Link equity is an important measurement for a range of search engine optimization tasks and something that is vital for link building as a whole. As a measurement of link strength, it forms the basis of any link’s overall SEO potential and value.
But what is link equity, and how do links pass link equity as a way of boosting SEO?
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Link equity, or “link juice,” measures the value of a link in terms of SEO. The more value a link carries, the more of a boost it provides to a site’s search engine rankings.
When links from one site connect to another, they pass link equity determined by a range of different factors. This link juice is a search engine ranking factor, meaning that many search platforms take link equity into account when deciding how to rank a search result.
What Does Link Equity Do?
Search platforms want authoritative sites that have a lot of trust placed behind them.
Link equity is basically a way to measure the trust that a linking site puts in the linked page they are targeting, giving the target site more link juice and, therefore, more authority from one page.
In simple terms, good external links from trusted sites make your own web pages more trusted. Google and other search engines are more likely to rank these pages higher due to their increased domain authority – an overall score of how valuable and trustworthy your site is.
How Do Links Pass Link Equity?
When one site links to another, the linking page will pass link equity to the linked page; the amount passed is based on the linking site, along with various other factors such as relevance.
While all links can pass link equity, most search platforms only measure link equity from one link per pair of target and sender sites. This happens with any link placement that is not tagged as “nofollow,” a tag that makes the link unable to pass link juice.
Your search engine page rank involves a lot of different factors. There are many things you can tweak on a web page that allow it to rank higher than other websites on search results, and the link equity your site earns is one of them.
Having higher link equity means that you rank higher in search results for relevant topics. This means more attention, more traffic, and a wider audience for your own site – as long as search platforms see your site as relevant and trustworthy.
Link equity is basically a way to measure how many sites put trust in your own. When you acquire link equity from a link, search engines see it as a digital “thumbs up” from the linking page – which does not just increase link equity but also boosts your SEO rankings as a whole.
Link equity improves the search ranking power of the destination page, allowing it to boost the page rank of any given web pages directly.
While a single link might not have that much impact, a large number of links from trusted and relevant pages really works.
This makes link building efforts invaluable for anybody trying to rank websites above their competitors since it gives the linked page more of a boost in a specific direction.
Ranking Sites Higher
Naturally, more link juice also translates to a site that ranks higher overall. Since link equity is a measurement of trust, it also boosts factors like domain authority, which represents your site’s overall authority, value, and power as a whole.
While the ranking algorithm is very complex for most search engines, getting more (and better) links will almost always boost your rankings in search results if you do this correctly.
More link juice in the right places can push your site into search results for relevant topics much more often.
This naturally means that your site appears for people within that specific niche or market more often, even if they are not actually clicking on your page.
If you get the right boosts to your link power under the right contexts, your site can begin to appear for a much larger target market or, at the very least, appear more often for the audience that you already target.
While link equity might sound simple in theory, getting more link equity is not as simple as building more internal and external links until your site sees a boost in rankings.
Not only can some links offer incredibly low link juice (or even damage your overall rankings), but you can’t just get links from any site.
Relevance is key: valuable links that are not relevant to your site (or even the pages they link to) can be a huge waste of potential.
The link value of a page is not set in stone. An incredibly respected and popular site will not pass on much link juice if the target page is irrelevant to the page the link is coming from.
This means that it is important to keep things relevant when you build a link from one page to another. Link equity works best within a single niche, where the websites are relevant to one another, and both the linking and linked page are also focused on similar topics.
Quality, Not Quantity
How many links you build does matter, and there is no such thing as too many links.
However, link quantity is usually not as important as link quality – this does not just mean that you need to keep the link relevant but also that the outgoing links come from a good site.
Spammy links from low-quality websites are not going to contribute much to your overall page authority, which means that the linking page does not offer much to the recipient site. Quality links – those from trusted and authoritative websites – are the ones that matter most.
Simply spamming links from one site will not work. Search platforms only care about one link from one specific site to another specific site, so even if you have dozens of links from one website in your website’s backlink profile, only one will count.
More links from a range of sites and topics provide the most link equity on a large-scale basis since you are covering more topics and gaining extra link juice.
Context is important. While you will not get less link juice if your link is not placed in content that directly uses a specific term, you always want to place links in content that has topical relevance to the site it is going to.
Anchor text matters for this. The anchor text is the text that the link is placed over, specifically meaning the pieces of text the user would click to follow the link. If the anchor text is not surrounded by anything giving it actual context, that link becomes less valuable overall.
Not all links are handled equally. For example, in some cases, footer links in a blog post will be valued lower than those in the main body of a larger article specifically because there is less content there to provide extra context.
Any page that still uses the HTTP status instead of HTTPS sees a natural drop in link juice since HTTP is much less safe and very outdated. This massively cuts down on the potential link equity that the site can provide, if any.
Internal links matter as much as external links when link equity is involved, just in different ways. Internal links come from within the site that they are pointing to, so naturally, they can’t carry authority from another site.
However, internal links do matter. They help both Google’s crawler/spider bots explore your site, which can allow them to check link juice more effectively before their “crawl budget” is used up and they stop indexing your site.
In other words, having internal links allows for proper navigation, which benefits both search engines and your regular human visitors. Proper internal linking is important for keeping your site architecture easy to navigate, which is one of the other ranking factors that many search engines care about.
Nofollow links do not pass link equity. This means that avoiding no-follow links is vital during link building since they have even less impact than internal linking does and provide no benefit whatsoever.
This means that they are not even considered when your site is being ranked on search engine results pages and have absolutely zero value as far as SEO goes. However, they do still draw in organic traffic from users who click on the links.
These links provide no benefit to other pages directly, so the SEO community tries to avoid them whenever possible.
While link equity might be a measurement that you never even noticed before, Google noticed, and it will have run through the ranking calculations on all of the other pages on your site in the meantime.
Whether you think things like link equity and domain rating are worth targeting as a top priority or not, it is important to understand that they are always going to be factored into your rankings. If you want to boost your search presence, then it is important to focus on them eventually.
Searcharoo is a Link Building & Content Marketing company run by SEO’s based in the UK.
Our goal from the start has been to provide premium links and content services, at fair and affordable prices.