Sitelinks are a very sought after mark of success for every webmaster. Webmasters seek these neat vertical click through opportunities from Google’s search pages, not just for increased sales, but as a badge of success and accomplishment as well. So what the heck is a sitelink really…. and how do I get them?
How does Google compile the list of links shown below some search results?
The links shown below some sites in our search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.
So until recently, Google only displayed these precious sitelinks for the first SERP for a query. I guess ideally, the first search result for a query IS the best result…. Well in theory anyhow, but that’s not our topic today. So this most relevant and best match for the query has many aspects within the site’s navigation which are merited for the searched phrase… and Google serves them up so that searchers can more easily navigate the site’s content. Cool…
So Google has now improved sitelinks and the service they provide for searchers. Now these new and improved sitelinks can be display for SERPs other than #1 and they can be displayed inline under the SERP itself… Which uses FAR less SERP page real estate …=-) We like this indeed.
Here is am example of columnar style standard sitelinks for the number 1 search result
Here is an example of the new inline sitelinks for other results
Standard position 1 sitelinks have been known to display up to 8 links to prominent pages within a site, but the new inline sitelinks will only be displaying 4 max. So while for most they have never considered logging in to Google’s Webmasters Tools for the purpose of tweaking their sitelinks… this may well be a consideration for you soon. You see, with only 4 opportunities, you may be very well served to lend Google a hand with these selected pages. So keep your eyes open.