What Are Google Sitelinks?

Many more people are reporting seeing Google Sitelinks update, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit what Google Sitelinks are.

Google Sitelinks are little sub-listings that sometimes appear under the first listing on the first page in Google search results. Here’s an example:

search engine roundtable - Google Sitelinks

See the five links that are indented under the main listing? Those are Google Sitelinks.

Google has a help document named How do you compile the list of links shown below some search results? that explains a bit more on how they work.

Sitelinks created automatically by an algorithm. Google says they “analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts.”

Google formally named Google Sitemaps in September 2006. They’d been spotted and tested for well over a year before that, going back to at least July 2005.

Social Patterns once tried to analyze what generates the exact links that come up, back before the feature was formally named. I suspect they are now based on the link popularity of your internal pages, mixed with how many internal links you have pointing to your inner pages added with the popularity from external links.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Sitelinks | Google: User Interface

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.acclivitymarketing.com/blog Solomon Rothman Web Design Search Engine Marketing

    I’m surprised Google didn’t come out with this many years ago. Hopefully they’ll start being automatically generated for smaller and medium size sites as well. Right now I mostly run into them on larger sites. I’d also love to see some webmaster input and the abilty to choose key pages for sitelinks.

  • http://www.seotrends.in SolutionPoint

    This I suppose is related to Adwords and G1 to G4 pages inside google analytics. maybe..and I think they are displaying for those who also spend more on adwords!

  • lex

    Actually, SolutionPoint, the Sitelinks have nothing to do with Adwords. One of my sites has Sitelinks and there are no ads whatsoever running on the site.

    Also, Barry, your post has a line which reads “Google formally named Google Sitemaps in September 2006″. It should state “Sitelinks”, not “Sitemaps”, at least based on the context of the post.

    Cheers.

  • lex

    Actually, SolutionPoint, the Sitelinks have nothing to do with Adwords. One of my sites has Sitelinks and there are no ads whatsoever running on the site.

    Also, Barry, your post has a line which reads “Google formally named Google Sitemaps in September 2006″. It should state “Sitelinks”, not “Sitemaps”, at least based on the context of the post.

    Cheers.

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