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To Deep Link or Not To Deep Link
Deep Linking is Good Linking
Brett_Tabke




msg:425960
 5:47 am on Apr 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

In a article last month Jakob talks about Deep Linking:

[useit.com...]

The first time I read that a few weeks ago, I really thought it was a dated "deadline is due-this is all I got" article for the nervous corporate crowd.

Earlier today, I had a request if it was ok to "deep link" to an article here on WebmasterWorld. This utterly surprised me. That may be the third time it's happened in 7 years to me through tens of thousands of requests.

How do you guys feel about deep linking? Is it ok if someone links down into content for you? Do you deep link? Do you give it a second thought?

 

AlbinoRhyno




msg:425990
 8:18 am on Apr 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with Woz et al:
I agree with glengara about deep links and Pigeo.., er, Page Rank. Theoretically a deep link should be more valuable as the implication is it is linking to specific content rather than the site as a whole.

If I am refering to a book, I'm going to point them at amazon.com/book instead of making them search for it. If I am refering to a thread at webmasterworld, I'm going to give the discussion id, not make them wade through thousands of threads in order to find it. If I am referring to an article about PHP regular expressions, I am going to point to that page on php.net, not to php.net itself.

I think any webmaster worries about a deep link is in the wrong business. (disclaimer: I'm in my mid 20's, so I think I know everything and could care less for outdated thinking) It is equivalent to VHS tapes not allowing you to fast forward, or CD's making you listen to the whole cd instead of the track you want in order to get the whole CD brand image across. Ludicris. (I thinkg of Space Balls every time I say that word...)

You should always be thinking of the user, as they pay the bills. What kind of linking is most beneficial to the user?

Brett_Tabke




msg:425991
 8:19 am on Apr 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wasn't concerned with the pr aspects. I'd not really even thought about that when I made the first post.

It just makes sense to link striaght to the content you are referring to. Like the original post, I could have linked to the Alert box page, or just straight to the article itself [useit.com]. Which makes more sense? Of course going to the topic at hand is the most appropriate.

I found some of the concerns issued in this thread to be fascinating. I didn't know that Europe was still dealing with the issue. I thought this was just a we have a nervous legal team corporate sector.

europeforvisitors




msg:425992
 7:31 pm on Apr 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Another linking issue is how you present your links. If you frame the deep linked pages into your own design you may be modifying content rather than linking. If you use frames to match the content of other sites with your banner ads without permission from the content owner you should expect some trouble.<<

Ask Jeeves and About.com do this, and I don't think either has been sued. Why? Probably two reasons:

1) Adding a few lines of framebreaking code is easier (and cheaper) than filing a lawsuit.

2) Many Webmasters put up with frames in return for the traffic they get from referrers like Ask Jeeves and About.com.

WebSpinner




msg:425993
 10:29 pm on Apr 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Why not deep link! It's all good. Can really only help to advertise the site. If someone wants to link to you, then you more than likely have something worthwhile to offer.

Brett, strange you would ask this question. WMW is a key place to get "REAL" info on various topics, so the more " deep links", the merrier.. No!?

You know! Good or bad publicity is PUBLICITY!!!

Spinner

jpalmer




msg:425994
 2:15 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Gidday again,

>I found some of the concerns issued in this thread to be fascinating. I didn't know that Europe was still
dealing with the issue. I thought this was just a we have a nervous legal team corporate sector.

I would have thought that if there was any doubt about whether the deep link was "legal" or the link was going to be appreciated by the webmaster of the target url/resource, then a quick email to them asking their permission is all that's needed?

After all, "if you don't ask, you don't get" and the worst thing that can happen is they say "no".

Cheers JP

europeforvisitors




msg:425995
 2:28 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I would have thought that if there was any doubt about whether the deep link was "legal" or the link was going to be appreciated by the webmaster of the target url/resource, then a quick email to them asking their permission is all that's needed?<<

Why encourage ignorant site owners to think they have the right (legal or moral) to grant or withhold permission for deep links?

hstyri




msg:425996
 12:46 pm on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Re. framing
Ask Jeeves and About.com do this, and I don't think either has been sued. Why? Probably two reasons: ...

It depends on the jurisdiction. In some countries the may get in trouble. (Today's buzz in Norway is that MSN Search frames Realnames links in a large realnames ad. I think it's quite funny that people who pay for placement get framed in an ad. ;) However, the local businesses with Realnames keywords have already complained.)

jpalmer




msg:425997
 2:35 am on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Why encourage ignorant site owners to think they have the right (legal or moral) to
grant or withhold permission for deep links?

Because, IMHO, despite the idea that the web is free, there's nothing anyone can really do if you deep link to their page. Unless there's revenue/legal issues involved, in which case, you're gonna find out soon enough what they think!

I reinterate, if you can't get to the resource from the target sites own navigation or search system, then it's common courtesy to email and ask.

To do otherwise would be analogous to me, next time I'm in Europe, coming to your house and raiding your fridge while you're not home. :)

Hooroo
JP

ukgimp




msg:425998
 8:27 am on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting thread.
Maybe this has been covered but in my opinion.

1. Generally, if you did not want people to see or look at your site why the hell did you put it on the web anyway.

2. When I have referenced other poeple work during my research I never asked if it was ok to cite their work. Difficult in some cases, one bloke karked it in 1555!

3. Providing you are not framing the site then any link is a good link. As said before no doubt, i want to go to the specific article, not the index page and hunt till the end of time looking for it.

Mikkel Svendsen




msg:425999
 11:22 am on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I actually quite often run into clients that tell me that they only want traffic to the front page and don't want any kind of deep-linking. However, they still want to turn up for the often thousands of relevant keywords that apply to the business or products they do.

It is less that a week ago I had the last consulting session with such a client.

Like in so many other cases when clients have unrealistic expectations to what they can do on the Internet I have to tell them how it works: If they do not want to become a part of the Internet and play the games by the unwritten rules that are evolving they will not get the full benefit of being here.

It is not just a matter of deep-linking. It’s a matter of using the Internet at what it is best at – using this new media on it’s own terms. Internet is not like any other media ever used before but still most companies treat it like a “online brochure” or a “interactive TV”. They still have a lot to learn.

Hyper linking is a very essential part of the Internet. Except for the rare cases mentioned by others here trying to block deep-linking or even having a strategy against it is outright stupid.

europeforvisitors




msg:426000
 1:40 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I reinterate, if you can't get to the resource from the target sites own navigation or search system, then it's common courtesy to email and ask.

I disagree, simply because the target site's owner has already consented to such linking through the act of publishing his or her pages on the World Wide Web. Asking "May I?" sets a bad precedent by ignoring the doctrine of "implied license" and (in the United States) the Constitutional right to a free press.

angus_reece




msg:426001
 4:15 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

The web is suppose to be about information, as previous posts said it's one big library.

Sites with valuable content should look at their navigation, so that it is easy to get to there home page from any page in their site. This then makes each page of the site an entrance point which is a great plus if you are after a range of keywords.

If you don't deep link then you break the customer search for information. He has to begin again on a different site with the potential to get lost before they finds the information they want. When that information could have been one click away.

jpalmer




msg:426002
 6:36 am on Apr 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Asking "May I?" sets a bad precedent by ignoring the doctrine of "implied license"
and (in the United States) the Constitutional right to a free press.

Pray tell good sir, since when has good manners been a "bad precedent"?

I guess the real point should be, how do you manage requests to remove links if you've received a request from the webmaster to do so?

I know that I've sent a couple off to other webmasters, asking for exactly that, becuase I'm uncomfortable with the company I'm in, or for political or ethical reasons.

Yes, there's not much I can do about it if you ignore me, but I guess my point is, will you respect my right to NOT want a link from you (for whatever reason), as blithley as you seem to take your (implied) right to make the link?

Cheers
JP

europeforvisitors




msg:426003
 5:24 am on Apr 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Yes, there's not much I can do about it if you ignore me, but I guess my point is, will you respect my right to NOT want a link from you (for whatever reason), as blithley as you seem to take your (implied) right to make the link?<<

I'd probably remove a link to your site if you asked me to--after all, why should I send traffic to people who don't want it? :-) But that's a pretty unlikely scenario. A more typical scenario would be a demand for a link to the home page instead of a "deep link." In such cases, I'd probably do one of two things, depending on the usefulness of the linked page to my readers:

1) Explain the rationale for deep linking (giving proper honors to the WWW's founder, Mr. Berners-Lee) in the hope that education might make a clueless Webmaster see the light. Or...

2) Simply remove the link altogether.

Side note: When I link to pages within a site, I often include a link to the home page in the annotation (especially if there isn't an obvious site name and "Home" link on the deep-linked page). I may even include the site owner's name where appropriate, e.g.:

(Fifty Frankfurt Photos)
Click the thumbnails for larger versions of John Doe's images from (John and Jane Visit Europe).

Any Webmaster who'd object to a deep link in this context would have to be very clueless indeed.

vitaplease




msg:426004
 5:37 am on Apr 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I were a search engine, I would go even further and discount the value of links to the home or index page of a site and/or give extra credit to deeplinks which are most often more relevant.

Think about all the institutions that get links to their home/index page from the "link-pages" of other sites that are just a collection of "good-form" listing.

richlowe




msg:426005
 5:00 pm on Apr 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

The web is about linking. It's a community for world communication. It is commercial only as a site effect. Who cares what the big corporate sites want? Deep linking is important and should be done as much as possible, regardless of what the webmaster wants. Now, I am referring to deep linking to web pages, not images or multimedia. That's bandwidth stealing and is not good.

When you view the web as a vast communication tool, then deep linking makes sense because the purpose is to get people to information as quickly as possible. If you view it as a money-making machine, deep linking does not make sense, because you want people to come to YOUR main page, where you make your pitch and make your income.

jpalmer




msg:426006
 3:31 am on Apr 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Side note: When I link to pages within a site, I often include a link to the home page ...>

Hey! ... good idea europeforvisitors!!! Makes a lot of sense, think I'll start using it myself. :)

Also glad to hear you'd respect the right of NOT linking.

>Deep linking is important and should be done as much as possible, regardless of what the webmaster wants.

Have to disagree with you there richlowe. Now don't get me wrong, I deep link like mad, and sometimes I even get a reciprocal link for my efforts (one advantage of being courteous and notifying the target link webmaster!) but if you receive a "thanks but no thanks" email from me, I expect some respect.

What goes around comes around.

Cheers and Hooroo
JP

richlowe




msg:426007
 4:42 am on Apr 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Of course if I linked to one of your pages and you sent me an email asking me to stop, I would be happy to comply. I think I misstated my thought: I don't believe permission needs to be asked to deep link. If I find a page with good content I will just include a link and a description.

I view it as this: if I read a good story and I liked chapter 12, I might include a reference to chapter 12 in an article that I wrote. I don't need to ask the authors permission to recommend that people read chapter 12 of his book. In fact, according to fair use, I don't even need to ask if I want to include a brief quote or two.

jpalmer




msg:426008
 6:23 am on Apr 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I view it as this: if I read a good story and I liked chapter 12, .... according to fair use, I don't even need to ask if I want to include a brief quote or two.<

hmmmm ... good analogy ...

I think we've just about exhusted this topic now ... ;)

Cheers and hooroo
JP

brantgurga




msg:426009
 2:25 am on Apr 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

It is okay as long as it is not loaded in any sort of frame.

billy_t9




msg:426010
 6:51 pm on Apr 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

imagine a www without p*ger*nk and GG's or other SEs if this discussion might ever come alive!!!
IMO never...internet is based on hyperlinks nomatter are deeplinks or to the main page...I think from a design aspect that the shortest way is what we want..to send straight to the info or to have a look first at the main page.
If we are interesting for the info then send him straight to the "gold".

Brett_Tabke




msg:426011
 3:54 pm on Apr 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

A very intersting side discussion dealing with deep linking: [webmasterworld.com...]

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