Google's new Sitelinks and your web site
Google recently started to include a set of links below
some results to pages within the site. These new additional
links are called Sitelinks.
It seems that Google displays Sitelinks if a web site is
an authority site for the search term. The following screenshot
shows the first results for a "cnn" search:
What are Google Sitelinks?
Google explains the
new links on its webmaster pages:
How do you compile the list of links shown below some
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
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.
At the moment, Sitelinks are completely automated.
We're always working to improve our Sitelinks algorithms,
and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future.
How does Google calculate Sitelinks?
Google claims that the Sitelinks are created automatically.
If Google uses an algorithm to calculate Sitelinks, there
must be a way to influence that algorithm.
There are several theories on how Sitelinks are calculated:
- Google might track the number of clicks for different
results. If a web site gets a lot of traffic for a special
keyword then the web site will get Sitelinks on Google's
For example, if you use a special trademark term on your
web pages that cannot be found on other web sites then
many people will click on your web site in Google's results
when they search for that search term. It's likely that
your web site will get Sitelinks for such a search term.
- The link architecture of a web site might help. Links
at the top of the HTML source of a web site seem to have
a better chance to be included as Sitelinks.
- Google might use the Google toolbar to determine Sitelinks.
The more often a page is bookmarked the more likely it
is that these pages will be used as Sitelinks. Google's
toolbar can collect a lot of information about a web site.
At the moment, it's hard to tell how Google calculates the
new Sitelinks. It's probably a combination of click data,
toolbar data and other factors. If you see Sitelinks for
your web site, then Google has probably classified your web
site as an authority site for the search term.
How does this affect your web site?
It seems that Sitelinks are only used for trademark searches
or searches that are similar to trademark queries. Most search
engine result pages on Google don't show these additional
That means that it's better to invest some time in getting
listed in Google's regular result pages than trying to get
listed with additional Sitelinks.
Details on how to get your web site in Google's result pages
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