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What is link juice?

Controlling internal link juice

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As discussed in Link Metrics, Link Juice is the amount of positive ranking factor that a link passes from one page to the next.

A website has an overall Domain Rank. This is the total amount of positive link metrics associated with a website as a whole. The Domain Rank is governed by the combined PageRank of all of the individual pages on a website. Every web page will have its own PageRank, or perhaps more correctly ranking capacity, governed by the link metrics associated with each particular page. It is the Link Metrics of any given page that determines how much Link Juice any one web page can pass to another. Read more about this in Link Metrics.

Link Juice should be spread as evenly throughout a website as possible. Each important web page should have a good number of links pointing its way. Many web publishers make the mistake of concentrating all of their link juice on their home page, with very small amounts trickling deep into the site. Obtaining deeper links was always a good idea, but, since the dawn of Google Panda, it is now an absolute must.

So, here are the Go Up tips on Link Juice distribution best Practice:

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1. Don’t concentrate your link metrics on your home page.

This is a very common mistake. In their Link Building Campaigns, when people are requesting links to their website from other websites, they often request links only to their home page. This makes the home page rank highly in the search results, but loses the opportunity for all of the other pages to rank as well. Instead, make an effort to weave in-coming links throughout your web pages, not concentrating too much on any particular one. This is called ‘deep linking’, and is a positive ranking factor. Since Panda came along, it is even more important, with websites being actively penalized for having too high a concentration of links pointing only to their home page.

Remember: If a website has a balanced link juice distribution, every page on the website will have a good chance of ranking well. This is by far the most effective way to target both your Short Tail and Long Tail Keyword Phrases.

In your link building campaign, make a table of how many links you have requested to different pages. Below are two examples of good inbound link distribution and poor inbound link distribution. Each table assumes that the web publisher has a website with 10 pages, and is requesting 30 links. It is on a sliding scale, so page 10 is the least important web page, and the Home Page is the most important.

Poor Inbound link distribution

Home Page 20 links

Page 2 6 links

Page 3 1 link

Page 4 1 link

Page 5 0 links

Page 6 2 links

Page 7 0 links

Page 8 0 links

Page 9 0 links

Page 10 0 links

Good Inbound link distribution

Home Page 6 links

Page 2 4 links

Page 3 3 link

Page 4 3 link

Page 5 2 links

Page 6 2 links

Page 7 3 links

Page 8 2 links

Page 9 3 links

Page 10 2 links

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2. Pass Link Juice from high performing pages to low performing pages.

Link Juice can be passed internally. If there is a web page on your website that is performing particularly well (lots of visitors, a high browse time, well designed and lots of high quality inbound links), it is able to pass link juice to a web page that is performing poorly.

To pass link juice between two pages on your website, simply place a link between them.

There are exceptions. If it is a low priority page such as a ‘contacts’ page, it is best not to waste any good link juice on it. Only pass link juice to a page if doing so makes search sense. A contacts page is never going to rank, so don’t try to make it, and don’t waste any good link juice on it.

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3. Identify low-value pages on your website

As mentioned above, there are pages that are exceptions to the ‘spread link juice evenly rule’. If a web page is going to provide you with no benefits in the Search Engines Results Pages, then it is better to tell the search spiders not to visit these pages or pass them any link juice. They will take up valuable link juice and search engine crawl allocations. Search bots will only crawl a certain, non pre-defined number of pages per website per visit. This varies from Website to Website. If they spend their visits crawling low-value pages, you have wasted an opportunity to have optimized pages crawled.

Usually, these low value web pages include:

Contact Page

About Page

Pricing Page

Meet the Team Page

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4. Use Robots Tags, Robots.txt and NoFollow Tags.

Using Robots Tags and Robots.txtis a great way to prevent search spiders from crawling and indexing low-value pages. Place the robot in the HTML of the page, instructing the search engine to either not crawl the page altogether or crawl but not index the page. You should also use the NoFollow Tag to instruct the search engines to not pass any link juice onto the page from any linking pages. NoFollow is not as effective as it once was, as the search engines do not pay attention to it nearly as much as they once did, but it is still a function worth utilizing.

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5. Make sure that no page is more than 3 clicks from the Home Page.

If your site is under 800 pages, no single web page should be more than 3 clicks away from the home page. If it is over 800 pages, no page should be more than 4 clicks away from the home page. Search Engines interpret distance from the home page as a signal of page importance- the further away, the less importance. This affects search visibility.

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6. Include a site map on your home page.

A site map is a great way to show the search engines all of the pages of your website, one click from the home page.

Written by Edward Coram-James

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