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SEO Advice – Google Sitelinks

They say that you learn something new every day but lately, to tell the truth, I feel like I’ve learnt sod all.

So it was nice to be asked a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) question the other day that left me stumped.

Google Search Results with extra links?

A charming client enquired why some sites, when they appear in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), have a series of links listed below. (See Nokia listing below).

Google Site links

I had previously assumed (never assume Toon) that this was due to either an especially well produced XML sitemap, the fact that these sites were investing in Google Adwords or that the site owner’s brother worked at Google.

But after a little investigation I discovered that:

  • The links shown below some sites on Google are called sitelinks.thumbnail
  • Google reviews the structure of the given site and finds shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
  • They’re fully automated and controlled by one of Google’s unfathomable algorithms.

Jane Copland from SEOMOZ.org also told me:

“Unfortunately, there is no way to make sitelinks appear: they’re generated when Google believes they’ll be useful, most often for sites that are quite strong or authoritative. Google gives you the means to remove a sitelink that you don’t want or like, but you can’t add them right now.”

Bummer! So the only way to get sitelinks is to do all the standard SEO stuff that drives up your Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). Nokia above has a PA of 51 and a DA of 63, which puts it in the ‘rather good’ bracket.

Learn more about sitelinks.

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