Before showing the importance of deep linking, perhaps an understanding of its nature will help us our quest.
Deep linking refers to links pointing to other places than the index page itself. Let’s take an example: a link to somesite.com will direct to the index page, while a link to somesite.com/somestuff/morestuff/neverknewthispageexisted.htm would be considered a deep page and linking to it would be considered deep linking.
With the example fresh in our minds, you must understand that Google’s PageRank does not apply to the website as a whole but to each individual page. So when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) and you focus only on the main page alone, you will potentially lose traffic. Another reason to pursue deep linking is also SEO related. It makes sense to optimize a page for only a few keywords, so you can more effectively build your own SEO campaign. This means that each page on your website would be targeting different keywords and each page would require a linking campaign.
Deep linking does not come without controversy though. This is especially true for large, popular websites. An online newspaper will frown upon on this practice, as it would potentially lose money from the ads posted on the front page. There are even a few lawsuits going on, on this topic. A darker version of deep linking is that associated with hacking. Many websites have a rather low security and many e-commerce that offer downloadable products only require knowing the link in order to download the e-book, mp3 or database. Obviously this comes as a result of faulty programming and bad security practices.
From the search engine point of view the situation stays slightly different. Google for example does not have any official policy, which left the SEO experts doing a lot of educated guessing. Among the most optimistic views is the one that sustains that deep linking actually builds the credibility of the website as a whole and thus creates a better SERP, the skeptics on the other hand think that deep linking is no more important for search engines than plain linking.
No matter of which side you think it’s right it only makes sense to develop deep linking even if for remote, long term goals. A good link remains a good link no matter if it points to a deep page or the index page.
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