<< by on August 26th, 2009
As you can imagine, whether your company’s listing contains sitelinks- and the content of those sitelinks- might have an effect on the organic traffic you get to your site. Not only is it important to know what sitelinks are and how to manage them, but there are some new developments in how sitelinks appear that may even raise the stakes in terms of direct ROI.
Sitelinks are links to interior pages of a site, displayed below the main listing information on a Google organic search result listing. In the example below, the search result listing for Search Mojo displays three sitelinks: Careers, Staff, and Board of Advisors.
How are Sitelink Values Determined?
They are determined automatically by Google, and they are not displayed for all sites- only for listings which are particularly “relevant” for a search query. Often, sitelinks appear for a company listing after a search qery on the company’s brand name. Google explains its method for applying sitelinks in the Webmaster Tools Help Center as follows:
“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.”
This explanation has, for quite some time, prompted SEOs and site owners to focus on search engine-friendly navigation menus and site structure as really the only known way to try to affect sitelink content.
What if I don’t like my listing’s sitelinks?
And often-cited example of a listing with poor sitelinks is Coca Cola. Take a look at what their listing looks like in Google search results today:
Unless you live in Croatia or want to download a Coca Cola screensaver, these sitelinks are likely not very relevant for you and won’t help you get around the site faster.
If, as in this example, your sitelinks highlight content that you don’t like, you can do two things.
- Restructure your navigation, internal linking, and general site content to emphasize the pages you want Google to display. Then hope for the best.
- Block particularly bad sitelinks from appearing. Do this in Google Webmaster Tools -> Site configuration -> Sitelinks.