What Is Link Juice, and How Does It Affect Page Ranking?


Link juice, also referred to as "link equity," is a term used in SEO to describe the value that a hyperlink passes from one site to another. It affects page ranking by influencing a website’s authority, relevance, and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines. Here's a comprehensive guide on what link juice is and how it impacts page ranking.

Link juice is a colloquial term in Search Engine Optimization that refers to the value or authority passed from one page or site to another through hyperlinks. When one website links to another, it passes some of its own credibility and authority. This process can enhance the search engine visibility of the linked page.

Each backlink to a website is viewed by search engines like Google as a vote of confidence in the content of the linked site. Here's how it works:

  • Authority Transfer: Websites with high domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) can transfer substantial link juice to the sites they link to. Authority is a measure of the overall quality and reliability of a website.
  • Relevance: Link juice is more valuable when the linking site’s content is relevant to the content on the linked site.
  • DoFollow vs. NoFollow Links: Links marked with the rel="nofollow" attribute do not pass link juice. Only DoFollow links contribute to SEO rankings.
  • Number of Links on a Page: Link juice is divided among all the links on a page. The fewer links a page has, the more juice each one passes.

Link juice primarily impacts page ranking through its influence on the following factors:

Authority and Trustworthiness

Search engines use backlinks as an indicator of authority and trustworthiness. Pages with many high-quality backlinks are seen as more authoritative. According to Moz's Page Authority metric, 2022, pages with high authority tend to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).


Links from sites within the same niche or industry are more valuable. For instance, a backlink from a cooking blog to a recipe site is more impactful than a link from a technology site. This relevance helps search engines understand the content of the linked page better and rank it more appropriately, as explained by Ahrefs, 2023.


Google’s PageRank algorithm, although not the sole factor today, originally depended heavily on link juice. Higher PageRank scores contribute to better rankings on SERPs. More information on PageRank can be found in Google's original research paper "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", 1998.

Anchor Text

The clickable text of a hyperlink (anchor text) influences the keywords for which the linked page is ranked. For example, if various high-authority websites link to a page using the term "best SEO practices," search engines are more likely to rank that page higher for that keyword, as described by Backlinko, 2022.

Here are some best practices to maximize the beneficial effects of link juice:

Focus on acquiring backlinks from high-authority and relevant websites. Quality is more critical than quantity. Resources like Neil Patel’s Guide to Backlinks, 2023 offer strategies to build strong backlinks.

Internal Linking

Effective use of internal links can distribute link juice throughout your site, enhancing the authority of various pages and making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. An excellent internal linking guide is provided by Moz, 2022.

While it might seem counterintuitive, linking out to high-authority, relevant sites can enhance your site's credibility. It's essential to maintain a balance so as not to dilute your link juice excessively. Search Engine Journal, 2021 offers insights into the strategic use of outbound links.

Engaging in link schemes or acquiring links from low-quality or spammy websites can harm your SEO efforts. Google's link scheme guidelines, 2022 provide clear instructions on what to avoid.


Link juice is a vital component of SEO that helps enhance page rankings by passing authority, relevance, and credibility through hyperlinks. By building high-quality backlinks, optimizing internal links, and maintaining a balanced linking strategy, you can effectively utilize link juice to improve your site’s visibility on SERPs.