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George Panayides

Digital Marketing Specialist

What Is Link Juice?

Understanding The Power Of Link Juice In SEO.

Link juice is a term used by many link builders and SEO experts in the industry, but what exactly is it? How does it work and why should you even care?

Well, quite frankly link juice might make a significant difference in the ranking of your pages across your site. It will also have a direct impact on page rankings with the more link juice a page has, the better the rankings tend to be. 

Although link juice is a metric used by many, I haven’t yet seen a tool that is able to calculate the link juice based on a formula and put it down as a score or number. In theory, link juice is still roughly estimated and calculated by essentially an educated guess. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not important or making a difference. I’ve seen first hand the power on link juice and how it can increase traffic and rankings to a single page, and overall website. 

So, let’s look to explore exactly what link juice is, what factors make up link juice, how link juice works and finally a few strategies you can use to distribute your link juice across your site. 

Definition of Link Juice

Link juice is a term used by SEO experts to describe the value or authority that one webpage passes to another webpage, through hyperlinks (or links).


How Does Link Juice Work?

Ok, so link juice works through backlinks. When a reputable site links to your page, it passes on a portion of its authority. The stronger the authority of the linking page, the more valuable the link juice. 

This is then a signal to search engines that your content is trustworthy and valuable, which can improve your page’s visibility in search results. The more link juice going to your page, the more authority it carries. 

Link juice actually works in tiers as well. When a website links to your page, it’s not just passing its own authority to you. It also passes a bit of the authority from the pages that link to it as well. I explain more in my tiered link building blog here. 

Understanding how link juice works is useful because it helps you target better links for your website. You aim for links from pages that already receive strong link juice from other sites instead of just getting any old link. 

diagram of link juice being passed through one site to the other
Simple link juice analogy: Think of link juice as water flowing through a network of pipes. Each website is a tank, and hyperlinks are pipes connecting them.  When a full tank (a reputable website) connects a pipe to a less full tank (another website), some of its water (authority) flows into the less full tank, raising its level (improving its search ranking).


What Are The Factors Influencing Link Juice?

Ok, so there are several factors that can influence the potency of link juice, and understanding these can help you craft a more effective SEO strategy. You can use 3rd party tools like Ahrefs to get more insights into these metrics for a specific page. 

The authority of the source page

A link from a high-authority page, like a major news outlet or an educational institution will make up a large factor to the link juice they carry. Now, the authority of a page is a key indicator of the quality and trustworthiness of the content.

As a result, a higher quality and more trustworthy page will carry a stronger link juice. It’s worth noting that high authority sites are also more selective with their links, and they won’t just link to any site meaning there are less links per page. 

So if you do get a link from a high authority site it’s going to be unique which contributes to it carrying a larger amount of link juice. 

report displaying the page authority ranking

The authority of the linking domain

The overall authority of the domain that’s linking to you also matters. A backlink from a domain with a strong reputation is more beneficial than one from a lesser-known site. 

This is always kinda obvious though. The higher the domain authority, the more link juice it will pass through. This goes back to the tiered link building, where a small percentage of the site’s links will pass juice through to you. 

report displaying the rating of the authority of a websites domain

Relevance of the link

The relevance of the linking content to your own content is crucial. Simply put, if your content is totally different to the content of the linking page, then it’s not going to look natural or pass through as much link juice. 

If you get a link from a page that’s closely related to your niche, then this will carry more weight than a random link from an unrelated site. Therefore, the relevance of the link does affect the amount of link juice it will carry. 

flow diagram showing the relevance of a link from the anchor text to the linking site

Anchor text of the link

The clickable text in a link is known as the anchor text. This should be relevant to the linked page’s content, but not over optimised. This text can help search engines understand what the page and link is about.

This will also contribute towards the strength of the link juice and if the text isn’t very relevant, it may pass less link juice through whereas if the anchor text is highly relevant, it will pass more link juice through. 

report showing the anchor text optimisation of a link

Number of outbound links on page

If the source page has links to heaps of other sites, then the value of the link juice is diluted. That’s because the link juice of the page is being shared across all of the links in the content. 

It’s better to have a backlink from a page with only a few outbound links. This way you are getting a bulk of the page link juice passed through to you. 

It’s quite easy to see how this will affect the strength of the link juice because it’s equally shared. Pages with more links have to share more juice, pages with less will give more juice to each link. 

Link placement on page

Finally, the placement of a link will affect the amount of link juice it carries. Links placed within the main body content of a page are generally more effective and carry more juice compared to those in the footer or sidebar. 

Placements can certainly affect how much value the link juice passes on. If you are link building, aim to get links in from content as header and footer links might be seen as spam because they link from every single page. 

diagram highlighting the best areas to get link placements vs the worst

You Can Collect Link Juice Through Link Building Strategies

By collect link juice, I mean pass link juice through to your website and pages through link building. As a specialist in link building, I’ve actually seen how much this can positively affect the rankings of your pages. 

You should spend some time focusing on creating high-quality content that naturally attracts backlinks (more details in my future of link building post here). Then back this up by actively engaging in outreach to relevant sites to link to your content. By landing these links, you are collecting link juice to your page.

Then, you can silo the link juice you have collected through to your most important pages using an internal link building strategy. Again, this is part of my tiered link building strategy I use to increase my organic rankings. 

For me, this is probably the easiest way to get more link juice to your site. Create content, outreach for links, funnel the link juice through. You’ll see a sitewide ranking difference after 6 months. 

diagram showing a web page collecting link juice

Only Do-Follow Links Carry Link Juice, But Sometimes No Follow Can Pass Through

Traditionally, only do-follow links are able to pass through link juice. These are the types of links that tell search engines to consider the link as a ‘vote of confidence’ for the target page. 

However, in the past few years I’ve actually seen studies and reports on Facebook showing that no-follow links are making a difference. 

This is then backed up in a post by Google called “Evolving No-Follow”. This goes on to suggest that no-follow links serve as a hint to Google to help them decide on the rankings. 

To me, this probably suggests it passed through a very small amount of link juice. I also heard from some SEO experts in the SEO Signals Facebook Group that no-follow links can pass through link juice, as long as both pages already have organic traffic. 

This is very interesting and certainly something to consider. No one has to get upset about no-follow links anymore, as coming into 2024 they might actually make a difference and pass through link juice after all. 

Link Juice Is Passed Through Your Website Via Internal Link Building

Internal link building is a strategy I always emphasise to my clients, and I also mentioned it briefly above as well. It’s a very powerful way to distribute link juice throughout your website. 

By creating internal links from high-authority pages to other important pages, you’re effectively funnelling that authority to where it’s needed most. This was first created and called the reverse silo by SEO expert Kyle Roof

This is what happens: Links juice from the link to your page is passed through internal links on your page to your most important pages. This funnels link juice and help your sales pages rank better. 

If you are link building, then do not forget about your internal link building strategy (I’ve covered this in more detail in my internal link building article here). This might get overlooked by many, and could make a big difference in all of your page ranking across your site. 

diagram showing the distribution of page authority

What Type Of Links Should You Go For?

From my experience, the quality of the linking site is crucial. A link from a highly reputable site within my industry carries more weight and passes more link juice than a link from a lesser-known or unrelated site. 

That’s why I focus on creating content that resonates with high quality sites that want to rank for my content.  In a perfect world of SEO, you could get links from sites with perfect link profiles, so the link juice is powerful and trustworthy. 

However, sometimes that might not be the case. So consider auditing link profiles and trying to avoid building links from websites that have a spammy or unnatural link profile. Remember, they will pass a very small amount of link juice from their links through to you. 

As you probably know, quality over quantity when it comes to link building simply because of the history of spam behind it all. 

Is Link Juice Still Going To Matter In 2024 And Beyond?

Yes, in my opinion link juice is still going to matter in link building and SEO in the future. I actually think there could be a chance that these metrics come back as a little bit stronger now that AI content has blown up.

The principles of trust, authority, and relevance that underpin the concept of link juice are timeless for search engine algorithms to understand the quality of content. Especially now Google has a larger focus on EEAT

While the exact mechanisms and weightings may evolve, the fundamentals of link juice will likely remain the same to influence how sites are ranked. 

It’s essential to stay informed about the latest developments in SEO, but the importance of link juice isn’t likely to diminish anytime soon. That’s not saying it may not happen in the future, but I think that’s very unlikely. 

screenshot of googles eeat guidelines


So there you have it. Everything you can even imagine around link juice plus my insights and forecast on the future of the metric coming into 2024. One related blog you might find interesting is my article on “is SEO worth it anymore”. 

Now you can confidently start optimising your link juice and distributing it across your site to get better rankings. Don’t forget to focus on quality link juice over quantity. That will make the biggest impact on your SEO over all. 

Take into consideration the factors that make up link juice and you will likely be able to brainstorm a good strategy to capture links that are high in authority, trustworthiness and quality. 

Anyway, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on link juice and if it’s worth it in link building.


About The Author

George Panayides is a digital marketing specialist, focusing on SEO, Google ads, Social media marketing, website development and link building. He’s looking to help other freelancers or business owners become a master in their industry and move towards a better, more successful future.

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Hey, it's George. I'm giving away my marketing secrets (because apparently, I'm just that nice 🙄). You can thank me by linking to my content ha ha.

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