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What is Link Juice and how to optimize it to improve SEO

Link juice | 

In web positioning, the links between different websites are highly relevant. For example, if a website is pointed by many links from pages with great prestige and authority in Google, it will get better positions in the SERPs since those links transfer part of their strength to indicate the importance of the site.

Spreading this authority in an optimal way among the different pages of the site is what is known as the link juice strategy.

Table of content

What is link juice?

The link juice is an SEO technique that consists of transferring authority from one page to another, in order to help improve your web positioning.

The link juice can be transferred through internal links and external links, so it is very important to take this into account in link-building strategies and interlinking that are implemented on a website.

The main functions of the link juices are:

  • Strengthen internal linking to offer Google and users a better organization and hierarchy of content.
  • Redirect users to specific content on the site, offering them valuable information that improves their user experience and the usability of the site.
  • Transfer authority between the different contents of the web.

One of the most important points that must be taken into account in a link juice strategy is to optimize the link well so as not to waste part of the authority that is transferred. Bad optimization is one of the main mistakes in this type of strategy.

SEO factors that affect the Link Juice of a link

There are different factors that determine the value or link juice of a link.

Link quality

One of the key factors in a link juice strategy is that the source website has a good reputation or authority. In this way, a greater transfer of value will be generated between the links.

Link relevance

It is about whether the link is related to theme or content (relationship between the themes of the websites of origin and destination of the link). For example, if from a mobile phone website you link to a case manufacturer, the link is relevant and the transmission of value will be higher.

Number of links

In addition to the quality and relevance of the link, the number of links will also be important on the authority or value that is transferred.

Nofollow tag

Although at first the links with this tag were ignored by Google, currently they are considered when distributing the link juice, although at a limited level.

Location of the links

Another relevant factor that often goes unnoticed when optimizing link juice is the location of the link in the content. For example, the same authority of a link that is in the sidebar is not transmitted, as if it is within the content of the web itself.

Access errors

When removing or updating content it is important to note that if proper redirects are not performed, old content can present pages with 404 error messages, resulting in a poor user experience. These error pages may be losing some valuable points for their inbound links if a 301 redirect is not performed.

Anchor text

The anchor text is the text that is included in the link and has great value for SEO in a link juice strategy. If the keyword is found in the anchor text, Google will be able to associate it with the search intentions, showing it in better positions on its results pages.

When optimizing the link juice it is important to include the appropriate keywords in the anchor texts of the links.

Types of link juice

We can differentiate between two different types of link juice:

1. External link juice

It consists of transmitting the value of the link to pages outside the site, something that Google values positively in two defined situations.

  • When you link to a website with a similar theme because it is possible to provide the user with more valuable information.
  • When linking to websites with different themes, but it is indicated in the HTML of the link that it is a link that should not be taken into account for web positioning (no-follow).

2. Internal link juice

This technique consists of optimizing the internal linking of a website to ensure that the pages with the worst web positioning acquire authority from those that enjoy a better positioning.

It is common that in internal link juice strategies, the lower-ranking pages have a greater number of inbound links than other better-positioned URLs on the site.

How to improve SEO with link juice

Spreading the link juice in an optimized way on different pages of the website will improve the global authority of the site and that of many of its URLs, achieving better positions in the Google SERPs.

By optimizing the internal links to efficiently distribute the value of the links, the structure of the web will be much better and users will be able to navigate the site more comfortably and easily. This improvement in the user experience will be reflected in better web positioning.

4 Tips for dispensing link juice

Below, we offer a series of recommendations to be able to distribute the link juice optimally on a website or online store.

1. Links from well-positioned pages

With the Google Search Console tools, it is very easy to identify those pages of the site that have better positioning and a greater number of links starters. Selecting these pages is essential to establish a link juice strategy and add links from them to the pages that you want to position in a better place.

It is important to make these types of links in a natural way and without interfering with the user experience, using the anchor texts of the links with the appropriate keywords.

For example, if we have three well-positioned URLs, and we add new content to the site that we want to position quickly, natural links must be created from those URLs to the new content.

2. Prioritize the organization

For a link juice strategy, having a good organization is the most important thing. Websites start with few links so it is easier to maintain a good internal link taking into account the best-positioned pages to link them to the worst-positioned ones.

Over time, a website will have a large number of internal links, which if they do not follow a proper order and hierarchy, will be a tangle of links that is difficult to decipher. Optimizing link juice in this environment is extremely difficult.

3. Optimize the robots tag

With this tag you can prevent a page from being indexed, something that is very useful to avoid that pages of little value or with thin content (low-quality content), receive an unnecessary weight or value.

With this tag, pages will be eliminated in the distribution of the link juice, while optimizing the crawl budget o crawl budget, to better position those pages that really add value to the user.

4. Remove broken links

Even if a link is broken because the URL it points to no longer exists, it still counts towards the link juice calculation. For this reason, it is a priority to always eliminate the pages that are showing errors, or at least, solve a problem with a suitable redirect.

Fixing broken links will also help improve web positioning, by preventing users from ending up on these types of pages and seeing their user experience ruined.

Common mistakes related to Link Juice

Let’s look at some of the common mistakes made on a website that prevent link juice from being distributed optimally.

Concentrate all the links in the home

Many link-building strategies make the mistake of centering all incoming links on the domain or home of the site. In this way, the link juice is complicated by having to link to all the content from the home page itself, something unfeasible since a website grows and has enough content.

To avoid this error, you must select well the URLs for which link-building strategies are implemented, distributing the authority between different pages, which makes it easier later to distribute the link juice internally.

Put interlinking in the background

Given the enormous importance of external linking to achieve increase the domain authority of a website, It is common for internal linking to take second place in many SEO positioning strategies.

This practice turns out to be a big mistake, because it will be wasting all the authority and value that is achieved with the efforts in link building, with a poor distribution of the link juice between the different URLs of the site.

Thinking that the source page loses authority

The concept of authority transfer refers to the passing of a numerical value of the authority of a page, towards another to which it links. Many people think that in this transfer the authority of the source page is lost, something that is not true. The page that links to an external website maintains its value or authority intact, what it transfers is the numerical value of the authority.

The no follow tag does not transfer authority

Although long ago it was true that no-follow links did not transfer authority, nowadays they do transfer an authority value (in less quantity than is transmitted with dofollow links, yes), since Google decided on this change to avoid abuses and bad practices in this regard.

Tools to detect Link Juice errors

Let’s look at some useful tools for dealing with a website’s link juice.

  • Screaming frog. An SEO tool that allows a deep audit of a site to identify very important information such as internal links, external links, canonical links, hreflang links (international URLs), among others.
  • Yoast SEO. This WordPress plugin offers useful information about each of the site’s pages and posts. In the WordPress administration panel, you can go to the posts and pages sections, to discover the number of internal links that each of them has. Thanks to this information, a better distribution of the internal linking of the site can be made.
  • Broken link Checker. It is another WordPress plugin that allows you to identify all the links on a website that lead to error pages (identification of broken links).

Link juice is the flow of authority or value that circulates between the internal links of a website. Optimizing this juice of links is essential to pass the authority of the websites with the best positioning, to other URLs that do not have enough strength, but that they want to position.