Deep Links

Deep links can be complicated to set up, because for the simplest implementation, they require the URLs on the website to match up with the URIs (the specific path names) in the apps. Once deep links are setup, they allow search engine results to open an app directly from the search result, as long as the app is installed on the device that clicks the link. In cases where the app is not installed, the click will just result in landing on the same page on the website. In a process called App Indexing, developers must publish a list of the URLs with deep links in a web-app manifest which is hosted at the root of the website. When App Indexing first launched in 2016, there was a ranking benefit for pages that had deep links. Google has backed off of communication about this benefit, and it is unclear if it is still in place. App Indexing and Deep Linking are slightly distinct from one another. Deep Linking is required for App Indexing, but Deep Linking can be done on it’s own, and deep links can be used for sending social media, email, or add traffic from the web to the app, without App Indexing.