What is a deep link?
A deep link is a link that points to an interior page of a website rather than to its homepage. The term was coined by Roger Smolski of Text Links Ads UK in 2004. He calls the calculation of deep links the deep link ratio and defines it as “…the ratio (expressed as a percentage) of a site’s internal pages inbound links to the total inbound links.”
Why is Deep Linking Important?
Deep linking is increasingly important because search engines see it as an indicator of a natural linking structure and good content. Good websites are made up of interesting and informative content. Good content attracts links. It follows, therefore, that links to interior pages indicate that the site contains plenty of useful information to which other webmasters have linked. Consider it an indication of the quality of the site.
Links coming into your interior pages boost the Page Rank (PR) of those pages, which in turn nudges up the PR of the homepage and, in most cases, the PR of other pages on your site.
Although it varies by industry and search engine, aim to have at least one out of every five links coming into your site point to an interior page. This equates to a Deep Link Ratio of about 20%. Depending on the nature of a website, the DLR could be much higher. It’s not unusual for newspaper websites, for instance, to have DLR above 50%, since they contain so many individual articles that are cited and linked to.
How Can You Determine Your Deep Linking Ratio?
- Calculate your own DLR by using the inventor’s formula
- Use a tool that performs the calculations for you
- Learn your top competitors DLR – and your own, if you rank in the top ten for a search term
Deep linking will not make or break your hospitality website in the SERPs, but it is an indicator of quality to keep in mind when optimizing your website. As always with SEO, learn what your competitors are doing and strive to be a little better than they are.
Mary Bowling – Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.