Text snippets – those wee precocious dahlings displayed in the SERPS pulled predominantly from the meta description, or the first sentence in the body copy, or from underneath the kitchen table covered in dog-poo (the neighbour’s, of course) – may find themselves accompanied from time to time by a snippet link (think Supernanny, but without the relentless emphasis on the ‘what makes him do it and how to stop it’ thing going on. And on).
There are two variations of Google snippet links.
The one shown below shows a single link in the body of the snippet text.
Note that the link contains a subset of the search phrase used in the Google search engine query box, in this case ‘squid reverse proxy server’. Google has added ‘Jump to’ in front of that keyphrase link, but why is that link there and where does it go to on the page?
The second example, below, shows the second form of the snippet link where there are multiple Google snippet links and not all of them contain necessarily a words or words used in the search query phrase. In this case, two of the three two, but ‘Introduction’ somehow gets brought along in addition.
From what I can tell, once this feature is activated by matching some of the search phrase, then other anchors may get picked up, but not before. In particular, we can make above page appear for numerous searches and will only get the Google snippet links to appear once we overlap the specially-coded tag on the page sufficiently – all other things being equal i.e. content, history, reptutation, and brand visibility.
Finally, this processing seems to be limited to only the top few results, I haven’t seen cases where this multi-link snippet thing manifests itself below the top five results on page 1 of the Google SERPS.
Google Snippet Links: Ugly v. Betty
One question we should be asking, I guess: is this really a good thing? Is this really what you want your snippet to look like?
Let’s take a look at what the code looks like. Here’s one of those search results along with the code on the page that the snippet links lead to – notice the named anchors. That’s all there is to it: an overlap of the name of the anchor and the search phrase is what activates these.
And, once activated, then other named anchors will also be brought into the mix.
Here’s the other example of a snippet link.
Well, this is a different sort of link entirely, it just happens to appear similar in search results. Google appears to be taking this link actually from an <H2> tag, not the anchor tag that also happens to be near the link text. The anchor in this case is a CMS feature of WikiPedia to support editing and not visitor navigation, it doesn’t even appear, unless you’re logged in as an author or editor.
And so, in this case, we really are looking at a different sort of trigger, all we need in this case is an <H2>.
So, reviewing the above variations, you can declare a preference for whether you prefer a series of site links to appear below the description or whether you prefer the single link to appear early in the description. Whether you’ve any control in implementing that preference is purely a matter of self-delusion and tenacity. Well, ok, and again: content, history, reputation, brand and more brand – that’ll get you on track.
One way to persevere, of course, is to track these code modifications, you can use Google Analytics eventing to track this information so you know that, should you be blessed with Google snippet links, they are being clicked once you activate them for your site, should you choose to do so.