Another webmaster in John Mueller’s 09/17/2021 hangout was wondering about link equity and CTR on a link. They were curious about whether or not a link that gets a lot of clicks would pass more link equity than a link that doesn’t get a lot of clicks.
John explained that is not the case. He said Google does not use metrics like traffic through a link when trying to decide how a link should be valued. He also explained that they don’t examine things like click probability. Sometimes, these links are just references.
This conversation occurs at the 17:01 mark in the video.
John Mueller 09/17/2021 Hangout Transcript
Okay, cool. So it’s Yeah, so it definitely Yeah, okay. Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah. My other question is around, I guess, backlinks. So I guess Google listen, you know, if you get a backlink, it’s not just going to assume that is a good quality backlink and then, therefore, just pass link equity to this site, you know, blindly. So does Google, when it’s crawling, you know, these backlinks, does it either look at the referral traffic and play that into the algorithm? Or doesn’t it see that information?
Does it try to, I guess, assess whether there’s, you know, a high propensity to click on that link? And so if there is a high propensity to click on that link, that they will pass link equity? Whereas if there isn’t, then say, you could just click it, you know, you could you could literally create a blog and link now.
You know, in that situation, in that case, Google will say ”Well, actually, there’s no traffic, there’s not really a lot going on here. So why should we pass any form of link equity?” So in terms of, yeah, so in terms of that, does that kind of feed into whether or not link equity does get passed on to a site?
I don’t think so. So we don’t use things like traffic through a link when I’m trying to evaluate how a link should be valued. We, as far as I know, we also don’t look at things like the probability that someone will click on a link with regards to how we should value it. Because sometimes these links are essentially just references and it’s not so much that we expect people to click on every link on our page.
But if someone is referring to your site and saying, like, I’m doing this because this expert here said to do that, then people are not going to click on that link and always like, look at your site and kind of confirm whatever, whatever is written there.
But they’ll see as I was, like, a reference inside, if they needed to find out more information, they could go there. But they don’t need to. And from that point of view, I don’t think we would be taking that into account when it comes to kind of evaluating the value of the link.
Webmaster 4 19:25
So is it more on page factors then when they’re when the algorithm’s reviewing that link and whether or not we should pass on? Are they assessing that website as a whole? And then saying yes or no, we should pass it on or actually, we don’t trust those sites and we won’t?
A little bit, I mean, some of that you will see if you look into how PageRank works, it’s a bit different. I think nowadays how we handle that but, essentially, the idea behind that is that we kind of or, in general with PageRank you set up some value for the individual pages, and then you pass a fraction of that value on through the links there. So essentially, if a page is seen as being of very high value, then the links from there will be treated with a little bit more weight compared to some random page on the internet. And we, as far as I know, don’t do it exactly the same way as things were in the beginning with regards to PageRank. But it’s a good way of thinking about that.