Link Juice: What, Why, And How To Use It

Developer surrounded by computers and stereo equipment, interconnected with cables, representing the complex network of SEO link building.

Source: Midjourney

As a business owner, you have likely heard of SEO (search engine optimization) and its importance for driving traffic to your website. 

One key aspect of SEO is link building and the concept of “link juice.” Link juice refers to the value and authority passed on to a linked-to website by the linking website. Those links are commonly referred to as “backlinks.”

This blog post will explore link juice and how to use it effectively.

1. Understanding the Essence of Link Juice

Link juice refers to the value transferred from one site to another via hyperlinks. 

The concept is straightforward: imagine that each hyperlink is “vouching” for the fact that a certain resource is legitimate, giving it a sense of credibility. This transferred value is a vital currency that can significantly enhance a website’s search engine ranking and visibility. 

Consequently, the more “link juice” a site accumulates, the more esteemed it becomes in the perspective of search engines, similar to how citations work for academic research papers.

Why Link Juice Matters

Search engines like Google evaluate your site’s authority based on the quantity and quality of incoming links. These backlinks act as endorsements, and link juice is the strength of that endorsement. 

A website with domain authority and a good reputation will pass on more value through its backlinks to other websites. 

Regardless of your content’s quality, whether hand-crafted or generated using AI tools, link juice can make or break your site’s performance on the search engine results page (SERPs). Understanding this dynamic is crucial for any digital marketer or SEO practitioner.

2. The Mechanics of Link Juice

Imagine if the internet, the “World Wide Web,” had completely independent websites, none of them referring to one another, and not a single website quotes statistics from any source. 

How would you know which website is a legitimate source and which ones are less credible? 

This is where the mechanics of link juice come in. By creating a web of references, you can derive authority using algorithms. The algorithm can rank which resources are more relevant and helpful when returning the best search results.

A complex network of interconnected nodes with glowing connections, symbolizing the intricate web of link building and the transfer of link juice in SEO.

Source: Midjourney

Domain and Page Authority

Link juice enhances a webpage’s authority and contributes to the broader domain authority. Websites like Forbes and the NYC Times have super high domain ratings and high social proof. This makes them very lucrative to be featured with extra benefits:

  • Improve your site’s authority—getting a link from a high-authority site, like the New York Times, shows that you can be a trusted source and provide valuable information to readers. 
  • “As seen on [website name]” – Additional social proof you can list on your website’s main page or link to an example article you wrote when contacting new websites to write a guest post.
  • Potentially gain traffic—If your guest post touches on a popular subject, you can benefit from receiving additional traffic through the blog post featured on their website.

SEO metrics overview for Forbes.com, showcasing high domain rating, backlink profile, organic search statistics, and paid search data.

Source: Ahrefs.com

3. Internal vs. External Links

In SEO, both internal and external links are important for improving a website’s overall ranking. External links acquire the link juice, and internal links distribute link juice across your site. Understanding both types of links is essential for maximizing SEO results.

External Links

External links pointing to your site increase your site and specific pages. Improving the authority increases your chances of ranking higher. These links start the flow of link juice to your website. 

The Importance of Effective Internal Linking

To leverage link juice, you need to structure your internal links effectively. Simply writing whatever blog post ideas pop into your mind will cause chaos. 

You need to plan your content:

  • Create a pillar post—this would be a broad post that can easily be referenced. For pillar content, I like to use “Statistics,” “Ideas,” and “Trends” type articles. From these blog posts, you will internally link to other pages on your website. For example, in a gym niche, a post can be “100 Workout Statistics Backed By Research.”
  • Specific listicles – articles in the form of lists are easy to consume and very effective. Here, you can link to articles about more specific terms, for example, “7 Best Dumbells For Your Homegym”
  • How-to guides—Informational content will attract a broader audience to the website, so you can create multiple pieces for each targeted area to train “5 Best Dumbell Exercises For [x]” and link internally from your main article.
  • Specific comparisons – these are more transactional and oriented towards a purchasing decision. Following our example, it can be “Dumbell A or Dumbell B – Which Should You Get?” and internal links can be made to and from this article

Simply sitting down and mapping out the relationship of your content is an effective way to create effective internal links. 

4. High-Quality vs. Low-Quality Backlinks

The quality of backlinks is what determines the strength of the link juice. A backlink from a well-established site in your niche can supercharge your SEO efforts and boost your website’s authority.

Minimalistic scale with blue and orange bowls, symbolizing the balance of quality and quantity in link building for SEO.

Source: Midjourney

Quality and Quantity

Curate a profile of diverse, valuable backlinks from various authoritative sources. This mix will give your site the broadest, healthiest diet of link juice available. Multiple websites with high-quality backlinks will also guarantee stability for your website’s performance if a linking website goes down or a link is removed.

Things that constitute a quality link:

  • DR or DA – Domain ranking or authority (depending on the SEO tool used) is the domain’s rank; a higher number means more link juice has passed.
  • Traffic –  can indicate the quality of a site and play a factor in referred traffic. 
  • Relevant niche – If a website is writing about everything and anything, it would be less valuable to you than a site in your niche that is clear about what it is mainly about. Remember, search engines constantly place you in terms of what niche and category you are in when trying to show the best search results. 
  • Backlink profile – avoid sites that primarily have “spammy” links pointing to them. This would include directory sites and PBNs. 

As with every ranking system, people try to outsmart and hack their rankings, especially when financial gain is involved. Over time, search engines evolve in terms of what they classify as bad links.

5. Understanding NoFollow and DoFollow Links

Two professionals analyzing SEO performance metrics on a large dashboard, highlighting the importance of data in digital marketing strategies.

Source: Midjourney

These are the seals on the link juice bottles. NoFollow links tell search engines to disregard them for SEO purposes, whereas DoFollow links (the norm for the links we seek for our websites) actively contribute to link equity distribution.

NoFollow Links – When to Use Them

There are strategic reasons to employ NoFollow links, especially when you want to link to a site for reasons other than SEO, such as quoting statistics, affiliate links, and when doing local SEO citations.

DoFollow Links – The Core of Your Link-Building Strategy

For SEO purposes, DoFollow links are your bread and butter. They spread the link juice that search engines lap up. The location of the link on a page also matters. If it’s at the very bottom after multiple other DoFollow links, it’s less effective than being first with relatively few outbound links on the page your backlink is placed on.

6. Tools for Links management

You need the right analytics tools to savor the link juice at its finest. These tools allow you to monitor and optimize your backlink profile and find new opportunities to obtain more links to your website.

Man in orange sweater analyzing a comprehensive set of SEO and performance analytics charts, representing strategic evaluation of digital marketing data.

Source: Midjourney

External Backlink Analysis Tools

Platforms like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush offer deep dives into the quality and impact of your backlinks, you can track the impact of the links you have gotten, see whether you had a link removed, find new opportunities, and more:

    • Referring domains –  quickly viewing which websites are backlinking to you can help keep track of when posts go live as well as check your competitors for websites you can also reach out to in order to get guest posts.
  • Competitor’s Backlinks – you can dive in further than the overall domains and search for how other websites are getting linked to, which anchor text they use, and sort only by those that are DoFollow.

Internal Linking Tools

Once you understand all the aspects of internal links and backlinks, you can start optimizing your internal link structure to maximize the link juice.

You can use tools such as Screaming Frog to identify whether you have broken links or link redirections that are not working properly, view your page titles and metadata, and visualize your site structure for easier management.

As your blog grows, remembering all the blog posts you have written and published will become harder over time, and managing it in a table will become awkward. This is why tools that can automatically suggest adding internal links intelligently depending on context can help you significantly. One example is Link Whisper.

7. Link Building Best Practices

Link building is both an art and a science, combining a personal touch when reaching out and an analytical mind when analyzing results and seeking opportunities. Here are some universally acclaimed practices to get your link juice flowing freely.

Natural Link Building

The best backlinks are those that you didn’t have to ask for. Creating compelling, sharable content is a reliable way to attract these natural endorsements. Statistics articles based on data analysis and informational content that provide value can attract links when done correctly. 

Manual Outreach and Relationship Building

Natural links are scarce when starting out. Strategically targeted outreach can help build relationships that may blossom into a bouquet of backlinks. Sitting and hoping for inbound links to appear won’t get you far.

Types of Link-Building Strategies

Person holding a chain of interconnected links with a digital network background, representing the strength and connectivity in link-building strategies.

Source: Midjourney

As you begin the process of obtaining links and building your website’s authority, over time, you will notice that you have to incorporate multiple strategies depending on each website’s preferences and requirements.

Guest Posts

To discover guest post opportunities, search “write for us” + [your niche] on Google, like “write for us + Business” for business-related websites. For sites without clear submission paths, use contact-extracting tools like Apollo or Hunter to connect with content managers. You can also consider using AI email generators to craft personalized emails for guest post outreach. Be aware that some sites may charge for guest post-publication while others accept posts for free. Consider offering link placement purchases in your guest posts to offset costs or potentially earn money.

Before writing your article, ensure you request and understand the submission guidelines, including word count and the policy on DoFollow and NoFollow links. This preemptive step prevents wasting time and minimizes the need for extensive revisions, streamlining the guest posting process.

ABC Link Exchange

Leveraging indirect link exchanges can greatly speed up your SEO efforts. When you secure a guest post spot on a relevant website that allows multiple dofollow links, you can either sell these link placements to other bloggers, sparing them outreach and content creation, or include their link in your guest post, and they provide a backlink to your site from their guest posts or site, depending on its authority.

Such strategies enable you to acquire multiple backlinks from a single guest post. However, these exchanges depend on mutual trust. Therefore, it is best to operate within a closed community or with trusted contacts to ensure there are no issues.

HARO or Other Exchanges

“HARO” stands for “Help A Reporter Out.” You can sign up for daily opportunities to write content for reporters and journalists on various subjects. You would then pitch your potential topics and showcase your website for reference, landing you an article piece to write in exchange for a backlink.

8. The Anchor Text Saga

Colorful maritime-themed infographic with an anchor, representing stability and direction in the flow of digital information and link building.

Source: Midjourney

Like the flavor of a dish, the choice of anchor text can enhance or overpower the value of your backlinks, shaping the link juice that flows from them.

Balancing Relevance and Diversity

Anchor texts should provide a concise, accurate representation of the linked page. When building many links to a single page, anchor text should be varied to avoid appearing manipulative to search engines and those reading the blog. If you are linking to “best cars of 2024” but instead it leads to motorcycles, that does not make sense, and those clicking will leave immediately, indicating the low quality of the link.

Optimizing for SEO

Crafting anchor texts with relevant keywords can improve the link juice’s nutritional content, sending a clearer signal to search engine crawlers. Search engines and other analytical tools will try to figure out your niche, and having the relevant keywords linked to your website makes it much clearer and helps you rank for relevant searches.

Wrapping up

By now, you should have a better understanding of link juice, how to find quality websites, and how to get high-quality links pointing to your site using outreach, writing guest posts, and building relationships.

Ensure you properly use internal and external links to maximize your efforts toward building an authoritative site.

By incorporating all the steps and constantly looking at how to improve each one and streamline it, you will master all the methods mentioned above in no time and set on your way to having a strong dominant digital presence!

About the author

Julian Lankstead is the founder of ClickPioneer & JulianLankstead.com. He helps businesses acquire customers using cutting-edge digital marketing techniques and optimizing business processes