Deep Linking Cameron Boyle Greg Brown Genevieve Chua XuanHuong Luong
What is Deep Linking? • Deep Linking is linking to a web page other than a site’s homepage. • This type of linking bypasses the homepage of the document that is being linked to.
What is Deep Linking II: • The “deep” refers to the depth of the page in a site’s hierarchical structure of pages. • Any page below the top page in the hierarchy can thus be considered deep.
Issues in Deep Linking: • Deep linking has only begun to spark mild controversies in recent times as the Web has become more commercialized. • One of the fundamental strengths of the Web is the ability for any public document to connect to any other public document.
Issues in Deep Linking II: • The legality of deep linking has been called into question in several lawsuits involving well-known corporations. • Opponents of deep linking argue that deep linking unfairly eliminates the ability of the homepage to contribute to brand building and ad serving functions.
Issues in Deep Linking III: • Proponents of deep linking contend that the ability to link freely is central to the philosophy behind the public internet. • They also argue that a deep link is better than NO LINK. • Deep linking may even be more profitable than a homepage link if the site has poor navigational structure.
Why Deep Linking? • Deep linking is used to offer links to important information that the author wants the user to have easy access to. • Educational Use: A student could be sent straight to the article rather than having to waste time searching for the article from the homepage.
Why Deep Linking II: • Internal Company Use: A company could add a link that would send an employee straight to the purchasing page to give them easy access to contract information. • Commercial Use: A company could use a deep link to get protected material for it’s own profit
Deep Linking is Good Linking: • Deep linking enhances usability because it is more likely to satisfy user’s needs. • Generic links, such as links to a company’s homepage are less useful than specific links that take users to an individual article of product.
Supporting Deep-Link Users: • Tell users their arrival point, and how they can proceed to other parts of the site by including 3 design elements on every single page : 1) Company name or logo. 2) Direct, one click link to the homepage. 3) Search tool.
Supporting Deep-Link Users II: • Orient the user relative to the rest of the website. If the site has hierarchical information architecture, a breadcrumb trail is usually the best method of approaching this. Including links to other resources that are directly relevant to the current location.
Supporting Deep-Link Users III: • Don’t assume that users have followed a drill-down path to arrive at the current page. They may not have seen information that was contained on higher-level pages.
Ticketmaster vs. Microsoft’s Sidewalk Site: • In April 1997, Ticketmaster sued Microsoft Sidewalk Site for deep linking to pages within the Ticketmaster site. • Ticketmaster contended that by deep linking, Microsoft was intentionally bypassing advertising and links to other services offered by Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster vs. Microsoft’s Sidewalk Site: • Ticketmaster demanded that Microsoft only link to their homepage, so that some sort of control could be exercised over the experience of visitors to the site. • The case was settled confidentially in February 1999.
Conclusion: • A website is like a house with a million entrances: the front door is simply one among many ways to get in. A good website will accommodate visitors who choose alternate routes.