Deep Linking: What is it and Why Should You Care?


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Susan DriggersThis guest post was written by Susan Driggers from Life is Risky.

Ok for those of you who might not know, deep linking is when you link directly to a post versus simply linking to the front page of a site. For instance if your blog is called TheItBlog.Com and you have a post with a URI of people who link to you have two choices.

1. They can link to the main page of your blog by using the link

2. They can link to the exact post they are interested in by using the

Now if they use the first option when referencing your post or site, anyone else who wishes to read your original post will have to click over to your site, do a search for the mentioned article, click to the article and read it. That is an excessive amount of clicking and time wasted just to read your article. Experience shows that more often than not, users will simply click off your main page versus going through all the steps necessary to locate your post. The result is a lost reader and potentially lost revenue.

Of course all is not lost, should your site be referred to only through your front page versus a deep link to a particular article. You will still receive a link in Google and other search engines “eyes” but that is where the path potentially ends.

If they use the second option, the likelihood that a potential reader can find not only your site but the direct post that was mentioned is greatly increased. A simply click on the link and they are taken directly to the article. No excessive clicking, and less chance of a direct click off to find something else. You have the reader’s attention, hopefully the content is worth their click.

So the question becomes, how do you know if people are deep linking to you and vice versa. If you have ever seen a comment to a post which looked something like this and used the title of a post and a blog’s name versus a person’s then that is a deep link in action:

[…] LifeIsRisky Midlife Musings Utterly Geek Whatever I Feel Like My Dandelion Patch Surviving NJ GeekySpeaky Simple Kind Of Life 3DayMom BuyMeBlog The Hockey Dad […]

This particular type of comment is the result of the deep link pinging your original post or sending you a trackback. If you are using trackback aware blogging software such as WordPress then it will show up in your comment section. There are usually no special actions required on the deep linker’s part, other than the actual deep link, or the receiver’s part if the software is configured correctly.

Ok so I understand what a deep link is you say but why should I care?

Excellent question. Deep linking and the resulting pings and trackbacks help on numerous levels. For one it builds a relationship between your post and other posts that reference it or are used for reference. For another it potentially builds traffic for all linked sites as users click around to follow the conversation or learn more about the subject. Also, it builds additional links in Google or other search engines, which is always a good thing.

Perhaps it’s largest asset though is that it allows the author of a blog to see who is actually reading and referencing their posts. If you are like me, you really like to get to know your readers. Some people make it a special point to communicate with their readers and visit their respective sites, if they know about them. This helps with networking, relationship building and overall cohesiveness.

Now deep linking alone won’t make your blog outstanding, only outstanding content and a wonderful marketing plan can do that but they certainly help. Plus deep linking can be used within your own posts to reference a previous post on your site making it easier for your users to find other items that might interest them. A win win situation all the way around.

So now that you know what deep linking is all about why not start using it? It only takes a few extra seconds and can reap lots of benefits for both sides.

Susan Driggers blogs at LifeIsRisky.Com

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  • Discussion

    What do you think? Leave a comment. Alternatively, write a post on your own weblog; this blog accepts trackbacks [trackback url].
    This blog has removed the "nofollow" tags, so each comment counts as an inbound link to your site. Comment Policy


    On June 5th, 2007 at 8:08 am, Amanda said:

    A lot of people are trying to say sometimes deep linking can be bad and have negative reactions legal wise because bloggers are getting too hyped up on the legal system.. personally I love seeing that someone deep linked me .. (eh.. i feel a little dirty having said that)

    it generates traffic to my websites makes me feel that post is worth something and makes me all warm and fuzzy

    On June 5th, 2007 at 8:53 am, Viv King said:

    Hi. I found this a very useful article even though I am not really clear about how to get a link to a post that is not current on my web. I will look into it though - thanks for the tip!

    On June 5th, 2007 at 9:06 am, Jo said:

    Humm interesting! Being a newbie to blogging I enjoyed reading your bost that’s something else I’ve learnt now!

    On June 5th, 2007 at 10:56 am, Michelle Gartner said:

    I am really glad to see this post, I had been wondering how to link posts, having already seen it done on my web development site (my husband runs the content over there & I am not as tech savvy). Most of the linking, and blog marketing I have been doing have been only resulting in superficial results when I view my visitors on Google analytics. I think linking to other posts is definitely going to gain me more long term readers for my book review posts. Thanks I will try this today.

    On June 5th, 2007 at 12:02 pm, Alli C said:

    On one of my blogs the posts are geared specifically toward linking to sites. I usually like to the home page of the site and then the deep link is to the actual article that references the topic of the post. Is that bad?

    On June 5th, 2007 at 12:37 pm, derek said:

    Alli, I follow the same principle with my “speedlinking” posts where I reward a few regular readers or visitors with a little link love to their main site and one or two interesting posts from the past week.

    As a recommendation to others as well, try to deep link your own articles within your posts whenever possible. Often times your posts carry a common theme so try to direct your readers to other relevant articles on your own site with a deep link.

    The benefit to this is that you can expose newer readers to your older posts and create additional links into those posts.

    CopyBlogger just had a nice post on writing post titles to your audience, with the most important being your regular readers. I follow the same principle with my links, I try to do what should reward my regular readers the most.

    Nice post Susan!

    On June 5th, 2007 at 1:27 pm, Dennis Bjørn Petersen said:

    Great post Susan. I actually thought it was standard to do deep linking. I’m glad to know that it is the right thing to do.

    On June 6th, 2007 at 3:59 pm, Adam Snider said:

    @Amanda: Some people think deep links are bad for legal reasons? I’m not sure what you mean. Could you expand on that idea? I’ve never heard of anyone suggesting deep links are bad!

    @Susan: Good article, Susan. Deep links are great for search engines but, for bloggers, knowing who is talking about your posts is just as important, as you’ve indicated.

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