What is Deep Link Ratio? ~ Encyclopedia - Online Marketing With Google Yahoo MSN

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What is Deep Link Ratio?

SEO Question: Can you explain what the Deep Link Percentage is, I ran a few sites and was surprised to see numbers as low as 7% with some very well respected SEO and large brick and mortar store websites.

My basic understanding is your deep link percentage is the number of internal pages which are linked to by highly relevant incoming links from highly relevant established pages. So for example if you had a ten page site and had one incoming indexed link pointing to each page from a site with proper anchor text your DLP would be 100%? SEO Answer: Deep link percentage is the % of all your backlinks (or inbound links) that point at pages other than your home page.

What you do is the following steps:

  • Do a link search for a site in Yahoo! to determine all links pointing at it, say Y! [linkdomain:linkhounds.com]. That just returned 1,490 results for me (all links to that domain).
  • Lets subtract out links to our domain coming from within that domain (also known as internal linkage data) Y! [lindomain:linkhounds.com -site:linkhounds.com] 1,480 results (all links to domain - links from internal pages...it is a really small ~ 10 page website)
  • Now lets find out how many pages link at internal pages. To do this we must search for all links pointing at the domain minus links pointing at the home page. Y! [linkdomain:linkhounds.com -site:linkhounds.com -link:http://www.linkhounds.com -link:http://linkhounds.com]. That gives me 1,240 deep links. Notice how in that last step I had to subtract the number of links pointing at both the www. version and non www. version of the home page.

So we calculate deep link ratio to be
# of deep links
# of links pointing at site

----- = 84%

84% is exceptionally high for most sites. Most major newspapers are not even that high. The reason that site was so high are

  • I have not actively promoted the site much
  • the site generally looks like dog crap so people are probably hesitant to link at it (hey I used a free design template)
  • the tools on the site are rather useful and attract a good number of natural links (notice how Jim Boykin just said yesterday how he thinks most paid SEO tools are pure trash, but he also posted that he frequently uses the tools on Linkhounds)
  • some people mirror some of the tools and link back at the original tool locations

I pulled results from Yahoo! because they tend to show more of their known linkage data than Google or MSN do. The theory with the deep link ratio is that sites with a higher deep link ratio typically tend to have a more natural link profile.

Depending on your content quality and your content management system you may end up having a really high deep link ratio or a really low one. Generally a higher deep link ratio is better, because it does a better job of shielding you link popularity to make it look natural, but you should compare what other sites in your industry are doing and go from there. Blending in is typically a good thing.

When you referenced the 7% figure for some of the brick and mortar stores they may lack useful compelling content within their site. If they have a strong brand but little citation-worthy content then most of their links will end up pointing at their home page.

Also note that it may be uncommon for all your deep links to point at one specific page. If sites are naturally integrated into the web they should be able to acquire multiple references to their site from related sites.

Many new webmasters do not mix their anchor text very well and concentrate too much on trying to rank just the home page for hyper competitive terms. Many of the old guard on the SEO scene also spend a good amount of time trying to drive 3, 4 and 5 word searches at some of their internal pages.

Please note that there are some killer ideas that are just uber cool linkbait that will end up causing many links to point at one page. Be it the home page or an internal page. A couple examples I can think of:

  • currency converters
  • color scheme generator
  • Xenu Link Sleuth
  • online petitions

If you have individual pages or ideas that are exceptionally link-worthy I would not suggest worrying about them or downplaying them because you are trying to fit some random ratio (as I don't really think there is a golden ratio). Ride them for all they are worth, but then also look to come up with other good ideas or content, etc.

Source: http://www.seobook.com/archives/001470.shtml

No comments: