Upon reading the headline, Google updates sitelinks, you may have asked, what is a sitelink and why do I care?
First, sitelinks are hyperlinks to a website’s subpages that appear under certain Google listings in order to help users navigate the site. Within some search results where Google thinks one result is far more relevant than others, they may list numerous deep links to that site at the top of the search results.
The main update with regard to these links is the sheer real estate that they now take up. For example, take a look at how sitelinks used to appear –
Now check out the new (and improved?) sitelink look (for the same website), at the bottom of this post. As you can see, the links now contain a url and a line of text. The maximum number of links a site can have has also increased, from 8 to 12.
What does this mean for site owners? As Google does not currently allow an owner to choose which sitelinks appear in search results, on-site SEO is as important as ever. Take a look at your site’s inner pages and make sure that the titles and descriptions are fully optimized. This will provide a user with more information about the links they are looking at. As Google also looks at a site’s internal linking structure when choosing which sitelinks to display, make sure your pages’ linking structure is set up correctly, with optimized anchor text.
If your site is lucky enough to have sitelinks (not all sites do), this new look is likely a welcome update, as it pushes online branding opportunity a step further. Take for example, a search for Mercedes Benz. This search today brings up Mercedes’ corporate homepage, with 12 sitelinks, all of which take up about 90% of the natural search results, where on my monitor, I only see the top of one other result. This is great for Mercedes, as scrolling to additional listings brings up sites like MotorTrend, MSN Autos, and Yahoo Autos, all of which offer information on Mercedes of course but also all other brands of automobiles.
What do you think of Google’s latest update?