An excerpt from SEOpedia.org. original article here. -enjoy- by Cristian Mezei I have been testing these Sitelinks for quite some time now on several websites, from new to very old, from few to zounds of visitors. What are Sitelinks ? They are a collection of links, automatically chosen by Google’s algorithm, to appear below the result of website, linking to main pages of your website. They are randomly chosen, although you can block any link from appearing. We will discuss more about Sitelinks in the Google Sitelinks FAQ section below. Recently, some of my websites got Sitelinks whilst I tried different ways of reaching this milestone. Some time ago, Vanessa Fox, from the Webmaster’s Central blog, wrote that the page from the Google Help describing these Sitelinks, has been updated to reflect “information on how Google generates these links”. That’s crap to say the least, because that Google Help page about Sitelinks, just states that they exist, are automatically generated and nothing more. Although no official explanation except this very basic page is offered by Google, I will try and write down a few of my own ideas, about when and how to get these Sitelinks for your website. Whilst I can’t promise you guys that ALL of the procedures below are involved in the process of making Sitelinks appear for your website, I can definitely guarantee you that SOME are. The above are true mainly because I have always (during months / years) tried 4 to 6 procedures at a time so I can’t really know which one had the most important contribution to the appearance of Sitelinks.Here they explain how and why it's beneficial to add sitelinks to your sites Google index. Please feel free to read the
Procedures which may be involved in the appearance of Sitelinks:
- The number of links pointing to your website’s index page, using the several main keywords of your website as anchor. For example, for my blog, the two main keywords are “Cristian Mezei”, my name, and “SeoPedia” the name of my blog. Sitelinks appear only for a few main keywords, not for every keyword your website ranks for.
- The number of searches and SERP clicks for the main keywords I described above. you have to have a certain number of clicks for that keyword, to be able to reach a minimum requirement for the appearance of Sitelinks. This makes keywords which are not searched enough, to never have Sitelinks. Although some of my coleagues have mentioned that traffic has nothing to do or has everything to do with Sitelinks, I firmly believe that traffic for a particular keyword or keyphrase is very important.
- The number of indexed pages for the keyword you are targeting is also important. Please keep in mind that I am not discussing about the number of indexed pages for your website, but for the number of results shown in Google for that particular keyword.
- The age of the website is definitely an aspect when deciding how and when Sitelinks appear. As far as my tests go, and using a naturally and organically built website (no extensive or forced SEO), you can NOT have Sitelinks if the website is younger than 18-24 months, varying from case to case.
- You have to rank #1 for that particular keyword (and the ranking has to be stable) to be able to have any Sitelinks at all. This is very important and it has been proven true in 100% of times.
Misleading advices about Google SitelinksWhilst many other specialists and/or bloggers from the industry around the Internet have tried to help you figure out some ways to get Sitelinks, I will try to contradict them because some of those advices might not have a contribution to your effort, mainly because they are just too general and my experience says that they could be just loose-ends. Some of these advices might be:
- Making your website W3C valid. This is not a bad thing, but I highly doubt that it will make your website more prone to get Sitelinks. A lot of people have reported building their website with erratic code from 1992, and still having Sitelinks.
- Having links from powerful websites. I doubt that this aspect will help you in getting Sitelinks at all. Have a look at how I see inbound links having an effect, above (in the Procedures section).
- Having a lot of links (generally). I doubt that having tens of thousands of any links will move you up to the ladder, regarding Sitelinks. Whilst links will help I have explained above (in the Procedures section), specifically, in what way they will help.
- Some advices were really something like : “Make the website useful” or “Add Meta tags”. Whilst these are surely helpful for any website, they may have nothing to do with your website getting Sitelinks.
- Having a very well designed navigation menu. There were websites which had erratic or very well designed navigation menus and links within the website and still they all got Sitelinks.
- Pagerank has nothing to do with Sitelinks. There are PR7 and PR2 websites that got Sitelinks.
Vanessa Fox Nude forgotten all important postThe title is just a teaser for Vanessa. She’s had that Nude thing like forever :) For you guys who don’t know Vanessa, she’s been the women who lead the Google Webmasters Central team until she moved to Zillow. In this section I’ll analyze the post she made on her blog right after she left Google. I’m actually amazed to see how I can’t any reactions to this post, since IMHO it’s the most important post about Sitelinks ever. More important than what Google has released and certainly more important then I or my colleagues speculate, simply because she’s been involved in the process of releasing the Sitelinks. Block quotes are quotes from Vanessa’s post:
For instance, if I do a Google search for [duke’s chower house seattle], am I looking for directions? Hours? A menu? Google doesn’t know, so they offer up several suggestions. (Quality aside: a link to the menu shows up in the sitelinks, but if you do a search for [duke’s chowder house seattle menu], that same link doesn’t show up on the first page. In fact, no pages from the Duke’s site show up.)Basically, what Vanessa is telling us is that Sitelinks will NEVER appear for specific search terms. So that’s why we get Sitelinks for “Computers” or “Cristian Mezei” or “HP” or generally, company names as well as very general industry terms.
Other opinions about SitelinksI asked a colleague of mine involved in SEM too, what he thinks about Sitemaps. I thought to put his answer here as well:
Marius Mailat www.submitsuite.comCristian asked me about my opinion regarding Sitelinks. Breaking this question in small parts, here are my thoughts. The sitelink option in the Google results are similar with the siteinfo.xml provided for the Alexa toolbar, a simple option for a webmaster to provide most important direct links to his website structure. Google version of Siteinfo is different because you cannot specify WHICH link in your website is a Sitelink. You can only ask remove one link from the Sitelinks (Google Webmaster panel option). Why are the Sitelinks appearing, when and under which algorithm? The algorithm used is totally automated and is taking in consideration the following criteria’s:
- Old powerful website.
- The sitelinks are pages which are coming on first position in SERPs.
- The sitelinks are most of the time associated with top results related words: “domain”, “domain download”, “domain demo” etc.
- The sitelinks are probably not influenced by PageRank.
Other very useful locations on the web for Sitelinks
- Matt Cutts video about Sitelinks (recommended)
- Google information about Sitelinks
- Search Engine Watch Forum thread about Sitelinks
- Vanessa Fox post about Sitelinks
- WebmasterWorld forum thread about Sitelinks
- Michael Nguyen (SocialPatterns) on Sitelinks
- Wayne Smallman (BlahBlahTech) about Sitelinks
- Jonathan Hochman’s writings about Sitelinks
- Problogger post about Sitelinks
- QuickOnlineTips writes about getting Sitelinks