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Google Sitelinks Update
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Just a quick note to touch on the fact that Google has updated their sitelinks algorithm.  I think that this is a pretty cool feature providing that Google is displaying the sitelinks that are most important to your site.  At this time we still have no direct way of controlling which sitelinks appear but we can control this slightly by blocking sitelinks that we do not want to show up via Google Webmaster Tools. (Google refers to this as "demoting" a sitelink.

Sitelinks are links to other pages on your site that may appear under the search result for your site. Google generates these links automatically, and it should be noted that not all sites have sitelinks.
Sitelinks are often triggered by a branded search query.  Sitelinks are displayed for results when Google feels that they will be useful to the user.  However, there are a couple of reasons why Google may not display sitelinks for your site:
  • poor site architecture
  • if sitelinks for your site are not relevant for the user's query
Here is how the new sitelinks appear for Marketing Jive.



3 Tips for Controlling Sitelinks
  1. Ensure that you use anchor text  that's informative, compact, and avoids repetition.
  2. Do the same for alt text
  3. Demote irrelevant sitelinks via GWT.  Demoting a URL for a sitelink tells Google that you don't consider this URL a good sitelink candidate for a specific page on your site.  Google won't guarantee that these URLs will not appear as a sitelink, but in my experience they tend to be replaced with other URLs.  You can demote up to 100 URLs, and demotions are effective for 90 days from your most recent visit to the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools.
As a user and depending on my search query, I like the new and improved sitelinks.  Especially if they help me access the information that I am looking for faster.  According to Google:

"... we have made “a significant improvement to our algorithms by combining sitelink ranking with regular result ranking to yield a higher-quality list of links...this reduces link duplication and creates a better organized search results page.”

Sounds good to me.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011  
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