Deep link ratio: what makes a backlink profile look natural?

Deep link ratio: what makes a backlink profile look natural?

5th July 2010

Hanns Kronenberg started an interesting discussion in Germany about the deep link ratio as a quality signal. Reason for this discussion is a remark of Professor Dr. Mario Fischer in his new magazine “Website Boosting”. According to Mario at least 50% of the inbound links should go to the site’s front page.
I think we all agree on one thing: making a link profile look natural is link builder’s core mission. But is it possible to develop such a rule on natural link profiling?

First let’s take a look at the deep link ratio of some big sites. I took 75 of the biggest websites in Germany (because I can get that data from the Sistrix Toolbox) to compare the deep link ratio and divided them by industry. We get the following picture:

It’s quite interesting to look at the differences between the industries, but at the second glance it isn’t really hard to explain these numbers. For example: news pages get a lot of inbound links on articles, which have their own deep link – a dating community, for instance, is commonly a closed community with just a few public pages. Or: it is more likely to get a deep link on a blogpost rather than a link to a category or productpage of an commercial shop.

As you can see if you have a deep link ratio of about 50% you’re probably on the safe side, but it depends on the website and industry you are building links for. Besides that deep link ratio is just one of many signals. Other important signals are anchor text ratio, link growth, domain popularity, ip popularity etc. It’s the combination of those signals that can make you a winner or loser.

So, to cut a long story short, when you start a new project or get a new client, think about how a natural link profile could look. Think about the different quality signals Google probably uses and think about this particular website. Look at the industry and the competitors. Build up some rules for this particular project…. And then start building your links keeping these rules in mind. Success will be yours!

Written By
Evert Veldhuijzen is consulting various international brands about different aspects of online marketing. His company Netlead is in affiliate business and develops websites for his joint-ventures.
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