Deep-Linking: Advantages and Disadvantages
Deep-linking is a useful tool that the helps to navigate the reader to the specific information he is interested in. There are many issues and concerns related to that function that need to be taken into the account before allowing deep-linking by external entities or accepting any deep-linking. In order to understand all of the issues let’s define the deep-linking and understand how deep-linking is working.
Deep-linking is publishing a hyperlink of the interior page of one site, to the page of another site (Bray, 2003). In another words, by clicking on the hyperlink of deep-linking the reader will be transferred from the current web-site page straight to the linked inside page of another site, skipping its home page. It is very important to note that the URL address changes to the linked URL address, when a person is transferred to the linked page (Linking, Framing and Metatags, 2007).
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are many advantages of using deep-linking for both users and the owners of the web-sites. It helps readers or users to save time by taking them straight to the information of their interest on some other site. Most of the time, it is really hard to locate the information someone is looking for starting from the main page or the home-page of the site. That is why deep-linking is more useful rather than generic links which direct users to the home-pages of other sites (Nielsen, 2002). At the same time allowing deep-linking by external entities will increase the page-rank of the page and improve the web-site’s position in the searching engines. It will also increase the traffic flow to the web-site (Webmaster Tools, 2011).
There are also some disadvantages of allowing or not monitoring the use of deep-linking by other entities. In 2007, there was an interesting law-suit between Ticketmaster and Microsoft. Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to make them stop sending users directly to interior pages where users could buy tickets to specific shows. By doing so, Microsoft was reducing Ticketmaster’s revenue from the advertisements on the home page and its ability to control and direct traffic on its web site. In 1999, the law suit was settled and Microsoft removed its deep-linking and routes its traffic to Ticketmaster's home page. However, the terms of the settlement are confidential (Linking, Framing and Metatags, 2007). So, one of the disadvantages of deep-linking is that it may bypass revenue-gathering pages or make use of a page from another site which has particular value (Clinch, 2002).
Second disadvantage of the deep-linking is that the sites do not give the full credit to the linked pages and by that infringes the unrelated site’s copyrights (Clinch, 2002). Another disadvantage is the relationship that can appear between the two sites by the creation of the deep-links. In the worst scenario the relationship to the inappropriate web-sites with bad...