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What’s Your Web site’s Deep Link Ratio?

November 2, 2009

When it comes to organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the links pointing to your site are one of the most important factors that influence your search engine rankings. It’s not just a numbers game, however. The quality of those links is important, too – especially to Google. For example, if a large number of links and/or extremely reputable sites, such as The New York Times, point to your Web site for a particular search query, then Google “trusts” you are a relevant and popular authority on that topic.

From an SEO perspective, where those links point is yet another important consideration…

It addition to analyzing the quantity and quality of inbound links, you should evaluate your deep link ratio.

Simply put, your deep link ratio is the percentage of inbound links to your homepage versus all other pages of your site. To calculate your deep link ratio:

1) Calculate the total number of backlinks to your entire site. Important: Filter out links from your own domain. (Learn how to do this.)
2) Subtract the number of backlinks to your homepage. The result is the number of deep links to your site.
3) Divide the number of deep links by the total number of backlinks to get your deep link ratio.

Total Deep Links / Total Number of Links = Deep Link Ratio (%)

In general, sites with a higher deep link ratio tend to perform better in the search engines. So, all other things the same, a higher deep link ratio could give you just the edge you need to outperform your competitors.

However, be cautious of suddenly building a massive amount of deep links to your site. Links pointing to your site should always appear natural – both in terms of your deep link ratio, the anchor text used in the links, and the speed at which those links are acquired. Otherwise, Google and the other search engines may consider your site SPAM, and remove it from the search results.