How many of you have observed the latest Google “search in sitelinks” box? Google used to show this type of search results only for most popular websites like YouTube etc but now a lot more other sites are also getting this feature.
Basically the use of search in sitelinks is that your visitors don’t need to enter your website to perform various actions but they can directly perform the search process from the Google search box itself. Thus it removes a step of search process and it provides better user experience.
Important Note: Google will only displays your sitelinks if it thinks if few of your pages are useful to the search users. So only the most popular pages (that are frequently linked to or visited by most users) will be get displayed in Google Sitelinks.
One of the best ways to build a profitable online business through websites is to get search engine traffic. The more organic traffic you get the more profits you can make in the long run. Without getting traffic from the search engines, your website can’t reach more people and it goes not no where.
There are tons of SEO strategies and tips to get more organic traffic to your websites. But I’m not going to discuss any of them now as I recently shared SEO tips for the beginners. In this article, I’m going to show you a simple way to get more click through rates on your web pages from the search engine results.
So what’s that simplest way to boost your search engine traffic? Google sitelinks.
You may ask, what are Google Sitelinks and how do I get benefited from them.
Now you got an idea? These Google sitelinks are simply sub headings of any website that are shown in Google search results. There are lots of benefits of having Google sitelinks for your websites which I will be discussing with you in this detailed guide.
It’s been years since Bloggers Passion had been awarded by Google sitelinks. I was really happy on seeing Google site links for my blog when I first got them. I was able to know about them from my Google webmasters tool account here. So I thought why not I share some tips so that other website owners and bloggers can get sitelinks from Google for their websites and blogs.
Today, we will be discussing the following things:
- What are Google Sitelinks
- How Google Sitelinks are Actually Generated
- Benefits of Having Sitelinks
- How to gain Google sitelinks for your website
- And how to remove a particular link from your sitelinks section
Let’s now discuss about all these things in detail and let me know if you have any questions related to getting Google Sitelinks for your websites in the comment section below.
What Are Google Sitelinks?
Google Sitelinks are automatic links that are generated by Google Algorithm. They used to appear below our website listing in search result pages on Google. Google created them to help searchers better understand a website before visiting it and as a shortcut to important pages on that website. They are randomly chosen by Google Algorithm and we don’t have much control over which pages from our website will be chosen as sitelinks by Google. But we can surely block pages of our choice being used as Site Links through oir Google Webmaster Tools account.
In simple terms, the links shown below some of Google search results are known as Google sitelinks. Here is an interesting video from Matt Cutts where he is talking about Google sitelinks and how they are actually created:
Google Changing Sitelinks Algorithm
Previously Google used to show maximum 6 sitelinks for a website in its index. But in August 2011, they have increased maximum sitelinks for a website to 12. But while publishing this post, I noticed sitelinks are again reduced to 6. I checked sitelinks for lots of popular websites and blogs on Google, maximum site links I was able to see were 6 only. They look to be much more detailed now compared to what we previously used to see them.
Note: On June 28, 2013, Seroundtable.com reported, Google started showing 10 sitelinks for domain level queries. I was able to see 10 sitelinks for my blog when trying domain level terms like bloggerspassion.com, www.bloggerspassion.com etc
Google SiteLinks for Bloggers Passion
For Bloggers Passion, I’m currently seeing 6 sitelinks. You can check them by entering ‘Bloggers Passion’ as search term in Google. Here is screenshot showing detailed sitelinks for Bloggers Passion blog in Google search result pages:
Here is the list of 6 pages from my blog which are included in Google Site Links list:
So are you able to see Google Sitelinks for your website and blog and how many, please share in the comments section below. And in case Google is not showing sitelinks for your domain, follow the tips mentioned above so that you will start enjoying Google sitelinks for your website in near future.
Benefits of Having Google SiteLinks
The first benefit I see having sitelinks is more traffic to our website from Google for brand names as our website will get more exposure due to the availability of Site Links and better Click Through Rate (CTR).
Second benefit I see having Sitelinks means higher authority for your website on Google. Google seems to be assigning Sitelinks to those websites only that are very popular in their niche, have strong backlinks, well structured navigational links etc. So getting siteinks for my blog gives me nice feeling of being owner of a top authority blog in Google. Here are few more benefits of having Google sitelinks on your websites.
- Google sitelinks improve your overall click through rates. It’s a no brainer. When people see more inner links to your sites on Google search results, they tend to click at least on one link to reach your sites. More clicks means more traffic to your sites.
- They indirectly shows the popularity of your website and links.
- It allows to crawl deeper contents of your websites.
- They give your visitors more options to visit your blog or websites. Google Sitelinks often show popular inner web pages of your sites. So your visitors have more choices of visiting your sites.
- Increases your brand awareness. Your popularity increases when Google sitelinks shows your inner web pages. If its showing more pages means your visitors have more chances of clicking on your links to go through your websites. So Google sitelinks improve your overall brand awareness.
Getting Google Site Links for Your Website
So now you may ask, how do I get Google Sitelinks for my websites?
First of all let me make it clear, Google has not shared anything that can tell how a website become eligible for sitelinks. We try to judge how a website gets sitelinks depending upon how our previous website gets them and how other website owners are getting them. So there is no shortcut or button that we need to click to get sitelinks. But still there are some factors you should work on to get SiteLinks for your website from Google.
- It’s the number of links that are pointing to our website home page that matters the most. If our domain name is just a collection of generic terms, our website chances of getting sitelinks for those terms are quite low. We should look at getting links to our website for its brand name. Like for my blog home page, I can think of getting links for terms like Bloggers Passion, BloggersPassion, BloggersPassion.com, my own name and certain combinations involving brand and my name. So we should look at ways to get more links to my blog home page using these anchors. We used to get sitelinks for very few key terms only and not for every search term where our website is ranking.
- Number of cached pages also matters for the terms you want to get sitelinks for your website. These cached pages are not the cached pages from your website, but pages from other websites that are showing up in Google search results.
- Domain age also matters a lot in this regard. I did not noticed websites with few months age getting sitelinks from Google. Bloggers Passion was one year plus when I first noticed sitelinks for it. So websites with good age are stronger candidate for achieving these kind of special links from Google.
- Your website need to be ranked first position for the search term you want to get sitelinks for. And your website ranking need to be very stable for that search term.
- High CTR from search engine results pages and high amount of traffic from search engines make your chances of getting sitelinks stronger.
- We need to create well-structured navigational HTML links. We can use CSS to give stylish look to our navigational links.
- We need to add correct titles and meta tags for our website home and navigational links to get better click through rate from search engines. Our meta data needs to be corrected and absence of that would result in lower CTR from search engines and chances of your website getting sitelinks become lower.
First of all make sure to sign up for a Webmaster Tools account. Also I strongly recommend you to setting up a Google Analytics and Google Adwords account as well to increase your chances of getting Google Sitelinks for your websites.
You must need a sitemap for your websites. If you already have one, you can find it by entering your website name/sitemap.xml (ex: www.blogname.com/sitemap.xml)
If you don’t have a sitemap for your websites yet, here’s how to do it, go to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and create one. If you are a WordPress users, you are in luck. Here’s the great plugin to automatically do this all for you.
Note that, after following all the above things, your site takes some time to get Google Siteliks. You won’t get instant results and you won’t see immediate Google sitelinks after implementing the above things.
How to Remove or Demote a Sitelink for your Website or How to control Google Sitelinks that appear in Google search results?
This another question most people keep asking me to answer for. If you are thinking to control Google sitelinks, here’s exactly what you need to do.
As stated previously, we don’t have much control over how Google counts sitelinks for our website. There is no one in Google team who manually decides sitelinks for a domain. There are certain algorithms that do this job automatically. With sitelinks or sometimes called as quick links, Google aims at showing the most important pages from a domain in Google search. However, sometime Google shows links from your domain that you don’t want to show up and you want to replace them with other links from your domain.
There is no way you can ask Google to add a particular link from your domain as sitelink, but you can surely ask Google to remove a particular link from your sitelinks section as follows:
- Login into your Google Webmaster Tools account and click Sitelinks under Configuration
- Enter the URL of the link you want to remove from Google sitelinks section under Demote This Sitelink URL and click red color Demote button
Google will soon stop showing that link in sitelinks section for your domain and will add another alternate to it. If you are fine with the newly added link, that is fine. If you want to change that as well, you have to repeat the above process again.
Please make a note that, according to Google “Sitelinks are automatically generated links that may appear under your site’s search results”. So you don’t have much control over the Google sitelinks and you can’t decide which links to appear on Google search results. But you have the control over demoting site links, if bad links are popping in on your Google sitelinks, then use your Google webmaster tools to remove as shown above.
How to get the latest Google Sitelink search box changes for your sites?
If you want to implement this step and want to show Google’s latest sitelinks box for your site in Google results, then you must have a working search engine function. Then you can use Schema.org markup on your website’s home page to implement this.
Here are few easy steps to how to get this done for your sites.
- Put the markup on your website’s home page
- Set up a canonical URL for your site home page using rel=”canonical” link
- You must prevent crawling your site’s search result pages with robots.txt
Final thoughts about Google Sitelinks
Google Sitelinks are the most powerful way to dominate your site’s search engine results, it will also increase your overall brand awareness and trust. Google sitelinks are automated so create great content pages to display them on your search results on Google.
Unfortunately, there’s no guide given by Google on how to get Google Sitelinks for your sites, so you need to make sure to create a sitemap.xml for your sites. Start producing high quality contents and frequently interlink to your best posts (or mostly visited posts) to show them in Google Sitelinks box.
In a nutshell: Getting Google Sitelinks for your websites in the search results is not a big deal. First you have to make the search engine crawlers properly index all of your website contents. Then and only then it decides what popular web pages you have that can show in Google sitelinks. For that you need to use XML sitemaps as stated in this article. Also make sure to use Google webmaster tools to remove the bad links that are showing in your Google sitelinks (or if you want to remove any unwanted links from your Google sitelinks in the Google search results).
Also remember an important point while removing your links from Google sitelinks, you can only demote up to 100 URLs, and all these demotions are effective for 90 days from your most recent visit to the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools.
Hope those tips will help you get sitelinks for your websites from Google. Do you have any tip that can help us get these hard to get special links for our website from Google quickly, please share in the comments section below.