companies and terminology such as this can often undermine you, creating a perception of SEO being less serious than other areas of marketing.
At Sagapixel, we do not use the term “link juice,” opting instead to refer to it as “link equity” or even “PageRank” (PageRank still is used at Google, even though it is no longer in the toolbar).
DYK that after 18 years we’re still using PageRank (and 100s of other signals) in ranking?
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) February 9, 2017
How Does “Link Juice” work?
Google will analyze all of the external and internal links pointing to the a web page to determine the importance of a page and where that page should rank in their results for a particular Google search.
How Can You Make Your Web Pages Juicier?
There are a few ways to increase link equity flowing to your website so that you become the top result on search engines. Some of the smartest ways to generate “link juice” are:
- Create useful and trustworthy content that naturally acquires links over time. Data-driven content and definition pieces tend to do the best job.
- Get press and industry publication coverage through consistent advertising and PR.
- Promote good content to other websites and ask for links.
- Do “broken link building.” Find articles that acquired links that have been deleted. Write an article covering the same topic, then do outreach to everyone linking to the broken page.
In this video, Frank talks about this in a bit more detail:
Do All Links Pass PageRank, Impacting Search Engine Results?
While the concept of link juice can seem exciting for generating free traffic for your website, not all links are created equal. When blogs became popular in the early 2000s, spammers realized that they could leave links in blog post comments to their sites, driving spam websites to the top of search results. To combat this, Google created nofollow links.
Nofollow links are unrecognizable to users, and they can still click on them and be brought to another site just like any other external link. However, your search engine results won’t be impacted by them. Inbound links like blogs and social media comments, user-generated content like forums, and links in press releases are typically nofollow links.
Link juice is also relative.
Just because your page is linked to another site doesn’t mean you’ll automatically rank higher in search results. Links need to be contextually appropriate and appear in other relevant searches in order for your link equity to increase.
While link juice might not immediately drive your sales up, the more link juice your website has, the more reliable and authoritative it will be in Google’s eyes. When you build up trust in your business by continually creating authoritative content that other websites can use as a resource, your web page will climb to the top of the search ranks, eventually making you the top result for Google searches related to your business.
A Case Study in Solid Link Building:
One of our clients is a large private equity firm that specializes in commercial real estate. Link building is a large part of our SEO strategy for this particular client.
Not only do we regularly produce linkable assets to gain links passively and organically, but we also reach out to commercial real estate blogs and other industry leaders and produce guest posts that earn this client high-quality links.
Below is data that shows how our efforts have increased the number of backlinks, referring domains, and organic traffic since we partnered with them:
The Importance of Link Juice
Link equity isn’t as simple as placing backlinks to your site on every corner of the internet. The only way to really obtain valuable link juice is by creating trustworthy content that names you as an authority in your industry. Google has a few safeguards in place to prevent just anyone from rising to the top of the SERPs, so you must remain consistent in the content you upload to generate any tangible results.