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How to get Google Sitelinks for your website

14 mars 2008

Many webmasters wonder how they can make Google display additional Sitelinks for their websites. What exactly are Sitelinks, how can you get them and are they worth the effort?

What are Google Sitelinks?

Google Sitelinks are a collection of links that appears below the result of a website. These additional links link to main pages of the website. They are randomly and automatically chosen by Google's algorithm.

As an example, here are the sitelinks that you get for HP.com when you search for "HP":

Sitelinks

Sitelinks only appear for general search terms. You'll get Sitelinks if you search for "HP" but you won't get Sitelinks if you search for a term like "HP printer supplies". Sitelinks show up most often for searches on brand names.

Which links does Google use for the Sitelinks?

Google seems to use the first level links on a website for the Sitelinks. That means that all links that are not present on the homepage of your site won't be used as Sitelinks.

The links should be descriptive text links or image links with a descriptive IMG ALT attribute. JavaScript or Flash links are not considered for Sitelinks. Google uses 2 to 8 links for the Sitelinks of a website. Unfortunately, it's unclear how Google assigns the number of links to each website.

The text that is used for the Sitelinks can be the text that are used for the link (anchor text) on the homepage or the title of the linked page. It seems that Google prefers links that appear at the top of a web page.

How can you get Sitelinks for your website?

Unfortunately, there is nothing certain about Google's Sitelinks. The following factors seem to influence whether Google displays Sitelinks or not:

  • Your website must have a stable #1 ranking for the searched keyword. Other websites don't seem to get Sitelinks.
  • Your website must be at least 2 years old. It seems that younger websites don't get Sitelinks.
  • The number of searches and the number of clicks that your website gets for a certain keyword seem to be considered. Keywords that aren't searched often enough don't get Sitelinks. It also seems that your website has to get many clicks for the searched keyword.
  • The number of links that point to your website with the searched keyword as the anchor text seem to influence the creation of Sitelinks. Sitelinks only seem to appear for the main keywords of a website, not for all keywords for which a website is listed.

If your website meets these criteria Google might assign Sitelinks to your website for your most important keywords.

Sitelinks can be a nice addition for searches for general keywords but they usually won't appear for searches that consist of two to four words. These words are the most important keywords for website promotion and search engine optimization.

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