Video 14: How Link Juice will Make or Break Your SEO
Hi; it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods. I want to talk to you today about a concept used in search engines called “Linkjuice,” which is a way to essentially evaluate links and the currency websites exchange through links. So let me explain a little bit about what it is and how it works. Imagine you have a website. Imagine that your website – you’re trying to get ranked on Google and you have a competitor who has a very similar website, similar content, targeting similar phrases, for all practical purposes, very much the same website. So search engines like Google need a way to differentiate between these two websites and decide which one they should give more priority in search engine results. And so imagine that ‑ we’ll call this one website A and this website B. Now imagine there’s a third website, website C. And imagine that website C creates a link to website A. Now, website C has some currency that it can pass out through links and this is Linkjuice. So imagine that website C passes its currency, and we’ll say it has 10 cents of currency it can give. So now suddenly, website A has created a reserve of Linkjuice of 10 cents, whereas website B has gained none, no Linkjuice.
Search engines can look at this and they can say, “Okay, website A, more Linkjuice is being passed to it, we should rank it higher.” But then imagine what happens when website B owner contacts website C and asks for a link back, as well. Now, we have a link to both sites, and suddenly website C isn’t passing 10 cents to website A. It has 10 cents to give, so it’s passing 5 to each, and they’re both similar.
So continuing on, imagine that each of these websites, A and B, go out and get links in websites D and E. Now again, both of these are passing Linkjuice to A and B, but in order to figure out how much they are passing, we need to actually go beyond and see who is linking to them.
Now, let’s say that website D has two websites linking to it each giving it 10 cents, and website E has three each giving it 10 cents. Now, when we add this up, this gives website D a total of 20 cents of Linkjuice to pass forward and website E has a total of 30 cents to pass forward. And so what’s happened is even though they had the same number of links, each one had links from two sites, website A is now generating 25 cents worth of Linkjuice and website D has 35 cents worth of Linkjuice. Both websites have links from two sites, but now search engines are probably going to pay priority to website B because they are going to see it has more currency to pass out.
The same thing is true downstream. Let’s say that each of these sites links to another page. Because website A has 25 cents of currency, it’s going to pass 25 cents worth of Linkjuice down to this page and website B is going to pass 35 cents. So not only will website B itself get higher ranking, it’s going to pass even more Linkjuice to the pages beneath it and so they’ll get higher ranking. This is essentially how search engines sort of count authority and distribute ranking based on links.
I talk sometimes about how you need to have more links, but not all links are created equal and this is essentially how it works. You can imagine where you can see hugely disproportionate amounts of Linkjuice. I always talk about the New York Times being very linked. It’s going to have probably millions of dollars worth of currency here versus the Seattle Times might have a couple of thousand dollars worth of currency here, and so a link from both of them is going to have a big impact in a very different way.
Now also, we can see that the number of links from the page has a big impact in how much Linkjuice is passed on. If somebody were then to go back and get another link on site E, this would cut the Linkjuice that site B down to half at the 15, and suddenly it’s not passing 35 points or credits, its passing 25 points or credits. So all of the pages linked from site B are going to lose ranking in Google.
So this is something to keep attention – pay attention to generating Linkjuice that not only do you need to get links in, but you need to get good links from high quality websites that they themselves have a lot of Linkjuice to pass on. Also try to find websites that aren’t going to dilute their power by having hundreds of links from them. This is why directories are losing authority where you might find a directory that has 2,000 links on one page. Imagine that no matter how much Linkjuice that directory has to pass on, it gets very diluted and not much trickles down to the sites below it.
That’s Linkjuice; it’s an important concept. It comes into play in your link building strategies and it can make a very big difference in your search engine rankings. That’s what I’ve got for today. Again, I’d really be interested in what you want to learn from us, so take a second if you can just put an idea or question in the comments and I’ll make sure we get to it in the future screen cast. Thank you.