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What is Deep Linking?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Images By: See-Ming Lee, Anyaberkut
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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Deep linking is linking to a web page or file on the Internet that is not the main domain of the website. When a webmaster creates a link that leads to a specific page or piece of data on a website, she is deep linking to the site. If an email links to a picture on a website, the email link is a deep link. Deep linking is used by webmasters to link to websites and control website traffic, but can also drain bandwidth resources for the website.

Generally, deep linking of website pages is good for the websites that are linked to because a deep link helps a web surfer go directly to the article or picture he was looking for. When an image is deep linked, it can promote unwanted traffic that uses bandwidth to view the picture without visiting the website, potentially creating additional bandwidth costs for the site. When other websites link to the front page of a website, it can help the webmaster drive search results for the website, but it can make the right information on the site difficult for visitors to find. Deep linking ensures that a web surfer gets to the right site on a website without having to navigate through the rest of the website. Acquiring deep links from other websites can also help get more site pages indexed by search engines.

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Traffic is a term used to refer to the users who browse through a website. Web surfers click on links in order to navigate a website and access other topical websites linked from that website. A website that receives many links from other websites will see more web traffic and better search results on search engines like Bing® and Google®. When a website has better search listings, this means that it is one of the first few listings that comes up when a user inputs certain search terms into a search engine. Dominating top search engine listings is one way for a website to garner more traffic.

Hyperlinks, known as links for short, are navigation buttons a user clicks to access a specified website. They can appear on a website linking to another website, or they can be sent via email, like in a forwarded email you might receive from friends. Links are usually text or image buttons with hypertext markup language (HTML) commands that open a website in the tab or window specified by the user. HTML is the programming language used to build most websites. Other programming languages used on the web include Java, ASP.NET and PHP.

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