For those unfamiliar with deep links and deep linking, from the standpoint of link building the inbound links (links from other sites) are considered deep links when the anchor text (the text in the link) are directed at a page other than your homepage.
Sites with a high ratio of deep links have a tendency to rank extremely well, since the content on each page is given more dynamic link weight to funnel throughout the website.
Accumulated link weight (otherwise known as link equity) has a tendency to become buoyant over time, so eventually each page starts to rank for the phrases in the anchor text as well as any potential modifier contained on that page. In essence, any two keywords combined on a page can be returned as a valid search result under the right conditions and circumstances.
Based on the percentage of deep links in your overall site (the ratio of links to the homepage and the other pages in your site) you can create topical areas of concentrated link juice that finds expression in the pages within a section of sub folder of your site.
Wikipedia for example, has a 94% deep link ratio, which is one reason why it is a ranking juggernaut for virtually every phrase online aside from it being a resource site that has acquired true authority and hub status.
Finding the right balance for each site is crucial and typically depends on the industry and keywords sought. I prefer 35% of the links to the homepage and the remaining 65% to deep links, but each SEO is unique with their methods and approach.
Ideally, there are two ways to pass link weight throughout a site (1) through a definitive organized site architecture and (2) through virtual theming (controlling the anchor text meticulously from related keyword to related page to and from pages within your site).
Either method will suffice considering the ultimate objective of either exercise in SEO is to create a streamlined platform that requires less links from external sources in order to attain a competitive series of keywords or relative position in search engines.
For example, if you have 100 pages of content and you have 20 inbound links to the homepage of your website and 80 links to the interior pages of the website you have an 80% deep link ratio.
Based on the anchor text (the keywords used to link the content), the target page (if the keywords are synonymous with the anchor text) and the tags and reputation of the link profile for that page (the links in to links out) determine to a great extent how that page will fare in the SERPs (search engine result pages).
The homepage of a site is the easiest page to gain authority with, however, just because your websites homepage has a high page rank or inbound link weight value does not ensure that the rest of your website is not starving from link attrition.
Contextual linking is idea since search engines rely greatly on context gleaned from the keywords surrounding the anchor text to base the validity of the site providing the link. Essentially, the more related phrases contextually that surround a link, the higher the relevance for the target page.
Just like you compare a like to a like, by linking a like to a like (a keyword to a topical page that emphasizes that keyword), both pages get a lift in the eyes of the search engine algorithm.
Whenever possible (since you do have control over your own site) look for internal linking opportunities to leverage page rank and trust rank (pages that have accrued search engine trust) to elevate additional internal pages within your site.
The idea is, why settle for one page that is strong that is capable of through tags and a variety of inbound links (with diverse anchors) ranking just as strong as the homepage.
The more pages you have that pass the equity of those links around the site, the stronger the site becomes. This is one of the lesser known components of developing website authority (which insulates the site from algorithmic fluctuations).
Think of deep linking like link insurance, it can add layers like an onion to your SEO defense as well as catapult multiple top 10 rankings from each target page as a result. The power of deep links and internal link building when combined are the real secret sauce of SEO, the tighter your topical theme, the less internal links you require to compete.
Here are additional resources also contained within our website to provide further insight into the premise of deep links and the capabilities they yield when matured.
Even this in itself is an aspect of internal link building and just when the feed goes live via RSS, the links below are now deep links:
- How To Develop Topical Link Weight
- 5 Link Development Guidelines you can Build On
- Internal Link Architecture and Building Internal Links
- Building Links from Internal Pages with Authority
Last but now least, here is a useful SEO tool we created for in-house use that that simply allows you to provide the domain name in question and then provide the keywords you are looking at elevating, the Ultimate Link Building Toolkit then provides the most likely candidates for building internal links to.
Nothing to fancy, but in case your writing a blog post or building external links and need to look for landing pages to internally link to based on a particular keyword, then it is a useful tool.
You can also find another tool with multiple applications here called the Ultimate SEO Toolkit that you can use to research SERP positions for competitive analysis based on multiple algorithmic criteria (expect a follow up post soon). Once again nothing too fancy, but it is the strategy behind the tactic and tool that matters.