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Does your website have no or the wrong Sitelinks in Google?

More and more websites get Sitelinks in Google's search results. What are they, how can they help your website and how can you influence which links Google will use for your Sitelinks? What can you do if Google displays the wrong links?

What are Sitelinks?

Sitelinks are additional links below the description and the URL of a web page in Google's search results:


What is the problem with Sitelinks?

Google automatically chooses the Sitelinks for your website. Unfortunately, Google's algorithms aren't perfect and sometimes Google assigns the wrong Sitelinks to a website.

Google doesn't reveal how Sitelinks are determined, they only say that "Sitelinks are meant to help users navigate your site."

What can you do if your website has no Sitelinks?

Sitelinks are only shown for some searches, usually company names or other brand related searches. If your website doesn't show Sitelinks when you search for your company name or domain name then Google might not be able to parse your web page links correctly.

a) Optimize your Flash pages

If you use a pure Flash site then it should be easy to get Sitelinks by adding a few search engine friendly navigation links to your web pages. These links should be standard text links that can easily be parsed by search engine spiders.

b) Use a clear navigation on your web pages

If you have very many links on your web pages then it can be difficult for Google to find the best links for the Sitelinks. Google usually uses navigation links for the Sitelinks.

If your website has a clear navigation, it will be easier to get Sitelinks for your website. Do not use too many navigation links and make it easy for web surfers and search engines to find out which pages of your website are the most important pages.

The better a web page is linked, the more likely it is that it will appear in the Sitelinks.

What can you do if your website has the wrong Sitelinks?

Sometimes, Google can display Sitelinks that go to dead pages or Sitelinks to web pages that you don't want your web surfers to see.

To remove these links, login to your Google webmaster tools account and click on Links > Sitelinks in the navigation. Then you can block Sitelinks that you don't want for your website.

Unfortunately, you can only block Sitelinks with Google's tools, you cannot request that Google should show Sitelinks for your website.

Sitelinks can make your website more attractive in Google's search results. However, they have nothing to do with the position that your website gets in Google. If you want to get high rankings on Google, you must make sure that your website has both optimized content and good inbound links.

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June 2008 search engine articles