Google sitelinks are listed after a main search result, in which it is followed by multiple indented sitelink results.
Most webmasters believe that sitelinks are a reputation enhancer while also allowing a webpage to control greater real estate in SERPs.
Here’s how sitelinks typical appear in search results:
If you search “Apple,” the main homepage for Apple appears in search results followed by indented sitelinks for “Apple Store,” “iPhone,” “iPad,” “Support,” “iTunes” and “Mac.”
Google tells you more about sitelinks within Webmaster Tools. There are also things that you can determine from looking at the sitelinks that Google chooses for your site.
In this post, we’ll discuss best practices for Google Sitelinks and how to acquire them for maximum SERP exposure!
To obtain the highly-effective Google sitelinks and use them to the best of your advantage it’s best to first get a good grasp on what they actually are. Siteinks are basically hyperlinks to website subpages and links that pop up in the gush of Google listings that appear when a user is looking for a particular site. Sitelinks essentially act as shortcuts to steer guests to the pages of your site you want to viewed first, and more often. They also benefit potential visitors by allowing them to effortlessly land the information they need – and get there quickly.
These links are triggered when an ad offers the most applicable search results. As you’ll find threaded throughout the following, effective sitelinks are generated when web masters create brand terms that are appealing enough to lure guests in: they need to have a flair that stands then out from all the others. Google does not allow site owners to simply add sitelinks of their own accord.
Indeed throughout the past few years, Google has become pretty finicky in the way of allowing site managers to get their sites up and running. It does all it can to make the manipulation of rankings a near-impossible feat. Rather, Google recommends that web creators design sites that are already user-friendly and adhere to a clear pyramid of pages. Suggests Google, this practice has the potential to make a site more amenable to their analysis algorithms (the inner-workings of which are kept underground, again to discourage web creators to influence rankings).
That being said, here are 9 tips for Acquiring Google Sitelinks for your Website:
Studying Google Search Engine Results pages (SERPs) has lent many a web creator a helping hand in building their sites. From such examination, the following suggestions have been deduced:
Creating a site with clear navigation is not only beneficial to visitors, but can assist search engines decipher the topic of each page. Google can then use that information to improve search results and create applicable sitelinks.
First, you want to create structured navigation using HTML5 and CSS as a way to create menus to have the best appearance.
Secondly, you should organize your navigation to give logical destinations that visitors will choose frequently. However, you don’t want to overwhelm users and show off too many links. The main navigation items are things that users want to see. To get sitelinks in Google, you should have a number of different pages that they will actually want to visit.
Websites should also have a unique name. If the name is too generic, then click through rates won’t be very good for natural search. The user may also have too many decisions and too many similarly named sites. Google isn’t likely to provide sitelinks for a site that has average results for a particular search term.
If you want to improve readership and get more popular pages turned into sitelinks, then you need to avoid misleading or generic information.
To spark off good sitelinks, Google usually takes the following site factors into consideration:
When creating your structured navigation, try to use the HTML 5 <nav> tag, other HTML features like unordered lists (UL) and CSS-fashioned menus with aesthetic appeal; i.e. play around with lists horizontally or vertically, try out different color schemes and borders in order to find a design that will fully engage searchers.
Present visitors with a fair amount of destinations, but not so many that they get turned off by – and away from – your page. Sitelinks will most likely appear in greater numbers when visitors are greeted with a batch of pages that will engage them enough to want to visit them.
The way that Google chooses sitelinks has a lot to do with the type of structure and organization that your website has. The more organized that your website is according to the algorithms that are currently in use by Google, the more likely that you will receive the appropriate sitelinks under your main link listing. One of the easiest ways to get started restructuring an unorganized website is through categorization.
The categorization of a website includes detailing the more nuanced parts of your website through specialized long tail keywords and other search engine tactics. Basically, do not treat your entire website as though it is one homogenous entity: Delve more deeply into the subject matter and organize your website as you would a term paper or the table of contents in a scientific book.
Make sure your URL strings are SEO friendly. When it comes to web site names, it is a downright rule of thumb that nomenclatures are assigned with the utmost creativity. No-frills names will only serve to frustrate visitors and have them clicking on similar sites, with no special reason to click on yours. Most importantly, there is a slim chance that Google will grant sitelinks to a site named on the fly.
Again, imagination is key when it comes to acquiring sitelinks. Catchy, yet descriptive titles, including META descriptions (particularly assigned to Home pages and those that bring visitors to pages linked directly from the initial navigation have a greater ability to improve clicks and visits. META descriptions that fail to be informative enough about what your site is are notorious for vaulting people straight off your page and back into the cyber abyss.
Create a site that is beneficial, valuable and straight out useful for your guests. CAVEAT WEB CRAFTERS: Even if the site does not yet display information that pertains exactly to what the visitor is looking for, outbound links on the site may catch their eye and jettison them right off to another site, and even keep them from rebounding to the original search results.
I’ve also seen problem sites that did not get Sitelinks. Some characteristics of a site that could hinder Sitelinks include:
Increase the appeal of your web site by using anchor text that is highly informative yet brief and sways from redundancy.
Websites include internal links. The more effective that your internal link structure is to a human being, the more effective that it will be to a Google site crawler. Make sure that all of your subcategories link back up to their parents where it is most appropriate. This will give you a positive feedback loop in two ways: The people who are already visiting your website will stay on it longer because they will be able to find references more easily. Secondly, your website will receive more consideration for sitelinks because of this increased stickiness on your website.
Internal linking also helps Google to recognize what is most important on a website. Parent categories will most likely be linked to a great deal. Subcategories will likely have links going out. This dichotomy helps Google to understand what parent categories and subcategories are. If that organization matches the schema that Google has set up for those keywords, then you are much more likely to have a high ranking page overall as well as plenty of sitelinks.
Google should be able to easily follow the links that you provide in your website. Google Webmaster provides the very tools that you will need in order to create a website that is easy for Google and other major search engines to navigate. For the most part, you should use the tools that are provided by the search engine that you are looking to increase ranking on.
If you spot a sitelink that is incorrect or inapplicable to your page, you can demote it. This obviously grants the webmaster a number of benefits. While Google doesn’t vow to magically have those demoted URLS disappear from your site never to return again, the company does take a demotion seriously and tries its best to honor the hint when developing further sitelinks to appear. Plus, be patient because it can take a spell for your demotion request to be granted and for search results to reflect the alterations.
Here’s how to demote a sitelink:
You should have deduced by now that Google has become an intricate mastermind when it comes to either working hand-in-hand with or denying the efforts of site builders when it comes to sitelinks. It has been heard throughout the virtual grapevine that Google is consistently working to improve their algorithms and may implement webmaster feedback and contributions in the near future. Until then, however, we are unfortunately at the mercy of its grasp.
NOTE* You can demote up to 100 URLs, which remain effective for 90 days from your most recent visit to the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools.
If the text for your sitelinks isn’t displaying the right title, there are a few different reasons. For one, your title may not be unique to the page. Google may have chosen to ignore the title that you write if the title is used on multiple pages. In addition, if the title isn’t relevant to the content on the page, Google may choose to ignore it. Titles have to be of suitable length, which is about six to seven words. If it’s too short or too long, it might also display differently than what you want.
It’s important to check your title tags and content to maintain relevance. You should also look for other parts of your description for errors and see if the text is the appropriate amount of characters. Most content management systems allow you to do this fairly easily. For instance, you can change all of these titles and descriptions in WordPress with very little effort.
The description for your site is the black text underneath the sitelinks. Usually you want the description to talk about what your site is offering to the audience. These descriptions may also include keywords as long as they are relevant to the content of the page. It’s also frustrating to find that the black text beneath the sitelinks are not accurate or not showing up.
To maintain the value of your site, you should have a relevant and clear meta description that describes your site as efficiently as possible while also providing unique information that will attract visitors. You can typically edit the description for the page within your content management system. If you don’t have any black text, the description could be missing from this field. In addition, your site’s description may be automatically filled in from the Open Directory Project. If so, include a meta tag containing the NOODP that allows you to opt out of this type of description. The description also must be the right length of 250 characters, unique and relevant to the content or else Google will ignore it.
It’s unclear how sitelinks are chosen for certain pages. However, most believe that it is because of prominence and quantity of links to certain pages that makes these sitelinks appear beneath a main page sitelink. If your site doesn’t have a lot of navigation, then you’ll likely only see these navigation links for your sitelinks if you include them as part of your campaign. Sitelinks are also chosen based on URL structure and relevance to the search term.
In some cases, Google will select sitelinks that are outdated or don’t pertain to the main focus of your site. It can be frustrating to see this as many users may click on these links only to be disappointed by what they find. In this scenario, there are options to getting rid of sitelinks that you don’t want and making sure that the sitelinks you do want take its place.
If you don’t like the sitelinks for your site, you can demote site links and suggest one in its place or allow Google to show another sitelink in place of the one that you demoted. To do this, log in to Google Webmaster Tools and under “Site Configuration,” click “Sitelinks.” Now you can click on the search result that you want to demote a link for.
You’ve probably noticed that not all sites in Google are blessed with sitelinks. If you look in the Google Search Console Help Center, Google provides the following information:
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.
You shouldn’t be insulted by this lingo though it can be hard to understand why Google would pick a sitelink that doesn’t really benefit the overall focus of your site. However, if your site isn’t showing site links, there are a number of reasons.
For one, your site doesn’t have a lot of choices to pick from. If all the traffic is going to just one page, you won’t get sitelinks.
If all of your pages have the same title and meta description, your site also won’t have sitelinks because it’s showing up in Google as the same page.
Google also won’t show sitelinks for pages that have little content, no text or useless information.
In addition, sitelinks come from high natural search traffic, strong click through rates and popular internal pages will also appear as sitelinks. If you have unique titles and meta descriptions, these will also show underneath a main page. While this is all speculative, Google typically wants sites to display this type of information when it chooses sitelinks.
Sitelinks are becoming a more important part of an overall Internet presence for all industries. Sitelinks are the links that are directly underneath the main link for site results in a Google search. Those links tend to be related to the main link, focusing on more nuanced and precise categories within the main topic area. Depending on the way that the links are being promoted, they may even point to other pages within the main website that is being linked to.
The main advantage of sitelinks is simple: Having more links on a search engine listing creates a bigger chance that your website will be visited rather than the site of a competitor. There are other advantages as well, including:
One of the most important questions for search engine optimization professionals in today’s online market is how to create sitelinks without building backlinks. Is there even a way to do this? Link building is becoming more difficult every cycle as Google continues to implement programs such as Penguin as well as Panda that punish the efforts of good companies who are simply trying to increase their online real estate. As a result, many companies have completely abandoned link building efforts. This actually results in the exact opposite effect of what Google purports to try to accomplish: With less relevant companies vying for top search engine slots, there is less relevant content to place in front of search engine queries.
However, sitelinks can actually be created without having to go through the muddy waters of link building and the constantly changing rules of Google algorithms. Below are just a few of the ways in which search engine professionals can create more leverage for their listings. Although the exact nature of what makes a sitelink appear is still a secret, the tactics below have been proven to work for reputable companies in the past.
Sitelinks are one of the main ingredients to a successful web site. They generate more traffic to your page, send visitors deeper into your sitemap, and can create an overall boost of efficiency for your business or cause. With patience, a slight bit more of research and trial and error, you’ll be mastering the art of getting Google to grant your sitelink wishes in no time.