- Internet & the Web
Link Juice or Back Links - A Webby Experience
Once in a while we are reminded that the World Wide Web is exactly that: a web of pages. It wouldn’t be surprising if one were to find that, by hopping from one link to another, we would find all pages were actually connected in one way or another. With this connection it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that what one site does can have an effect on other pages that were linked to it, something like an electronic ‘butterfly effect ’.
Leaving that to whoever would like to research it, we can move on to the easily proven fact of what one website’s effect can be on another one that is directly connected to it. Web pages are connected using links. When looking at the effects we add words like ‘link juice’ and ‘back links’.
What is Link Juice?
The phrase ‘Link Juice’ can be interpreted into the search engine’s trust in a web site or the website’s page rank or credibility that is passed on to another site that is linked to it. Thus, a web page that has high page rank or is a trusted and reliable site has more ‘juice’ than those that don’t. This ‘juice’ becomes ‘link juice’ and can be passed on to any sites it links to increasing or improving the other sites’ ranking in the search engines1.
As an example let us look at two sites: ‘Site A’ and ‘Site B’. Let us say that these two sites are equally competent for both keywords and their products. In other words they have equal rank because a search engine, let as assume it is Google, has found that they both are equally ranked.
Now, let us assume that the administrators of ‘Site A’ managed to land a deal with a large company, with a website ‘Site C’ that is highly ranked and trusted by Google. The deal is for ‘Site C’ to include a link to ‘Site A’. This will automatically shoot up the rankings and trust of ‘Site A’.
When a search is made for the keywords that both ‘Site A’ and ‘Site B’ were originally equally ranking for, just because of the ‘link juice’ that is flowing out from ‘Site C’ to ‘Site A’, the one that will be the first result at the top of the Google search results page is ‘Site A’. It is almost like Google is saying ‘Hey, I know and trust ‘Site C’, so if they take the risk of sponsoring ‘Site A’, then I too should risk it and let them have a higher ranking.
May the Juice be with You
Now, let us continue with the example and assume that ‘Site B’ too decided that it too should get in this ‘juicy game’ and hired some of the most ruthless salesmen the internet has ever seen. And suppose that these guys managed to land deals with almost every website out there that dealt with the same services as them and managed to find 50 sites that were willing to back link to them. The next morning, expecting to find their rankings way higher than those of ‘Site A’ the salesmen were utterly surprised to see that that was not true.
The moral of the story here is that although there might be a 100 links pointing towards a site, it does not necessarily mean that it will automatically improve the site’s rankings. In fact, if the sites with the links are banned and sites of ‘ill repute’ (hacking sites, virus sites, phishing sites as well as link farms), it can actually damage the reputation and hence deduct from the rankings of a site.
The rule: “A single drop of strong link juice is much more effective than a glass of weak ones! ”
How to get the juice2
As mentioned earlier, link farms should be avoided. The first thing to look at before trying to get a back link from a site is to make sure that the site actually has a higher ranking than the web site asking for the link, otherwise the linking would be pointless. But if it is deemed to be worth it some methods of getting back links:
- Posting in Forums: A web site owner could go to forum and post a message. In that message a link could be left pointing towards the web site. Of course things to consider would be that the forum offers information that has to do with the web site, that posting links is allowed and that it shouldn’t be done more than once to avoid being banned because of spamming.
- Become Famous: this doesn’t mean that a site’s administrator needs to come up with a new song or star in a movie. No, it just means that he or she should think of methods that will grab people’s attention. For example, holding a competition with a prize of $10 will spread like wild fire in the online community. Others would link back and forth, raising the page’s ranking – a value worth way more than $10.
- Free Advertising: today almost everyone has an online presence. One only needs to look at Facebook’s popularity to realize how big that presence is. Making as many friends on social media sites and then sharing a link can go around the world many times. Another, very good example could be Craigslist.com. Everyone that wants something will at one time check this site. And without doubt the rankings of this site couldn’t get any better. Putting a creative post with a good back link would really make a big juicy difference.
- Use Money to Get Money: If all else fails, then the less honorable way to go would be to actually go around hat in hand asking popular web sites if they would carry your links for a price. Of course these sites will have to take your sites rankings into consideration less you dragged them down with you.
1 –ASureImage: http://asureimage.com/free-business-articles/link-juice/
2 – Squidoo: http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-get-back-links