Deep links have been in SEO for more than a decade. Instead of putting a link to your homepage deep links allow you to specifically direct users to internal pages such as a blog page or about us page. This allows more diversity in your link profile, and enables you to increase page authority of individual pages and users can see more of your site rather than the homepage.
In the past the only way you could get deep links were from networks on other web pages, because that was the only place they existed. They might be seen in an article, included on a forum comment or even on social media.
Now, there is a new type of deep linking emerging, and this could be the future of SEO moving forward.
In the past you were linked to an interior page of a website, in the future of SEO could be more importance on app-based deep linking. This means instead of having a link directing users to a deep internal page of the website, you would have a link directing users to a specific area within a mobile application.
This means that if a user has your app installed, and they perform a google search on their phone, one of the results that might come up will be your content which might be on your website and on your mobile app. If your app is indexed clicking the result will take the user to the specific page on your mobile app rather than your website.
If potential users don’t have the app installed then google might direct them to a page to try and get users to download the app from an associated app store.
In the past couple of years, many web giants have been focusing more of their time on mobile users. Mobiles are responsible for a larger percentage of online activity each year with the figure increasing each year, and companies are trying to make the transition complete.
Google are already indexing apps with similarities on how they index websites, because apps have different structures Google have supplied a guide which helps developers how to format and send the information to Google for indexing.
When google have indexed this information, Google can provide app information to anyone who conducts a relevant search on a mobile. For example if someone searching for a “social media app” on a mobile might find a link to download Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Why is this a big change in SEO?
Most businesses in the past was to get people visiting their website, now they can get people to download an app. If the end goal now is to get people to download an app then the rules of SEO will need to be rewritten. You will need to come up with a plan and strategy to make sure your app gets noticed on search results.
What the future holds for deep app link building
There is a lot of technical complexities which can be intimidating and with the idea of traditional websites becoming a thing of the past is worrying, it is hard to deny the potential benefits this would bring to SEO.
Firstly, it is increasing the chance of making your app have more visibility. New app linking strategies could boost rankings not only on desktop searches but also on the app store.
Secondly, because deep linking will direct users to a specific section on your app, this can represent as a shortcut for your potential users. You can get users the information they want even quicker so you can make sure they get the best user experience because you know they are on a mobile device. This means that link building will be involved in SEO for the long run because it will evolve and meet the new increasing needs of consumers.
To summarise this change it is something which I believe in the future will be an important part of SEO. It is something which will have a lot of negatives but it will also have a lot of positives. This change is certainly one everyone should keep an eye on and see if you can see these changes being implemented.