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Don’t Tell Dorothy, But There is a Place Better Than Home

Robyn Storms

You are all familiar with the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” No? Then I suggest you take back that stolen piece of your childhood and watch it. Rent it. Borrow it. Just do what needs to be done.

Now back to my point.

After a long trip down the yellow brick road Dorothy finds herself wishing more than anything to be returned to her farm in Kansas. She finds through the help of the Good Witch (and some magic) that the ruby slippers she has been wearing all along will take her there. All she has to do is click her heels three times and repeat the words, “There’s no place like home.”

Though Dorothy’s adventures in OZ teach her that home is where she will find true happiness, the same sentiment does not apply to link building. Link building is a common SEO strategy that too often is misused. Many people are under the assumption that only linking to a website’s home page will garner the best results and at a much quicker pace. Not true. Deep linking, or linking to pages other than the home page, has its advantages and will actually help your website achieve a higher page rank.

Deep linking magic achieved: Those that choose not to use deep linking as a means of site optimization are right in thinking that a website’s home page carries the most amount of Google juice and has the highest page rank. That page rank is then passed on to other pages and subpages. For example; if you have a website whose homepage has a PR5, then each link off of that page will likely have a PR4, and each link off of that page will likely have a PR3, and so on.

You get the idea. But when you are able to consistently get credible links pointing to other pages within your site, those internal pages will build up page rank. And since most site architectures include a link from those pages pointing to your homepage, your homepage will see a boost in page rank as a result of your efforts.

Spreading the love around: Deep linking helps you to focus your content on one or two keyword phrases per page which will give you a better chance of ranking higher for those particular keywords. Having additional pages with relevant content also increases your chances of being indexed by the search engines.

Doing what comes naturally: Google likes to reward those who play by the rules and punish those who don’t. One thing Google looks for is natural linking. Natural linking occurs when other sites link to relevant content within a site. If you have a website with 500 external links and they are all pointing to the home page, this doesn’t look natural. You’re better off linking to the most appropriate page of the site rather than just the home page because the user experience will be better and Google rewards you for the deep link.

Avoiding a walk down the Yellow Brick Road: When Dorothy left Munchkin Land to find the Wizard all she was told was to follow the yellow brick road. Though we wouldn’t have a movie, it would have been a lot easier for Dorothy to jump right to the Emerald City. The same goes for deep linking. Online visitors will appreciate a link that takes them directly where they want to go without having to search all over your site to find it. And if they find what they are looking for right off they will probably visit your site again generating more traffic.

The next time you work to add links to your site, find a way to link directly to the most relevant page so you can increase the page rank of that page, include links into your site and avoid the un-natural look of building links only to your home page.

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