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We have a site with a lot of external deep linking, but somehow I feel perhaps directing all links to the front page may have been a better plan.
Life is not black and white, SEO is also not always clear cut. Good compromises is often the way to go and what makes the more successful site is the quality of the compromises you make
But generally speaking, I'd think I would prefer deep links. I'd gladly trade some of the links to my home page for some that went to other pages on the site. I'd guess that would enhance my credibility within the engines for more keywords.
Think of it this way...
Links to your index page is much better for the following reasons.
1. What page would you like to be sent to when you click on a link? The index page of course... not their links page or any other page (unless your looking for something in particular)
2. Sends all your traffic to your index page because you have geared that page to be the starting point to your site!
3. I have found that deep links doesnt really affect your rankings.(to an extent)
You will have no problem with links pointing to your index page...and if your worried about not getting the search engines to spider deep into your site!
Thats easy...Just put a sitemap on your index page & they can spider theit little hearts out :)
The only way deep linking will help you is if you dont have a sitemap on your index page
If you need help just PM me
You can rank quite well for relatively uncompetitive keywords targeted on subpages if you have good 'authority' ... ie. many varied links to your main page.
The more competitive the keywords become, the more you need good quality links ALSO pointing to the specific subpage. This would also help to explain why Google and DMOZ directory pages do well for uncompetitive terms, but not so well for more competitive ones.
I am starting to think that I should have been developing the front page as the primary target of my incomming links. I think that I am going to approach some of my linkers and request the change.
I had a similar issue with deep-linked pages having higher PR than my index page. However in my case I found my index page PR was being shared between www.domain.com/ and www.domain.com/index.php. This was caused by my internal linking stucture, which I have now fixed.
Worth a check before you do anything drastic.
I got some advice from here, and I now link back with ../ so index.php isn't mentioned anywhere.
Currently Google still has both indexed - www.domain.com/ is PR3 and www.domain.com/index.php is PR5. But I expect all the PR to go to www.domain.com/ in the next backlinks and PR update. (Hope! :))
There were about 400 and originally all showed in Google if I did a search site:www.domain.com index.php (note the space). Since altering them the number showed by Google has steadily reduced, and now there are none listed.
I think if you do not update the index page, Google will eventually notice the caches of the pages are the same and merge them (perhaps). But if you update your index page regularly as I do, the caches will always be out of step.
So I expect after the next PR/toolbar updates, there will still be an entry for www.domain.com/index.php. But all the PR that it used to have will have gone to www.domain.com/ and show up there in the toolbar - I hope! :)
I think that's quite important, because if you ask someone to link to you they are likely to check your site and they will automatically see the PR on www.domain.com. If it's low they may not be inclined to link. Currently all my internal pages are either PR5 or PR4, but the domain only shows PR3 when it should be at least PR5.
And I agree with you, your homepage should go to PR5 next update.
Back to topic: I'm off to change all my links from ../index.htm to ../