What is Link Juice?

linkjuiceGetting backlinks to a site is an important part of the search engine optimization (SEO) process and helping a site get all its pages indexed in the search engines and ranking well in them. Link Juice is the term used for how much benefit a link passes on, as not all links are equal. The term was first coined by a web marketing consultant, Greg Boser. Google’s version of link juice, is approximately the same as PageRank and Bing have Page Score, but it is not known how much the link juice factors into this score.

A link is assumed to pass more link juice if:

  • it does not have the nofollow attribute added
  • the page the link is on is indexed by the search engines
  • it is not detected by the search engines as a paid link to manipulate the rankings
  • the link is not part of a link exchange
  • the number of links on the page that the link is on are low
  • the page that the link is on, has a lot of link juice pointing at it
  • the link was editorially given and not a self promotional easily gained link
  • the page that the link is on is relevant and on the same topic as the page that the link is pointing at
  • the anchor text of the link is the same topic as the page that the link is pointing at
  • the site that the link is on is recognized as an authority site by the search engines
  • the link is in the context of some text that the pages the link is pointing at is about
  • a page with a higher mozRank and mozTrust is likly to pass more link juice

Links that do not have the above characteristics are still assumed to be useful to help a site, but they will just not have as much link juice or be as beneficial as those links that have all of the above characteristics.

Having said all that, I picked up this interesting comment from a blog post on SEOmoz:

I remember a site clinic several years back featuring a Google’s webspam chief, Matt Cutts. He was reviewing a site’s link profile on stage using an internal tool and commented that while Google saw several hundred links to the site, only three (yes 3 out of hundreds!) were passing link equity. Cearly, the search giant does a tremendous amount of filtering on the web’s link graph, so don’t presume to be sure which links are passing value.

Which is interesting to note that not all links can be passing link juice that we assume are.

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