Google Adds Sitelinks for More Search Results

    April 16, 2009
    Chris Crum

Using Google for searching the web, you’ve probably seen some results pages from time to time that have the top result displaying a number of secondary links underneath it. These links go to different pages within the site.

Simply referred to as "sitelinks," such pages might take you to an about page or a help page, or really anything deemed beneficial to the user by Google’s algorithm. The example below for a NASA search displays links for Gallery, Missions, Aeronautics, etc.

Google Sitelinks

Google has now adjusted the algorithm so that some sites beyond that first result actually show sitelinks too. They’re not exactly displayed the same way, and don’t necessarily include as many links, but they show sitelinks on a single line underneath the result (as opposed to the bigger, 2 column approach used with the top result).

Google shares an example, looking at a search for "nutrition," which retrieves results in which the top three each have single-line sitelinks:

Google Sitelinks

The addition of more sitelinks to search results can potentially benefit wembasters in the form of increased visibility and traffic, but how do you get them to show up?

Unfortunately, you can’t just flip them on like a switch. It’s all in the algorithm. "Just like regular sitelinks, one-line sitelinks are generated algorithmically and the decisions on when to show them and which links to display are entirely based on the expected benefit to users" explains Google at the Webmaster Central Blog.

On the flipside, if you definitely don’t want a certain page to ever show up as a sitelink, you can block this using Google Webmaster Tools, as Google is kind enough to point out. In fact, the company even says that they’re speeding up the blocking of these links for such requests.