A deep link refers to a hyperlink that directs to a specific – generally searchable and indexed – page on a website instead of the site’s home — for example, linking to “https://www.overthetopseo.com/seo-services/” instead of “www.overthetopseo.com.“
Deep links contain all the information necessary to point to a particular page – OTT’s SEO services page in the example – instead of just the information pointing to the highest level home page of our site.
Deep link disadvantages
While a common practice, some commercial websites object to other sites providing deep links to their content. It is an understandable concern for several reasons depending on the site’s monetization scheme, as deep links allow people to:
• Bypass advertisements on the main pages.
• Might suggest the content belongs to the site providing the link.
• Provide access to content behind paywalls or some other conditions.
Deep linking has led to companies taking legal action in the past, but it remains a common practice.
A site that doesn’t want search engines to deep link, or only wants to index specific pages, can do so by utilizing the Robots Exclusion Standard.
Deep linking and SEO
As unfavorable as deep links can be to some monetization structures, they provide some significant benefits from an SEO standpoint.
Using deep links:
• Tends to lower bounce rates.
• Improves UX.
• Lead to more comprehensive indexing by search engines.
• Create clear paths between particular pieces of content and a user’s click destination.