“Link juice” refers to the value or authority passed from one webpage to another through hyperlinks. It’s a crucial concept in SEO, as it influences how search engines rank webpages. Here are some key factors that affect the distribution of link juice:

  1. Relevance of Linking Page: Links from pages that are topically relevant to your content tend to pass more link juice.
  2. Page Authority: Pages with higher authority (often determined by metrics like PageRank or Domain Authority) pass more link juice.
  3. Number of Outbound Links: Link juice from a page is divided among all its outbound links. Fewer outbound links can mean more juice per link.
  4. Position of the Link: Links placed within the main body content tend to pass more link juice than those in footers, sidebars, or comments.
  5. Anchor Text: The clickable text of a hyperlink (anchor text) can affect how link juice is passed, especially if it includes relevant keywords.
  6. Nofollow Attribute: Links with the “nofollow” attribute do not pass link juice. This attribute is often used for paid links or untrusted content.
  7. Internal vs. External Links: Internal links (within the same website) help distribute link juice throughout the site, while external links pass juice to other domains.
  8. Link Freshness: Newer links might have more impact initially, but the value can decrease over time.
  9. Link Location on the Page: Links higher up on the page (above the fold) may pass more link juice compared to those further down.
  10. Content Quality of the Linking Page: Pages with high-quality, original content are likely to pass more link juice.
  11. Link Context: The surrounding text and context of the link can also affect the amount of link juice passed.

By optimizing these factors, you can better manage the flow of link juice to improve the SEO performance of your webpages.


The concept of “link juice” and its role in SEO has evolved significantly since the early days of search engines. Here’s a look at the evolution and maturity of link juice:

Early Days of SEO

  1. PageRank Algorithm:
    • Developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google.
    • PageRank was one of the first algorithms to use link juice as a major ranking factor.
    • It was based on the idea that links from important pages passed more value.


  1. Link Building Strategies:
    • SEO practitioners began to focus on acquiring as many backlinks as possible to manipulate PageRank.
    • Techniques like link farms, reciprocal linking, and directory submissions were common.
    • The emphasis was more on quantity than quality.
  2. Introduction of Nofollow:
    • In 2005, Google introduced the “nofollow” attribute to combat link spam.
    • Links with this attribute would not pass link juice, helping to reduce the impact of spammy links.

Late 2000s to Early 2010s

  1. Quality Over Quantity:
    • Google started emphasizing the quality of backlinks rather than sheer numbers.
    • The Penguin algorithm update in 2012 targeted websites with unnatural link profiles, penalizing those using manipulative link-building tactics.
    • The focus shifted to earning high-quality, relevant backlinks.
  2. Semantic Search:
    • Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013 introduced semantic search capabilities.
    • This allowed the search engine to better understand the context of links and the content they pointed to.
    • The relevance and context of links became more important than ever.

Mid-2010s to Present

  1. Content-Driven Link Building:
    • High-quality, valuable content became the cornerstone of effective link-building strategies.
    • Content marketing, guest blogging, and influencer outreach gained prominence as ways to earn authoritative links.
    • Links from authoritative, contextually relevant sources became highly valued.
  2. User Experience (UX) and Engagement:
    • Google’s algorithms increasingly considered user experience signals.
    • Pages with high engagement metrics (low bounce rates, longer dwell times) tended to pass more link juice.
    • Links from pages with good UX were seen as more valuable.
  3. E-A-T and Link Quality:
    • Google’s emphasis on E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) became a crucial ranking factor.
    • Links from authoritative and trustworthy sources in a given industry or niche started carrying more weight.
    • The quality, reputation, and trustworthiness of linking sites became paramount.

Future Trends

  1. AI and Machine Learning:
    • Google’s use of AI and machine learning, particularly through the RankBrain algorithm, continues to refine how link juice is assessed.
    • The context and intent behind links are better understood, allowing for more nuanced evaluations of link quality.
  2. Integration with Other Signals:
    • Link juice is increasingly integrated with other ranking signals like mobile-friendliness, page speed, and overall site quality.
    • Holistic SEO strategies that consider a broad range of factors, including but not limited to link juice, are becoming essential.

Maturity of Link Juice

Understanding the evolution and maturity of link juice is crucial for developing effective, sustainable SEO strategies in today’s complex search landscape.


Benefits of External and Internal Links

External Links

External links point from your website to another site.


  1. SEO Improvement: Linking to authoritative, relevant sources can improve your site’s search engine ranking.
  2. Enhanced Credibility: Linking to reputable sites can enhance your content’s credibility and trustworthiness.
  3. Resource Sharing: Provides your audience with additional resources and information.
  4. Building Relationships: Linking to other sites can foster relationships with other bloggers and websites, potentially leading to reciprocal links.

Internal Links

Internal links connect pages within the same website.


  1. Improved Navigation: Helps users find related content on your site, enhancing user experience.
  2. SEO Enhancement: Distributes page authority and ranking power throughout your site.
  3. Increased Page Views: Encourages visitors to explore more of your site, increasing engagement.
  4. Content Promotion: Highlights important or relevant content, driving traffic to key pages.

How to Use External and Internal Links

External Links

  1. Relevance: Ensure the external link is relevant to your content and adds value for your readers.
  2. Authority: Link to authoritative and trustworthy sites.
  3. Anchor Text: Use descriptive anchor text that tells users what they can expect from the link.
  4. Open in New Tab: Consider setting external links to open in a new tab to keep visitors on your site.


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Internal Links

  1. Related Content: Link to related articles or pages to keep users engaged.
  2. Strategic Placement: Place internal links within the content where they naturally fit and provide additional value.
  3. Descriptive Anchor Text: Use descriptive anchor text for internal links to improve SEO and user understanding.
  4. Sitemap: Create a sitemap to ensure all pages are easily accessible and link back to important sections.


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By strategically using external and internal links, you can enhance your website’s SEO, user experience, and overall credibility.