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Understanding Deep Linking

Understanding Deep Linking 753-daily-golden-nugget-710The topic for today's Daily Golden Nugget was once very controversial during the early days of the internet and a few court cases came about because of it.

Today's discussion is on "Deep Linking" which is when you link from a page on your website to a specific page within another website, but not their home page. For example, any link from your blog page to a blog page on another website is called deep linking.

Back in 1997, Ticketmaster filed legal action against Microsoft because Microsoft's website was linking directly to a ticket sale page rather than the home page.

As the years have passed and link building has become one of the staples of search engine optimization, legal actions like those from the 1990 seem inconceivable. The basis of all online linking now "goes deep" and bypasses a website's home page. In fact, it's almost a sign of laziness if a blogger links to a home page of a website instead of discovering the best possible link destination.

As the use of deep linking evolved, search engines were able to use the anchor text from the links as a way to identify what individual pages on your website were about, rather than having a broad range description for your home page.

As an example, a common website page for a retail jewelry store might describe many of the services offered, like jewelry repairs, watch batteries, pearl restringing, and prong checking. If I was writing a blog about pearls I might link to this services page with the anchor text "pearl restringing."

If you are writing a blog about Accutron Watches you might also link to the same services page to lead people to a reputable store that changes "watch batteries."

Initially Google might classify this Store Services page as information about "pearls," but Google would become confused it finds another link that reclassifies the same page as "watch batteries." From Google's point of view, the exact topic for the page is not clearly identifiable.

One of my best recommendations for correct website structure and tuning is to always separate single topics onto their own pages. In the above example, instead of having a single services page I would dedicate 4 specific pages to the website, one for repairs, one page for watch batteries, another page for pearls, and the 4th page would be about prong checking.

With a 4-page setup like that you are essentially giving Google the ability to read content specific to a single topic, and you are giving bloggers the ability to link to the exact page and content they are intending.

Another interesting byproduct of deep linking is the gradual rise in search ranking that results from the variety of links to sub pages within your website.

Using Google Webmaster Tools you can see the anchor text people are using to link to you, and the pages they are linking to. When you analyze that information you should look for pages that have ambiguous inbound links and split those pages into different content pages.

Although you probably won't hear the phrase "deep linking" very often any more, it's still good to understand the information here.

AT: 04/12/2013 01:38:46 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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