Sitelinks are the additional links which are visible below the main URL of the search results on Google. These are used to provide the users with easy access to different Web pages within your main website. The main purpose of sitelinks is to help users seamlessly navigate through your website.
Sitelink extensions, similar in intent, are mainly used in Google Adwords. Sitelink extensions differ from organic sitelinks as users of AdWords completely control not only the content in these links but also whether or not they appear in the ad.
Types of Sitelinks
Organic sitelinks are used mostly for branded terms and can have up to six sitelinks to various pages within your website. These sitelinks mostly appear on the highest-ranking search results.
It is a common phenomenon that a user who might have searched for your website is not looking to land on the homepage of your website directly. They might be looking to land on another Web page within your website, which is relevant to their search text. Google organic sitelinks provide users with a direct link to these Web pages which are relevant to their search terms. This also helps users explore your website and discover content that they weren’t aware existed on your website. This increases the number of organic clicks on your website.
One-line sitelinks are a quite popular form of sitelinks. These can contain up to four links and can appear on various types of search queries. One-line sitelinks differ from others in that they can lead users to other Web pages or jump to specific content within a Web page directly, using fragmented links. Websites often use these to move the user directly to the page that has information about the relevant search term.
Sitelinks search box
Mostly used by big brands, sitelinks search box is a type of sitelink that helps users search and directly access the search results of the website on the SERP itself. It is automatically added to the results by Google. However, businesses must know that if having a sitelink search box on the homepage doesn’t guarantee that it will also appear in the search results on Google.
What Google changed about sitelinks
Until October 2016, Google allowed site owners to have minuscule control over the sitelinks they could present for their website, with the specific pages that they wanted. This was allowed by Google because the Google Search Console provided site owners with the “demote sitelinks” feature. Using this feature, site owners could hint to Google which particular URLs they didn’t want to appear under their main URL as sitelinks.
However, later in 2016, Google Webmaster announced that they would be removing the “Demote Sitelinks” feature from the Google Search Console. They said that
“Over the years, our algorithms have gotten much better at finding, creating, and showing relevant sitelinks, and so we feel it’s time to simplify things.”
They elaborated on this by clarifying that Google shows sitelinks to the users in the search results only when the algorithms think they’ll be useful to them. Hence, the structure of your website and website navigation will play a key role in getting Google’s algorithms to detect and display good sitelinks. Sitelinks are now displayed on search results based on their Web ranking. This means that site owners can influence the Web rankings of sitelinks just like in the case of other Web pages.
Why are Sitelinks important?
Improves click-through rate
Sitelinks are very efficient in improving the click-through rates of Web pages. In a recent study, it was reported that sitelinks could boost the click-through rate for the top results by over 20%. For your SERP listing, you can have as many as six sitelinks associated with your URL. This means that your search result can take four-five times the space given to other SERP results on a desktop. On mobile devices, a site linked result can even take the entire screen! This proves to be a very effective method in improving your click-through rates.
Helps in product awareness
Another great advantage of sitelinks is that they are a very effective medium for generating product awareness with the users. Sitelinks can be used by businesses to link the most important pages within your website, which are also the most revenue-generating. In most cases, these sitelinks are the Products or Services pages on your website. This makes sitelinks a very effective way of making the users aware of your products and services, and subsequently, enhancing your brand awareness.
Enables users to navigate more
Whenever a user clicks the main URL, there is a fair chance that they will only browse through the most important pages, i.e., homepage, product page, and services page. It is unlikely that they will visit your blog pages or open up your popular blog posts. With sitelinks, this issue is taken care of, as these can drive a good amount of traffic to important resource pages.
While sitelinks aren’t critical to the success of a website, there is no denying that they can be very helpful in many ways. Following the regulations and compliances laid down by Google can help you score a chance to display sitelinks on their website. Avail the services of a professional entity in this domain like Infidigit, an SEO company in Mumbai, to ensure that your website ranks at the top and can display sitelinks.
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