Google Sitelinks

Snippet links and sitelinks are the same thing. Although, if you want to split hairs, you could argue that a snippet link is a link that occurs within the snippet itself while a sitelink is a link that is presented to the searcher below the destination url.

Introduced by Google late 2009 (‘rich’ snippets development early 2010), Google sitelinks are algorithmically-generated shortcuts – or jump to’s – to your main (other) pages from the search result pages other than the destination url attached to the snippet. Google analyzes the link structure of your website to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information.

Ok, three types of snippet sitelinks:

  1. Links embedded in the actual snippet – anchor-based links i.e. links to sections within the page (when links containing # are present on the page)Google Snippet Link
  2. Links – again, anchor-based (that is to say, links leading to other sections of the same page as the destination url – (although I haven’t seen one of these in ages) present after (that is to say, below) the snippet, but before (above) the destination url
    Anchor Snippet Links
  3. Sitelinks, in their standard form, present below the snippet and destination url pointing to other locations (other principal pages) within the site using text obtained from anchor text or title tags

Getting Sight of Google Sitelinks

Google only shows sitelinks for results when they think they’ll be useful to the User. If the structure of your website doesn’t allow Google spider to find good sitelinks, or they don’t think the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, they won’t show them.

Although there are no certain answers to this question from Google, the following factors seem to influence whether Google displays sitelinks or not:

  1. Your site must have a stable no.1 ranking for the search query. So sitelinks show up most often for searches on brand names e.g. one of my (wevolution digital) Clients:
    Google Sitelinks in the SERPs
  2. Your site must be old enough. It seems that websites under 2 years old don’t get Sitelinks
  3. The number of searches – search keywords that aren’t searched often enough don’t get sitelinks – what ‘searched often enough’ means exactly I don’t know
  4. The number of clicks – your site has to get lots of clicks for the searched keywords – what ‘lots of clicks’ means exactly I don’t know (gee, this is going well…)
  5. It seems that sitelinks don’t show to search queries consisting of two or more keywords, unless one of those keywords is a brand name
  6. The number of links – inbound links with the relevant anchor text seems to influence sitelinks acquisition

Getting Google Sitelinks

Google seems to use the first level links on a website for the sitelinks, so make sure all your important links are on the homepage. The links should be text links or image links with an IMG ALT attribute. JavaScript or Flash links are not considered for Sitelinks. Also, it seems that Google likes links that appear at the top of a webpage. So try to put your important links at the top of the HTML code and then re-position using CSS.

Snippets About Google Snippets

  1. The term ‘snippet’ applies solely to the description — and therefore follows the title and precedes the URL and the cached link.
  2. Snippets are query-specific and generated at run-time and so they are always changing, and pulled from different sections of page markup and/or on-page content. Even when your meta description includes the search term, that does not mean your meta description will be presented to the User.
  3. Meta descriptions help with click-through conversions from the search engine, they have no function in getting your page to rank. It follows that, where they are deployed in the snippets by the search engine, well-crafted meta descriptions convert better than descriptions that either do not exist at all or are badly constructed.
  4. The maximum length of a standard snippet, which may or not be pulled from the meta description, is 156 characters. End. Of. Story.

Some Snippet LinkLuv
Snippets, Snippet Links, Sitelinks
Google Snippet Links
Meta Description Gives Good Snippet

John Hargaden is CEO of wevolution digital, your full-service digital marketing partner focussed on growing your business online. Case Studies.