What Are Google Site links And Importance for Your Website ?
Google Site links are automatic links that are generated by Google Algorithm. Site Links appear below our website listing in search result pages on Google. Google created site links to help searchers better understand a website before visiting it and as a shortcut to important pages on that website. Site Links are randomly chosen by Google Algorithm and we don’t have much control over which pages from our website will be chosen as site links by Google. But we can surely block pages of our choice being used as Site Links through Google Webmaster Tools account.
Have you ever searched for something on Google and the top listing had sub-pages listed for the Website directly under the main listing? Those returned search listing’s are called Site links. In this article I will explore Site links, and most importantly, how you can help Google determine which sub-pages you want for your Site link!
Site links are only displayed on the top listing for any given search. Normally, you will see these when searching for a specific company name.
Google has indicated that Site links are only displayed if their algorithm can determine which of your pages would qualify for Site links. And it is important to note that Google displays these not for webmasters, but for those using Google’s Search.
If there is one thing the Site linked Websites have in common is an easy to navigate Website. The main categories (those useful for Site links) stand out from the rest of the links.
Generally speaking, your main category pages should appear as Site links. Those main categories may include your business profile, company history, contact page, etc. If you have a product line of four or five products/services, they would also be great for Site links. Since Site links are dependent on a Website’s structure, this is something we have control of.
To help Google find the pages you would like Site linked, the best practice is to link to those pages twice on every page of your Website. Many Websites have a left navigation structure that points to the main internal pages, which is fine. But we really want to highlight our main internal pages even more. Therefore, it is important to also link to these pages on the footer. Please look at the example link structure below.
Product | Product 2 | Product 3 | Company History | Contact Us
Notice how each page has a separator. This is very common among the many Site links I have seen. If needed, use two lines for your main category links. There is a limit on the number of sub-pages that will be listed for a Site link, and from what I have seen eight is the limit.
The wording of sub-pages listed in a Site link can include anchor text, image alt text, and the url name (ie. widgets.htm would list as Widgets in a Site link). In creating Site link friendly pages, keep these considerations in mind. The goal here is to create consistency. So if you have images that link to your main categories, use alt text that matches the anchor text of your footer links.
Some Site link search queries return a link to a map. One thing that is common among these listings is a clear and concise contact page that lists the company name and address, as if it was written for an envelope. Also, the font size is larger then the text on the rest of the page and is not cluttered among advertisements or other text.
How Google qualifies pages for Site links and maps is something we may never fully understand. However, we can come to some relatively strong conclusions by examining who already has Site links!