Google Launches Several Improvements To Sitelinks

    May 7, 2012
    Chris Crum

We’re still digging into Google’s big list of algorithm changes released on Friday. You can read about some of the noteworthy changes in the following articles:

Google Algorithm Changes For April: Big List Released
Google Increases Base Index Size By 15 Percent
Google Makes More Freshness Tweaks To Algorithm
Bi02sw41: Did Google Just Make Keywords Matter Less?
Google Should Now Be Much Better At Handling Misspellings
Google Tweaks Algorithm To Surface More Authoritative Results

There were over 50 changes announced for April, and 4 of them had to do specifically with sitelinks:

  • “Sub-sitelinks” in expanded sitelinks. [launch codename “thanksgiving”] This improvement digs deeper into megasitelinks by showing sub-sitelinks instead of the normal snippet.
  • Better ranking of expanded sitelinks. [project codename “Megasitelinks”] This change improves the ranking of megasitelinks by providing a minimum score for the sitelink based on a score for the same URL used in general ranking.
  • Sitelinks data refresh. [launch codename “Saralee-76”] Sitelinks (the links that appear beneath some search results and link deeper into the site) are generated in part by an offline process that analyzes site structure and other data to determine the most relevant links to show users. We’ve recently updated the data through our offline process. These updates happen frequently (on the order of weeks).
  • Less snippet duplication in expanded sitelinks. [project codename “Megasitelinks”] We’ve adopted a new technique to reduce duplication in the snippets of expanded sitelinks.

That “dig deeper” link, by the way, links to Inception on Know Your Meme. You might find the other link from the list a bit more useful though. It goes to a blog post from Google’s Inside Search blog from last summer, talking about the evolution of sitelinks, when they launched full-size links (with a URLs and one line of snippet text) and an increase to the maximum number of sitelinks per query (from 8 to 12).

Mega Sitelinks

At that time, they also combined sitelink ranking with regular result ranking to “yield a higher-quality list of links” for sitelinks. Preusmably, it is that aspect, which Google considers to be “megasitelinks” as that is the code name of the change listed in the new list, which talks about better ranking of expanded sitelinks. The change, as noted, provides a minimum score for the sitelink based on a score for the same URL used in general ranking.

One of the changes was a data refresh, so the sitelinks gathered should be based on fresher information.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.