What Is the Impact of Link Depth on Link Equity, and How Can I Structure My Site to Ensure Valuable Pages Receive Adequate Link Equity?


Link depth significantly impacts link equity. Pages buried deep within the site structure often receive less link equity compared to those closer to the homepage. Optimizing link depth is crucial for ensuring that valuable pages gain adequate link equity. This guide details the effects of link depth on link equity and strategies for structuring a site effectively.

Link equity, often referred to as "link juice," is a key component of search engine optimization. It refers to the value passed from one webpage to another through hyperlinks. This value is a significant factor in determining search engine rankings. Pages receiving more link equity are typically ranked higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) [Moz, 2023].

Link depth refers to the number of clicks required to reach a specific page from the homepage. Pages closer to the homepage (i.e., fewer clicks) are said to have shallower link depth, while those requiring more clicks have deeper link depth.

Here is how link depth affects link equity:

Pages with deeper link depth receive less link equity compared to those closer to the homepage. This is because link equity is distributed progressively across links. The further a page is from the homepage, the more it is diluted [Search Engine Journal, 2022].

Reduced Crawl Efficiency

Search engine bots have a limited crawl budget, which dictates how many pages they can crawl and index on your site. Pages with higher link depth are less likely to be crawled frequently or indexed efficiently, resulting in lower visibility and ranking potential [HoboWeb, 2023].

Here are strategies to ensure valuable pages receive adequate link equity:

Shallow Site Architecture

Design a shallow site architecture where important pages are no more than three clicks away from the homepage. This ensures better flow of link equity [Google Developer Documentation, 2023].

Internal Linking

Strategically use internal linking to distribute link equity throughout your site. Link to high-value pages from the homepage and other top-level pages. Ensure internal links are relevant and add value to the content [Ahrefs, 2023].

Content Hubs

Create content hubs around core topics, linking them to relevant subpages. This creates a robust internal link structure, improving the flow of link equity to deeper pages [Backlinko, 2023].

XML Sitemaps

Utilize XML sitemaps to help search engines discover and index your pages more efficiently. This is especially useful for ensuring deep pages are not overlooked [Yoast, 2023].

Examples of Effective Site Structures

Here are examples to illustrate the points made:

Example: E-commerce Site

An e-commerce site could structure its categories and subcategories to ensure all product pages are accessible within three clicks from the homepage. Using breadcrumbs and related product links further aids internal linking.

Example: Blog

A blog could use categories and tags strategically, ensuring all posts within a category are interlinked. Creating cornerstone content that links to several related posts also distributes link equity effectively.


Optimizing link depth is crucial for the efficient flow of link equity within a site. Adopting a shallow site architecture, strategic internal linking, content hubs, and utilizing XML sitemaps are effective methods to ensure valuable pages receive adequate link equity, thereby improving their visibility and ranking on SERPs.