What are Google Sitelinks And Why Do you Need Them?
What are Google Sitelinks? Sitelinks are actually small links that are placed under the search engine results page listing of all the websites that provide users with useful shortcuts found in the site listings.
These Google sitelinks help users to easily get to a particular page on your website without needing to go to your homepage to try and find it.
The sitelinks generally create a better experience and user interface for Google users.
The most important thing you need to know about Sitelinks is that you cannot set them up as a website owner or even buy them.
This leaves you as a website owner at the mercy of Google and its algorithm to determine whether your site is worthy of Sitelinks.
Why are Google Sitelinks Important To Your Site?
One reason as to why Sitelinks are important to your website is that they are considered to be automatic indicators of trust.
The Google algorithm will only pick sites that are well established and have trusted sources with verified information to allocate them Sitelinks.
It is a common assumption that if your website rates Google Sitelinks then it is a trusted site in the eyes of Google.
Google has complete control over the Sitelinks and they do it through their proprietary algorithm.
The disadvantage is that Google has not yet revealed how they go about choosing which site gets Sitelinks and what criteria they have to meet.
The only thing that is surely known is that Sitelinks do exist and that it is a part of the Google algorithm.
Common Features Of Sites Having Google Sitelinks
Though the workings of the Google algorithm are kept a secret to prevent people from manipulating the rankings, the sites which have Sitelinks have a number of similarities that can give us a rough idea of why they were chosen.
The following are these similarities:
• These sites rank on the first page of the search engine result page for the keyword that actually generated the Sitelinks listing
• The structure of these sites is easily spiderable.
• They have high organic search traffic
• These sites have strong click-through rates from the search results page
• The most popular internal pages for these websites appear as Sitelinks
• They have titles that are unique and also meta descriptions on internal pages
Though this may not be the factors that make Google choose the sites to get Sitelinks they are still elements of effective web marketing programs which you can use in creating your own. Common Characteristics That Could Hinder Google Sitelinks
The following are some common features found on sites that do not get picked to be allocated Sitelinks:
• They have very few destination pages and most of their traffic is directed to a single page
• The pages on the site all have the same meta description and title
• The pages on these sites have very thin content. They either have very little text or the text provided is uninformative or is duplicated from other pages
Best Practices For Google Sitelinks
Though the tips we are giving you below do not guarantee that you will be allocated Sitelinks, they will highly increase your chances.
• You should ensure that the coding of your site is properly done so as to allow the search engine spiders complete access.
The site should also have a complete and structured navigation system that contains internal and external links that are useful and valid.
• The keyword of the query that produces your SERP should be ranked #1 by Google and should retain this position for a while.
The time period in question is not very clear and only Google knows it.
• You should ensure that you use the anchor texts properly. This anchor text should describe your sub-pages as properly as possible.
• Your site needs to have a high percentage of the click-through rates and traffic that come from the search engines.
• You should ensure that your site has high-quality inbound links.
• It is important for the site to have a domain that proves its stability both in time activity and the number of years of the purchased domain security.
Google does not like sites with new domains and those domains that only register one year at a time which make the site be untrustworthy as it is a technique used by spammers.
• Ensure that you organize your navigation so as to present your users with a small number of destinations that are logical.
It is important to try and avoid overwhelming your visitors with too many choices on the main navigation. Ensure that the items that you place in the main navigation are things that users actually want.
• Ensure that you use a unique name to brand your website. If you make your website name too generic, your page will get very poor click-through rates on the organic searches. This is brought about by users having too many choices with similarly named sites on their search results.
• Make your site as helpful as possible even if the information on the site is not precisely what the visitors want.
When you provide outbound links that are useful will help to prevent users from having to return to the search results. You should always keep in mind that Google has the ability to tell whether a user returns back to the search results and if this happens too frequently it will hurt the reputation of your website.
What are the Signals Used by Google Sitelinks Algorithm?
The deduction we are giving you is not the exact signals that Google uses in its Sitelinks algorithm. They have been arrived at from looking at the Google webmaster guidelines and also studying the Google SERPs.
The webmaster guidelines clearly state in the first item under the guidelines for design and content that you should make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
This advice is important for a number of reasons. The clear hierarchy for navigation will create a good user experience and also allow the search engine to understand the topic of each page on your site.
You should have realized by now that Google is not able to create sitelinks if it cannot understand what your sub-pages mean either through analysis or the observation of visitor behavior.
Though Google has provided webmasters with free Google analytics tools and also provides the web chrome browser free of charge, it does not go through all the trouble of writing software and expending resources for nothing.
Their main aim is getting a return on their investment. The most common assumption is that they use all the data they collect to improve their search results so as to come with features like Sitelinks.
If you did not know that sitelinks are important in positively impacting the SEO of a company’s website then now you know.
You should aim to get allocated Sitelinks for your site by conforming to all the rules and guideline that have been set by Google.
This will not assure you of receiving these much-coveted sitelinks but it will increase your chances significantly enough.
I hope the information in this article was helpful for understanding Google sitelinks and knowing what the best practices are for effective Google sitelinks.