Deep Link

Deep links are hyperlinks that, unlike a homepage or surface link, take the user directly to a specific subpage of the visited website. They facilitate navigation and make content more accessible. In addition, deep links are valuable from an SEO point of view: with their help, traffic can be directed to specific subpages that are relevant to the user. As a result, linkjuice is passed on to them. In Google, deep links are mostly played out in the form of rich snippets.

Example of Deep Links in form of Rich Snippets


Deep Linking & SEO 

Deep links pass on the so-called linkjuice, a measure of the link strength of the links, to subpages. Therefore, they are used in Search Engine Optimization to strengthen targeted content on subpages, and thus the long tail.  
However, it is important to ensure that a natural ratio between deep links and surface links is maintained. If the ratio is too unbalanced, for example, because almost only deep links and no start page links are used, this may be interpreted by Google as an attempt at manipulation and penalized. Accordingly, both the quality and quantity of the links, as well as the ratio between deep and surface links should be correct in order to achieve the best possible effect. 

Mobile Deep Linking 

Deep linking on mobile devices benefits from enhanced functionality: Instead of URLs, mobile apps work with URIs, i.e. Uniform Resource Identifiers. This allows the user to use the deep link to open a preinstalled mobile app or to navigate directly to a specific screen in the mobile app
In addition, so-called delayed or deferred deep links can be used. These first check whether the desired mobile app is preinstalled on the end device and then redirect to the page within the app accordingly. If the app is not yet installed, the download page can be referred to directly.  

You can see a screenshot of the Google Maps tool, which redirects users from the browser to the app via a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). A popup can be seen (right screenshot), which offers the user to either be redirected to the app or the app store or to stay on the website.
Real-world example – this is how Google directs you from the browser to the Google Maps app
The graphic shows the function of an advertisement with and without deep linking. In variant 1, the user lands directly on the product page after clicking. This is an ad with deep linking. In variant 2, on the other hand, the user is first taken to the home page and then from there to the product page. This is an ad without deep linking.
Example of a redirect with and without deep link
The graphic shows the function of an advertisement with and without deferred deep linking. In variant 1, the user lands directly in the app store after clicking, which forwards the user to the product page after download. This is an ad with deferred deep linking. With variant 2, on the other hand, the user must first search for the app in the browser, then download the app, and then fight his way through the home page to the product page. This is an ad without deferred deep linking.
Example of a redirect with and without deferred deep linking

Advantages and disadvantages

• Allow website users to find the content they want more easily• Extreme deviation from the deep link ratio can lead to Google penalization 
• Improve the relevance of a website for search engine results by optimizing the internal page structure and linking to relevant content
• Help build authority for that page. If you have created an outstanding content like a blog post or article, the more links from high quality websites pointing to that particular page, the higher it can rank in a search engine. This can be used for lead generation. 
• Optimize the user experience. When a user is consuming content on another website and clicks on a link, they want to be directed to the most relevant information depending on their expectations. If they arrive at your homepage via a link and have to look around for what they expect, user frustration can increase and cause them to bounce. 
• Improve long tail phrase rankings. Long tail keywords are search queries with at least three to four words. These tend to be very specific. While they don’t get as much traffic as general keywords, they tend to have a higher conversion rate when the content matches the keyword search. 


How can deep links help improve the user experience?

Deep links can make it easier to navigate to user-relevant content, which has a positive impact on usability.

What is legally to be considered with deep links?

In principle, there are no legal restrictions on the use of deep links. However, you should only link to content that has been checked for security and does not refer to any copyrighted works.

What are the forms of deep links?

In addition to the usual deep links, which allow a link to a specific subpage or specific location in a document, there are also mobile deep links. They allow you to open an app preinstalled on the device by means of a URI.

How do you create high quality deep links?

High quality deep links should always have relevance for users as well as contribute to logical navigation within the website.

What is the difference between deep links and backlinks?

Deep links, like surface links, are strictly speaking a type of backlink. The difference is that only backlinks that link deeper into the page structure are called deep links. 


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