Mobile · SEO

Is there a downside to in app deep linking?

Chloe Hartford Cofounder/CMO at USalesy

August 19th, 2015

We've got a mobile app and have been approached by several companies about potentially deep linking for acquisition and re-engagement.  Seems like an obvious upsides, but wondering if there are downsides to deep linking?

Mada Seghete Co-founder at Branch Metrics

August 19th, 2015

Hey Chloe, Mada here, one of the co-founders of Deep links are our bread and butter - we actually started Branch because while building our app we could not believe how broken linking on mobile was. We believe that what should drive app discovery is the content buried inside apps and deep links are the first step in making that discoverable.

We look at data every day - how general app links work in comparison with deep links and over and over again deep links vastly outperfom them. Over our few thousand apps using Branch we saw an increase from 16% in activation rate from user coming directly to the app to 29% activation rate for users coming from a deeplink and we are yet to find an app where deeplinks performed worse.

Paul Bruemmer Technical marketing consultant

August 19th, 2015

seriously? Chloe, there is no debate on this topic. Search engines have triggered and honed their machine learning skills. Strategic deep linking is critical path for mobile (and websites). 

Check Cindy Krum's 3 part article here for all the details (I have no affiliation with Cindy or her company however, she is an old friend and associate I've known for 10 years or so).

Louie Penaflor Vice President of Engineering at ABODO

August 19th, 2015

Hi Chole,

 Data should make this decision a lot easier. Deep linking indexing is now on the rise but some benefits are still only available through Chrome mobile users.  With iOS 9 and Universal Links it's going to be a lot bigger deal. A bigger upside currently is providing a seamless experience for your users between your mobile web and native apps. Data has shown that having an interstitial view to ask them to download your app increases bounce rates and you're missing potential conversions that way. I'd check if your native apps are converting higher or reaching their goals faster. I'd still consider deep linking to be a top priority of any mobile app if you have existing web content and not a mobile only company.

Barry Bryant Strategy, Vision, Ideation, Invention, Innovation

August 19th, 2015

Hi Chloe,

Potentially but avoidably intrusive perceptions vs amazing experiences may result depending upon how opt-in is socialized, how ads are placed, how notifications are issued and the quality of identification management platform, integration SDK /API, sensitivity to personal preference and privacy and experiential relevance given a wide variable of environmental contexts and user modality.

Beacon deployment will increase 1000% in 2015 according to BI. Apps white listed on beacon platforms will issue notifications and launch experiences that may or may not be perceived as relevant or intrusive depending on brand /user dialog and story continuity. 

Deep linking is just as possible with NFC, media tags, contactless transaction terminals and products. I've worked on some very successful examples with sports apparel that were diligent in setting and meeting user expectation.

What I'm seeing in the market is mobile proximity connected with programmatic ad placement, RTB, publication, lifestyle and brand apps. There's a through line business case that means revenue for app developers, but like any reward it's not without risk.  

Ultimately, apps simply have to be connected to IOT media, cross devices and environments to facilitate user experience and connect mobile attribution with commerce transaction. I would advise you really (really) do your homework on alliance partners and platform, privacy and data use policy, then take the agile test learn and deploy approach.

Hope this is helpful. Look forward to perhaps engaging with you further, and wishing you success! 



August 19th, 2015


This all depends on the content or app that your deep linking to. Deep linking really is about matching user intent with app action. If they are looking for an item they want to buy, they want it in the app and don't want to leave the app to buy it.

The downside is when you loose control of the deep links that get inside your app. I have seen bad user experiences due to deep linking that did not match the intended purpose of the app, wrong redirects, out of context ads and links to incorrect products.

The technology how deep links are implemented differs greatly between Apple and Android and there are some SDK's like URX you can use. -- Keith

Art Graham Digital Media - Consulting | Project Management

August 19th, 2015

Deep linking might help your acquisition and re-engagement efforts, however the big kicker might be search engine placement of your app. Can not think of downside, unless the rules change and deep linking is no longer relevant and you would have to remove it from app. Makes sense?

Scott Saunders Senior Business Analyst at Semantic SEO Solutions

August 20th, 2015

It seems to be this is just the beginning of the evolution/transition to a deep link structured data standard. A huge leg up for those with structured data experience. However, we're finding most structured data is markedup incorrectly. Thoughts?