How Is Link Equity Calculated, and What Are the Key Factors That Influence Its Distribution Across Web Pages?


Link equity, also known as "link juice," is a measure of the value or authority that a hyperlink passes from one web page to another. Calculating link equity involves analyzing several key factors including the relevance, authority, and optimization of both the linking and receiving pages. Here’s an in-depth look at how link equity is calculated and the primary factors influencing its distribution across web pages.

PageRank Algorithm

Link equity is often associated with Google’s PageRank algorithm, which evaluates the quantity and quality of links to a page to determine its relative importance. Each link from one page to another passes on a portion of its own PageRank [How Search Works, 2023].

Authority and Relevance

To calculate the distributable link equity, the following are assessed:

  • Authority of the Linking Page: Pages with higher authority distribute more link equity to their outbound links.
  • Relevance: The relevance of the linking page to the receiving page’s content affects the amount of equity passed.

The number of links on the page influences the equity passed to each linked page. The more outbound links a page has, the less equity each link receives [Optimize Links, 2023].

Linked Page's Content Quality

The quality and relevance of the content on the receiving page affect how much equity it can beneficially utilize. Higher quality content typically ranks better and contributes to a positive user experience [Search Quality Guidelines, 2023].

Anchor Text

The text used in the hyperlink (anchor text) provides context and affects relevancy strength, aiding search engines in understanding the topic and importance of the linked page [Anchor Text, 2023].

Links placed within the main content of a page are generally considered more valuable than those in sidebars or footers. Therefore, in-content links usually provide more equity [Link Equity Placement, 2019].

Nofollow Attributes

Links with a rel="nofollow" attribute typically do not pass link equity. Google introduced this to prevent manipulation of search engine rankings through paid or irrelevant links [Robots Meta Tag, 2023].

Internal Linking Structure

Proper internal linking helps distribute link equity throughout your site, strengthening the pages that matter most. An organized internal linking strategy can improve crawler accessibility and overall SEO performance [Site Structure and SEO, 2022].

Practical Examples

Example 1: Authoritative Blogs

A blog post on a high-authority domain with relevant and fewer outbound links provides significant link equity to referenced articles. For instance, a link from a popular science blog on to a study on space exploration will pass substantial link equity.

Example 2: Internal Linking

Consider a website with a well-structured hierarchy where the homepage links to various category pages, and those categories link to several relevant articles. Proper use of internal links ensures equity is effectively distributed, enhancing the SEO of deeper content pages.


Link equity plays a critical role in SEO by transferring authority from one page to another. Understanding and optimizing the factors that influence link distribution—such as link authority and relevance, anchor text, link location, and internal linking—can significantly improve a website’s search engine performance. Implementing a strategic approach to link building and equity distribution is essential for sustaining high search engine rankings.