The Complete Deep Linking Glossary: Defining Key Terms

Chapter 6

Deep Linking Glossary of Terms

LinkA link is merely an address, name or reference to a file on “The internet”! Links are URLs, they can refer to many different types of resources. URLs can be files (like an HTML page!), databases, APIs, and much more.
Deep LinkA deep link is a special URL that routes to a specific spot, whether that’s on a website or in an app. A “mobile deep link” then, is a link that contains all the information needed to take a user directly into an app or a particular location within an app instead of just launching the app’s home page.
URI SchemeA URI Scheme is a way to directly open the app if it is installed on the device — this is the same as being able to send mail to a very specific Box if you have a PO Box number.
Deferred Deep LinkThis is the process of deep linking a user after they install an app for the first time.
Query ParametersQuery parameters are everything in a URL followed by the question mark, and each query parameter is separated by an ampersand. For example in the URL:!&message=Use%20OneLink%20for%20your%20custom%20onboarding&button_title=Let%27s%20Go, the first query parameter is ?pid=facebook.
SubdomainA subdomain is a subset of the higher domain. For example, in the URL, facebook is the subdomain of the .com top level domain.

This is the website. is a domain. So is

The subdomain is the subset of the domain.

These are all links.

Path or PathnameThe path of a URL is essentially the final destination of a URL, the “street address” of the building where the URL leads

The route of the URL. This is the place in the app that you can take a user to with a deep link. Every attribution and deep linking company thinks about a route differently, but universally, it is known as the string that comes after the URI scheme of an app.

For example, airbnb has the following URI scheme:


Their route for a deep link is everything after this, such as airbnb://listing/123.

Apple Universal LinkApple Universal Links are a standard from Apple that is deployed on the iPhone operating system (iOS), which allows a user to tap a link and be delivered immediately to the app (if it’s installed on their device).
Android App LinkAndroid App Links are deployed on the Android operating system, which allows a user to tap a link and be delivered immediately to the app (if it’s installed on their device).
Facebook App LinkFacebook App Links are a cross-platform standard that allows a user to tap a link and be delivered immediately to the app (if its installed on their device).
People-Based / Multi-Touch AttributionThis is attribution across multiple devices. For example, if someone is fingerprinted on mobile web and then performs an action in iOS app, their actions can be tied together by “People-Based / Multi-Touch Attribution.”
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