Link equity is a strategy which SEO specialists employ to improve search engine rankings of their e-commerce website or blog. It is based on the concept that certain website links can pass authority and value from one page to another.
This search engine ranking factor has become a trend in the SEO community, particularly among professionals, because first-page ranking and traffic often equate to increased conversion rates and potential profit. However, as impressive as this may seem, there are a lot of things that users, especially beginners, should understand about link equity to benefit from it.
Some queries people may ask are: How does link equity boost your rankings? What are the factors that affect it? Also, how do you maintain link authority once link equity is achieved? This article will answer these questions, including other relevant queries, so read on and find out why link equity is vital to your website.
What Is Link Equity?
Link Equity, commonly known as “Link Juice” is a ranking factor for search engines that determine how websites rank. You can use this strategy via equity links — internal links (links originating from the same website) and external links (links coming from another website), a process known as link building.
The concept behind link juice is by linking one page or site to another that performs well in search engine rankings, that specific page also acquires the authority and value found in the high-ranking site. Consequently, the page with low search engine rankings would eventually attain increased organic page views, resulting in better page ranking.
Link Equity vs PageRank
Link equity and PageRank go hand-in-hand because they help determine the search engine rankings of websites. However, they are different in terms of functionality.
PageRank is an algorithm responsible for ascertaining a linked site’s ranking factors. On the other hand, link juice is a concept in which a linked page can pass value and authority to other web pages using well-placed links.
A website can achieve an impressive amount of organic web traffic through link juice, which is the primary objective of every content site. This process is made possible thanks to PageRank, Google’s ranking algorithm.
PageRank decides which linking sites should receive a higher page ranking based on the domain authority and credibility of the websites. This process helps establish link juice because the linked page passes value and authority to the linking site. Web pages with a good number of quality links have better chances of attaining a first-page ranking.
Link juice and PageRank play an essential role in certifying which websites should obtain better page ranks in search engines. Over the years, however, things have changed for PageRank as it is no longer the leading determinant in search engine rankings. That is because website owners employ several SEO techniques to obtain web traffic and a high page ranking for their niche sites.
Factors Influencing Link Equity
At this point, you would already know that not all links are similar in value. While some linked pages pass link juice, others do not have such attributes, so other linking pages cannot benefit from them.
There are ways in which you can determine the value of a link. Whether you are new to niche writing or link building, knowing these techniques can help pass more link equity to your entire website. Some factors that affect link juice are the following:
If you were reading a blog that discusses organic fruits and stumbles across a link that leads to the benefits of using cast iron skillets, you would be as stumped as anyone else. Even if that’s a valuable link, your site will not acquire link juice because there is no link relevance.
Quality Over Quantity
Building page authority and domain authority rests on one objective, which is obtaining quality backlinks. Previously, spamming links became a trendy strategy during the early years of PageRank. Google’s algorithm has become more intelligent as it only passes link equity to pages with valuable links that point to domains with high site authority.
Crawlability and Not “Nofollow”
When a web page has a nofollow tag, search engines will keep users away from that site. At the same time, the linked page will not receive any credit from such page.
This also means that said page has crawlability issues. Crawlability refers to the idea that search engines can access and follow your sites and their contents. Ensuring that you have no nofollow links on any of your web pages helps maintain your site’s crawlability rate and gives it more link juice.
Contextual links are usually found within a paragraph of an article or blog. These links boost the value of the content on a web page. Search engine algorithms view these links as relevant and not easily exploited to increase search rankings because they are incorporated within a content piece.
A website’s HTTPS status plays a crucial role in building link juice. SEO specialists note the codes of a linked site to determine if it is any of the following:
- 100—199: informational response codes
- 200—299: Success response codes
- 300—399: Redirection message response codes
- 400-499: Client error response codes
- 500-599: Server error response codes
According to Google, successful responses and redirects will pass link juice. However, the same does not apply to other search engines. In such cases, use different SEO strategies to acquire better link equity.
When looking for valuable links, select the ones from trusted websites that have grown their authority for a lengthy period. These domains pass more link juice than newer websites because they have earned more search traffic and have increased their reputation over time.
How To Check Link Equity?
You can always check the quality of a link using SEO analytic tools that help improve the link juice of a content web page or site. These tools offer free, user-convenient, and SEO-oriented marketing tools and platforms. Below are the most used and recommended SEO tools on the market.
Ahrefs has a tool called Best by Links report tool on its site, which enables users to search internal and external links pointing to a particular page. Users may perform any necessary action to resolve a concern.
For instance, if you want to determine if there are any broken pages on your site, simply type the name of the domain/subdomain. Then choose the “404 Not Found” HTTP filter code and the external links tab. The report should display all the broken pages and the number of external links pointing to your page.
Semrush provides the user with plenty of options. Each is designed to perform a desired specific action. In the case of finding backlinks, you may perform the following steps that help boost your site’s authority.
- Choose the Backlink Audit tool, which will require you to configure the settings depending on the scope of the audit.
- After the tool has completed the audit, select the “Target Pages” tab.
- Choose the tab “Target URL Error.”
- Then choose the active keywords. The final panel will display all the external links pointing to a specific page on your site.
How To Boost Link Equity?
You can boost the link juice on your website in two ways. The first method is getting as many external links as possible on a particular page, and the other is making good use of internal links.
Acquire External Links from Other Sites
External links have more weight than internal links where link juice is concerned, so focus on these backlinks to improve your page. You can verify the quality of an external link and determine the strength of a particular link using a link analysis tool.
Ahrefs and Semrush are tools that can verify the quality of an external link. SEO experts recommend using link analysis software tools to determine relevant links from broken links and no follow links to pass link equity.
Utilise Internal Links
Even though internal links are not as effective as external links, you can use these links to pass link juice to any of your pages that do not perform well. You can do this using the following steps:
- Use a link analysis tool to identify which pages on your site have a high domain rating.
- Using the same method, determine if you have any dead or no follow pages.
- Link the authoritative pages to low-ranking ones to boost their performance using internal links. You can use either contextual links or footer links when linking a high-value page to another URL.
How To Maintain Link Equity?
To secure your website’s domain authority, you should conduct tasks that help link equity. You can do this by performing any or all of the following guidelines:
Fix Broken Links
Broken links are backlinks that take the user to a 404 Not Found status page. Using a link analysis tool, such as Ahref’s Best by Links report, you can fix broken links by replacing them with high-value relevant links or removing them completely.
In the case of internal links, determine what makes them broken. You may correct any typographical errors or use a 301 Redirect status to fix a broken internal link.
Create Quality Content
Create content worth linking to improve and maintain the link juice in your website. This technique proves valuable if you are looking for link-building opportunities. You can do that by following these steps:
- Find a broken or dead page with quality backlinks.
- Recreate the content from that broken page by improving it.
- Contact the users linked to that broken page and request them to link to your page, which is a better resource.
While some bloggers argue that having quality backlinks is the best approach to gaining link equity, SEO experts recommend creating quality content instead. This technique does not just help boost link authority in your website, but it can also improve your website’s backlink profile and link authority. Creating content worth linking is key to promoting expertise and trustworthiness, which is essential in gaining the first-page ranking on Google.
Well-designed Internal Linking Structure
Though external links pass more juice than internal links, you should still consider the latter. You can use internal links to pass link value to a low-ranking page. Apart from using valuable and relevant links, this internal linking strategy can improve the performance of every URL on your website.
Avoid Harmful Backlinks
Blackhat SEO tactics refer to users’ unethical practices to improve page rankings. Using toxic or harmful backlinks belongs in this category. Some known backlinking methods include the following:
- Links are sponsored or paid links and lack identifying attributes
- Links from sites constructed with the sole intention of linking out
- Links pointing to non-indexed sites
- Links from other websites that bear no relevance to the niche topic
- Links assigned to the footer of a website
Using or engaging in these backlinks may prove detrimental to your site. Google might penalise or put down a site that contains harmful internal or external links.
Link equity or link juice is vital to your website because it directly affects its page ranking and domain authority. Obtaining link juice requires SEO techniques, such as link-building strategies, because this method helps pass value and authority to other pages, thus improving web traffic and search engine ranking.
To pass all that link juice to another site or page, you should know the link equity factors that are known to influence the link value of a particular page or site.
Boosting and maintaining the link juice of a website requires techniques that go hand in hand since you are dealing with external and internal links all the time. Using link analysis tools can help you find and fix links that could prove detrimental to your site’s link equity.
In this case, you should use internal and external linking strategies that improve your site’s value and pass link equity from one page to another. Moreover, practice methods that are key to maintaining link authority, like creating valuable content and avoiding black hat link-building practices.