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Google Changes Sitelinks

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5 replies to this topic

#1 EddyGonzalez


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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:13 PM

Just been reading on Google Webmaster blog that they are changing how the sitelinks are displayed on the SERPs and even that not just the first spot in the result will display them. http://googlewebmast...-sitelinks.html

I'm still unsure as to whether they are useful, I can't remember the last time I actually clicked on one, it would be great if you could actually track these links to see if people actually use them thumbup1.gif

#2 Randy


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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:34 PM

I wonder if they're not going to end up shooting themselves in the foot a bit. Or shooting the webmaster "lucky" enough to get sitelinks in the foot actually.

Dunno about anybody else, but the first thing I notice with the new arrangement/alignment is that the single row of sitelinks draws my eye completely away from the snippet. And to a certain degree away from the hyperlinked title of the main link.

I'm not even sure how to fix it, if others have the same experience. Make the sitelinks a lighter blue like the cache and similar pages links perhaps? Bold the snippet more? Put a little more space in there between the snippet and sitelinks? Move the sitelinks so that they're below the url address of the main page at the very bottom of the listing?

I'm not sure. But the new alignment sure does stop me from reading stuff I used to read.

it would be great if you could actually track these links to see if people actually use them

That would be nice. It looks like they must be testing something internally because with the few I've looked at so far (in Chrome, in case that has a bearing) the main listing is clean and the sitelinks are going through a jump script. Of course you won't be able to track based upon that jump link. It would be nice if they'd give you some way to tag those though. Perhaps through an addition to the Webmaster Tools where you could set a query string parameter that got added to your sitelinks?

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:34 PM

I click on sitelinks all the time. Webmasters should be mildly concerned, however, because expanding the sitelinks makes the Google search results page more inherently useful. People will be less inclined to click off the Google site to explore other sites (a trend that has grown significantly over the past three years).

It makes Google more of a ghost destination that steals exploratory traffic from other sites, a factor that an increasing number of people have been criticizing Google for.

It's only one small change, however. In the end, some sites will probably benefit from having those sitelinks in their lower search results listings. I believe the sitelinks help establish credibility. It may result in a tradeoff, or perhaps the smaller Web sites will realize a gain in their visibility and credibility that works better for them than how Google shows results now.

We'll just have to wait and see.

#4 torka


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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:39 PM

In the past, my company's site had a sitelink to our dealer locator page. We got quite a few clicks to that page referred directly from Google. The only way that could have happened was from the sitelink, because the page -- having almost no content except a form -- didn't rank for anything at all.

I can pinpoint the week the sitelink went away, because our web log stats show a swift and total loss of direct Google traffic to that page. (It still gets plenty of referrals from other pages of our site, just none directly from Google anymore.)

So yes, people do click on sitelinks. smile.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#5 jg123


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:01 PM

Maybe the 'big' site links were taking away clicks from Google's bread-and-butter paid placement.

#6 ranch


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 04:58 AM

If Google is able to determine which sitelinks are of relevance, this definitely enhances the user experience. It seems though, that G has reduced the use of sitelinks: The example query Google Nutrition Example now only shows sitelinks in the first result. G is probably improving their algoritm, so I assume sitelinks will be back on results below the first result. How do I influence if Google decides to show sitelinks for my site and how do I influence which sitelinks are shown?

I know how to prevent certain pages from showing up as sitelinks using the Google Webmaster Tool, but it would be really cool if I could influence Googles decision, that sitelinks are shown at all, which pages are selected for sitelinks and what title is displayed. Any thoughts on that?

To me it seems like Google chooses pages for sitelinks, that has the most links from the index page. They show part of the title tag, with kws removed that appear in the users query and in the title tag of the page, that has the entry in the search results. But this is based on very few observations...

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