A 101 Guide to Deep Links: Why They Matter, and How to Get Them


Many novice link builders focus solely on linking to a site’s home page. It’s a rookie mistake to be sure, one I’ve seen committed numerous times.

I understand the mentality behind it: the home page is the welcome mat to the entire site. It’s the page that leads to every other page, and it’s the one that most carries the weight of your brand.

Realistically though, linking to your home page isn’t always going to make sense. Not only will it result in some shoehorned links, but it’s poor SEO practice.  Building links exclusively to a home page may seem like a surefire way to raise the authority of your site, but ignoring all of the other pages makes for an unnatural backlink portfolio.

Think about it this way: it takes a complete team to win a Super Bowl. No team that has only one all-star mixed in with an assortment of wash-ups and draft disappointments is going to take home the Lombardi Trophy. The teams that minimize their position gaps are the teams that win championships.

This is why it’s so vital to build links to pages beyond your home page. This practice is called deep linking. There are several different strategies that will help you acquire deep links naturally… Here are a few of them.

Resource citations

A blog on your site is a great asset. Not only is it a great for spreading your message, but it’s also a great for link building.

Creating unique, interesting content on your own blog will allow you to build a citation link when writing a guest post.

Let’s say you are looking to build links for an entertainment news site. On your site, you have a blog where you published a piece about actors that were rumored to be featured in the recently concluded Batman trilogy.

Now let’s say you’re writing a guest post you would like to publish about the history of the Batman villain Penguin. Here’s a way you could link to your blog.

The interpretation of the Penguin has varied from medium to medium. Indeed, interpretations have shifted within just one specific medium. In the Adam West Batman film, Burgess Meredith adheres closely to the comic book pages of the time, and plays the campy, over the top mobster version of Penguin. In “Batman Returns,” Danny Devito at plays him more as a deformed man who has been ostracized from society. One can only wonder what Philip Seymour Hoffman’s interpretation may have been.

Not only have you cited your source, you’ve successfully spread link equity to the blog on your domain.

A citation link can be used for more than just a blog post though: you can deep link to a product page as well.

Let’s say you were writing your final paper for your history course about Custer’s Last Stand. An excerpt from your paper would look like the following:


Screenshot taken 12/18/2013

Footnotes are hardly conducive for readability on the web. The natural way to cite a source on the web, at least in terms of user experience, would be to link to the product page for the book on the publisher’s domain.

This is when you would turn the lifted quote into a long tail anchor. It indicates to the reader that the quote is from the author of that book. For example:

One of President Grant’s first actions in office was his appointment of Ely Parker, a member of the Seneca Tribe, to be the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Parker was the first Native American to assume the role. It was a signal on Grant’s part to the indigenous people that he dreamed of an era of peace and cooperation.  But as it turned out, Parker lasted only a few years before a toxic mixture of greed and politics poisoned every one of Grant’s best intentions.

Not only have you cited your source, you’ve successfully spread link juice to a product page on your domain.

Fresh Mentions

Fresh mention opportunities are some of the greatest links available. They are links just waiting to be built. A fresh mention is a mention of your brand, website, url, etc. on a page that you yourself did not create.

The goal then is to leverage these mentions into a deep link by reaching out to whoever mentioned you. So let’s say your client is a book publisher, Panda Books. They’ve published a biography on General Custer that they are marketing, “Custer’s First Stand: The Battle of Hanover.”

Jon Ball
Jon Ball is CEO and co-owner at Page One Power. He is a research expert that specializes in the implementation of highly effective link building strategies for clients all over the world. He’s also an avid photographer. Page One Power is a link building firm that focuses on relevancy and transparency.
Jon Ball
Jon Ball

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23 thoughts on “A 101 Guide to Deep Links: Why They Matter, and How to Get Them

    1. hey Jon, you have got it, blog carnivals were very powerful if used properly. Only thing one has to keep in mind that, do a good keyword research and solve most popular problem with great information.

  1. Thanks for publishing this piece. Readers, bear in mind this was written a few weeks ago. The reference to PS Hoffman could not be more unfortunately timed. A tragic loss.

  2. Thanks for the source of backlink report. Very helpful to monitor how much backlink my competitor get to increase page rank.

      1. In my opinion, competitor backlink research is a link building fundamental. A competitor’s backlink report is a fantastic start for compiling relevant link prospects.

  3. I’ve been preaching this for years. Deep links are the best way to build authority in your site and niche. It’s also a red flag to Google when your site has 5,000 links to the home page and 0 links from deep in your site. Great tip about checkmylinks btw.

    1. Hi Chris,

      In my opinion, deep links and home page links ratio changes with the niche, generally in businesses like Voip phone system, the ratio of home page backlinks will be high, many big brads hardly maintain 15 to 30 pages on their site. Out of all these, only few popular pages like services page, etc will gain some deep links and rest of the links would be pointing to home page.

      However, it’s good idea to check your competitors deep link ratio and building the something close to that will generate better results.

      1. That’s a fair point Muhammad; the ratios will indeed vary niche to niche. But every niche is, or at least should be, interested in linking to the most applicable page. It’s best for your link profile and for the user experience.

  4. Hi Jon, its useful tips for a rookie like me to get high quality backlink.
    i just try the ahref and majestic seo.


  5. @Jon
    Great strategies for link building and a link builder ninja should always try some new avenues and do not hesitate to go for new paths and always try to take risks and try new methods in link building and build strong links in niches like you have described.

    Good share!

  6. Nice article! Very informative!

    Have anyone tried to buy back links, from a company that only create links to the homepage?

    I have!

    From a Danish company (yes, there is also scammers in DK). They have created 30 fake webpages, with fake Facebook profiles, and fake identity. Then the company was writing some articles, which I think, was made on a computer, or by some Asian dudes.

    They did not get paid, and I must say it’s a jungle out there! Many link builders is just typing in what they are suppose to do, and then they send a bill, and go on for the next client. This is to bad, and this is something that is destroying the industry.

    Regards from Denmark
    Michael Bay

  7. Excellent post on link biilding strategies. The strategies mentioned here, if practised well, could make your link building natural and search engine friendly.

    I agree with you that deep linking is vitally important. It helps build individual page authority and PageRank.

    Experience has shown how powerful inbound links to deep pages are. The SEO experts can explain why things happen this way.

    But I know of two factors responsible for the high success of this linking system.

    Inbound links to internal pages are mostly contextual. Search engines have much trust in this type of link and give better authority to them.

    They’re mostly structured with better targeted anchor texts with related surrounding discussion.

    Most of the tools (numerous to be mentioned one after the other) you mentioned in this article are indispensable for the success of business websites and blogs.

    Thanks for sharing