No business, brand, or individual wants their digital assets lost among a sea of others. When you create any digital property, including a website, you want it to be visible and accessible to those that need it and those you wish to target – your audience, prospects, customers and anyone else. That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in. It helps to increase your brand’s (and digital assets’) visibility and searchability. A good SEO strategy consists of several components and activities, but one very essential part of it is link building and link equity.
What is Link Equity?
Link equity is one of several search engine ranking factors. It primarily refers to the ‘value’ and authority (or equity) passed from one page or website to another website or page through links posted on the site or page passing the value.
When a link is posted on a website or page, search engines like Google view them as votes that indicate that the page linked is valuable and should be promoted. Links such as these are among several signals that search engines employ in determining a page’s ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Of course, not all links pass value. And some links are worth more than others. As you will see later, several factors, including topic relevance, the HTTP status of the linking page, the linking page’s authority and many more, determine the value passed by a link.
So, if a page with very high authority features a followed link to an article on a smaller site, the search engines view it as though the site with the high authority is passing a vote of confidence for the linked page. Hence the value is also passed to the page through the followed link.
When Google first began ranking pages, it started with the use of an algorithm called PageRank. It was the major determinant of how a page ranked. Several SEO experts formulated an SEO tactic called PageRank sculpting to take advantage of that algorithm. Using this tactic meant that a page’s owner, to control the flow of authority from one page to another, would strategically decide which links were to be followed and which ones were to be no-followed.
Today, PageRank is just one of about 200 ranking factors and the ‘PageRank sculpting’ tactic isn’t something we would recommend because it can easily hurt you if it is not done right. If you use a good link building agency or a blogger outreach agency, they would know how to use the strategy because it is still effective under the right conditions. Better yet, they will implement a good ranking strategy for your digital assets.
Different Types Of Links To Know For Link Equity
There are three main types of links you to understand when talking of link equity. They are:
- Internal Links: An internal is a link on one page on your website that links to another page on your site. If all the conditions are met, and the linking page has a high authority, it can pass some of that value to the page to which it links.
- External Links: External links are also called outbound links. They are links on your website that link to a page on other websites that may or may not be yours. While internal links are links from and to pages within the same site, external links are links from and to pages on different websites.
- Backlinks: These types of links are also known as inbound links. A backlink is a link back to your website or page from another website or page.
To illustrate, if website A links to website B, website A has an outbound link to website B while website B has a backlink from website A. But if a page on website A links to another page on website A, the link is internal.
How To Build Links For Link Equity
Link equity plays a vital role in SEO to help you draw in organic traffic. It should be an essential part of your SEO strategy. While there are many ways you can build links that pass link equity to your site or page, the fundamentals include having a relevant post on the target authority site post a link to your website or page. You can achieve this by getting the owner of the other site to write a post and then kink back to your desired page, or you can write a guest post on the other site yourself.
Alternatively, you can contact an agency that will offer a guest post service to handle it. Once the post is created, and the link has been added, all that remains is for search engine crawlers to crawl both sites and you can start having the value passed down to your site.
What To Consider When Building Links For Link Equity
All three types of links mentioned above can pass link equity. Several factors determine the value passed down via a link. Before attempting to build links to get link equity, here’s are some things you must know about how link equity is determined.
- The Linking Site Has To Be An Authority Site: Your target linking site has to be an authority site with a high trust rating. Having a website that does not match these criteria link back to you may be a waste of time. A link from a new site will not do for you what one from an authority site will.
- The Link Must Be Relevant: Don’t waste your time putting links on every article you see on an authority site. It can hurt you. The link you create must be relevant to the post it is linking back to on your website. Linking to an article about skydiving from an article about auto repairs is a bad idea.
- The Link Should Be Followed: Only followed links pass link equity. No-followed links are of no use to you regarding link equity. They have their use in other areas.
- Too Many Links Can Devalue Your Link: If your target linking site hosts hundreds or thousands of other links, the value passed may be lesser. Typically, (and even without considering link equity) if the link back to your site is one of the thousands on the target site, there’s every tendency it will not be clicked on. That said, there’s no benchmark on the optimal number of links a page should feature.
- Where’s The Located On The Page: Where the link is located on the page is also crucial. Links buried in the sidebar or footer sections aren’t given as much weight as those within the page’s content. There are exceptions to this rule, however.
Link building to get link equity may appear to be overwhelming to some. And it usually is. Hence it is wise to get a link building agency that knows what they are doing and offers a link building service that will help you achieve your organic traffic and SEO goals.