What You Need to Know About Deep Linking for Apps and SEO

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Linking deep inside a website has been the way to build links for a number of years now. Unlike years ago, where there vast majority of links pointed to the home page, best practice dictates deep links are the way to go.

Traditionally, deep SEO keywords are linked to a site of pages that are interlinked and allow link juice to pass from one page to another. However, thanks to apps things look like they’re going to change and we’re entering a new era of deep linking.


Google and other search engines are increasingly mobile friendly. Mobiles have applications. In turn, what better way for search engines to improve their offering to mobile searchers than to utilize these apps? 

In fact, Google has already started to index apps and has even created a guide for app developers on how to create apps that are indexable.

If an app is indexed, a search engine can then rank it – providing people with search results if it’s apt. For instance, if you’re a searcher who enters “taxi app”, you may see a result to download Uber or Hailo returned. 

The Future of Deep Linking

Apps are made up of a variety of areas, in the same way sites are made up of a whole variety of pages. Deep linking to apps involves linking to areas of a mobile app.

The premise behind this being that when a person, with your app installed, searches for something that’s on both your site and app – they will be shown a piece of apt content on your app rather than a page on your site. Additionally, if people don’t have your app installed, Google may return a result that encourages people to download your app instead.

Instead of creating an online presence with a focus on getting people to visit a site, you may be creating one where the onus is on getting someone to download your app. This would change the rules of SEO and we’d expect to see a number of changes to how Google or a search engine ranks content. This could be determined through the UX, the content within the app and maybe even ratings or downloads suggests Paul Gordon of Abacus Marketing.

None of this is determined yet and it’s still a work in progress and there are a number of technical complexities with the idea of deep linking and ranking apps in the SERPs alongside or instead of websites. However, there are obviously numerous benefits if this were to be the case:

     It increases the visibility of apps and we could see apps improving position in the app store and also SERPs, resulting in more downloads.

     Secondly it brings users to particular parts of your website and provides them value. Secondly this allows you to create a better user experience on these pages that can be used to entice people to convert faster than ever before. And as you know they’re searching on a mobile device you can cater very specifically for them.

The potential for deep linking to apps is huge and you will see it offered increasingly from quality link building services. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see this potential realized for a number of years. Issues with the number of people using mobile apps, URL structures and also the development of apps will mean it will be some time before we see this strategy go mainstream. However, knowledge is power and understanding what’s down the road will allow us to prepare for the future.