Webmasters now have more control over the Google Sitelinks that appear on top results for some websites (18 Oct 2007). While we are not able to tell Google what links we would like there (completely automated), we are able to exclude links via the Google webmaster tools. People are also able to see the potential sitelinks before they in fact appear on Google search results.

I noticed that there were more links showing on top results - Google now shows up to 8 links on top results. This, combined with top sites also getting a second listing on the serp’s means they have an even larger percentage of people’s screen when they are Googling.

Google sitelinks were first noted on Google Web Master Central - Information about sitelinks in September 2006.

The ability to make changes via webmaster tools was first talked about on 18 October 2007 Google Webmaster Central - Webmasters can now provide feedback on Sitelinks.

  • Once you block a page, it wont appear as a sitelink to 90 days (extended every time you visit the sitelinks webmaster tools page), unless you choose to unblock it earlier.
  • It can take about a week to be excluded from the results.
  • Google analyses the link structure to try and find shortcuts that will save people time. The structure of the website needs to allow the algorithms to find good sitelinks.
  • Google uses a combination of shortest link text/page title/most descriptive phrase… for the text link of its sitelink So how do you get sitelinks for your website?

Google notes the following:

quote=GoogleWebmasterCentral]You’ve probably noticed that most search results don’t show sitelinks; the ones that do are generally for large and/or popular sites. Right now the best advice I can give is to work on increasing the visibility and popularity of your website (which I’m sure you’re already doing!).

Aaron Wall has put together an interesting article - Google Sitelinks increases the value of generic domains. Since generic domains have their search phrase as the main product that they are promoting, and that product is very valuable, they are getting a lot of people’s monitor space on search results. The 8 links, plus sometimes a second listing, plus the Google Adwords. That is a lot of screen space!