Glossary | 2 mins
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Deep links are links that point to a page deep within your site, meaning further down the site architecture compared to pages like your homepage. The verb form, “deep linking”, refers to link building that specifically targets these deeper pages.
Deep linking can be a hugely beneficial SEO practice for websites, as part of a sustainable strategy. Along with driving topical relevance and traffic to the core money pages through topically relevant exposure, the overall authority of the website will be raised through the strengthening of other areas outside of the homepage. These pages will rank more prominently for longer term search terms, adding value to both the domain and the searcher who has fewer steps to take in order to find the content they require.
Deep links can also help by diversifying the target pages in a backlink profile, as a high number of backlinks pointing exclusively to a small subset of pages can be indicative of either low quality pages across the website undeserving of backlinks, or a low quality backlink building program focused on limited pages.
Though backlinks are a natural priority for many SEO professionals, deep links in the context of internal link building are also very important. Allowing users to quickly find the most valuable or relevant pages within the website is essential for usability, and search engines will of course use this to crawl pages. Much like the external factors, links to internal pages from the most valuable, high authority pages on the site will be worth the most, and pass the most authority on to the page being linked to.
Search engines favour a clear structure for websites. When users and crawlers can make it from your homepage to your deeper pages via a logical, hierarchical structure, it will increase user engagement signals and aid the ability to have every asset on your website crawled.
When building deep links, it’s important to remember to keep links topical and relevant based on referring pages. Because top-level pages tend to have a broader focus, SEOs can fall into the trap of linking to deep pages with links that have vague, all encompassing anchor text from referring pages that don’t have a direct relationship to the target content. These kinds of links won’t send positive relevancy signals to Google, and won’t improve rankings in the same way that logical, topical deep links will.
Deep Links FAQs
What are the benefits of deep linking?
Deep linking helps to maintain the authority of older content that doesn’t have the same freshness as newer pieces, will spread your site’s existing authority to pages that aren’t as naturally visible, and will help diversify your backlink profile to keep it from appearing spammy to search engines.
What is a deep link versus a hyperlink?
A deep link is more specific than a hyperlink, as it refers to a page further down the website’s hierarchy of categorisation. Whereas a hyperlink simply refers to the clickable asset that takes you to any given page, a deep link would take you to a specific page further away from the root – such as ‘/services’ or ‘/about’ or potentially even further down.
Questions to ask your link builder