To conquer Google search results, it's no longer about having stellar content. It’s about strategically constructing the links leading to that content — and that’s where link equity comes in.
Link equity is a search engine ranking factor that determines the value a backlink brings to your website. This link value isn't just handed out freely; it's linked to the quality of the website doing the linking, among other things.
In this post, we’ll delve into what link equity means, how to gauge it, and how to wield it like a pro in your link-building strategy.
Link equity, sometimes called "link juice," is a ranking signal that measures respect among web pages. When one webpage links to another, it's like a glowing recommendation from one website to another.
The respect or value it gives depends on a few things. First, it looks at the webpage doing the linking. Is it a big shot in its field? Is it a trusted source? The more respected it is, the more value it passes on.
Next, it checks if the link is coming from inside the website (internal) or from another website (external). Both internal and external links can spread this link juice.
Link equity can also boost a page's PageRank. The more links from important and relevant pages, the higher its popularity climbs.
You can check out the quality of your backlinks with the help of SEOLeverage and its wide array of SEO tools.
Link equity matters because it affects PageRank, and PageRank decides how high or low a webpage ranks in Google's search results.
Back then, Larry Page, one of Google's co-founders, considered backlinks citations in scholarly papers — the more citations, the more authoritative the paper.
So, he applied that to web pages to show how reputable a website was in the eyes of others. Larry shared his genius idea with Scott Hassan, who coded up the first version of Google, and PageRank was born.
PageRank counts the number and determines the quality of links pointing to a page to know how important that website is. The idea is that if lots of important and reputable websites link to you, you must be a big deal, too.
These days, Google uses tons of metrics to rank websites other than how many links your website receives. But backlinks are still very relevant, as every backlink acts as a recommendation. It passes a bit of link equity to your site, making Google think highly of your site.
The more link equity a page gets, the more Google boosts its chances of showing up near the top when people search for stuff.
Some links are more powerful than others. So, when you're building links, you want high-quality links that make a difference.
But link equity isn't just one straightforward number. The amount of equity or link juice a link pours out depends on the following:
Website authority is like street cred in SEO. High-domain authority websites pass more link equity with their external links.
But your link equity might be less impressive if you get links from new websites. Still, if the link makes sense in context, it can give you a little boost.
In the past, folks tried to game the system by piling up hundreds of shady backlinks, and their pages rocketed up Google's rankings.
Fortunately, Google became wiser with this shady trick and started looking at relevance. They now check if the content linking to your site fits. They also examine the linking page and anchor text to see if they match the destination page’s content.
To pass link equity, your web page has to be on that map — meaning Google can't be blocked from indexing it.
If another site links to your page, but you've blocked Google with a robots.txt file, that link's a no-go.
Search engines don’t care if a link is in the main content, header, or footer links. What matters is that the link and the anchor text match what's on the linked page.
However, links in the main content tend to pass more link juice.
If you add too many links on one page, each link gets tinier, and your pages might not get enough juice.
So, go easy on the links and prioritize quality over quantity.
Publish top-notch content because when you create something unique, other websites naturally want to share it.
Remember, external links pack more SEO punch, so focus on content other sites will eagerly link to.
Links from high-quality websites are like gold, passing more link juice.
Before you build a new link, check out the site's PageRank or Domain Authority score to check its quality first.
These are links from a page on your site to another. Internal linking might not have the same link juice as external links, but they're still vital for your site's overall link equity.
Drop some internal links in your content to give your pages a little link love.
Broken links point to pages that don't exist anymore.
If you spot broken links on other websites that used to point to your pages, reach out to the website owner. Politely ask them to replace those links with new ones to your site for an instant link equity boost.
Low-quality links from spammy or sketchy websites can harm your search engine rankings in Google and other search engines.
If you spot them, you've got two choices: ask the site owner to take them down or use Google's disavow tool to disown those bad links.
And if you’re not getting the results that you want, book a call with SEOLeverage to help you bring your SEO strategy on the right track.