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Google’s Take On Appearance of Sitelinks Search Box

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Google algorithm is as sophisticated as we claim to understand it. Its constant unpredictability raises more questions than answering our doubts. Even Google advocates having a hard time explaining it. 

One such example came to the fore in the Webmaster hangout held on 28th April 2020.

SEO personnel asked John Mueller that even after using the Structured Data Markup on the site, they are unable to see Sitelinks Search box for their website on the SERP, which has upset their boss.

John Mueller recently confirmed that implementing the Structured data markup is not a necessity for Sitelinks Search box to appear more or less; the feature is also scarce for the business websites in the SERP results.  

Problem: Sitelinks Search box not Displayed in Search results

Search Boxes are visible on the e-commerce websites where it is present to help the searcher to find the desired product on the site, thereby saving time and giving better UX. A Sitelinks Search box is a step ahead in UX by providing Search box in brand queries in the Search Engine Result Page itself, allowing to bypass the task of navigating to the target pages.

Google takes on Sitelink Search Box Appearance

Site owners or webmasters never need to do anything special to get the Sitelink Search box, but structured data can help to customize how the search box would appear on SERP even if Google has decided to show it.

However, one should be aware that adding structured data does not guarantee that a Sitelink Search box would appear. Still, it would surely help search engines to understand the page better, and using one makes no difference to google’s decision of including Sitelink Search Box in the search results. 

Google has confirmed by making an update on the developer guide for site link Search box Structured Data.

Google developer guide on sitelinks search box statement

Keeping No Expectations

Time and again, people have implemented the structured data with no result in sight resulting in them asking the same question on various forums.

Mueller said he has seen people struggling with Sitelink Search box structured data on the number of occasions & webmasters should try to keep their expectations as minimalistic as possible.

In the above example, the SEO should have mentioned to the boss that using structured data does not influence the appearance of the Sitelink Search box. It could be the reason behind the anguish shown by the boss.

The webmasters should keep their expectations minimal and realistic while using the structured data & displaying Rich results just because schema markup exists on the site is not guaranteed.

Structured data is the way of telling the bot about the content of the webpage in the language they understand, i.e., JSON (Javascript Object Notation). Still, Google picking it up and displaying the Rich result depends upon the Algorithm and knowing the exact reason for missing out on the Sitelink Search box is very difficult. 

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