How to get your website to stand out among Google’s search engine results? Apart from appearing at the top of page one?
These are links that appear underneath your main listing. Here’s how Amazon’s sitelinks look:
One search result: eight clickable links. That’s a good rate of return…
With sitelinks you can showcase more pages of your website. Visitors can go straight to where they want to go. Plus you can advertise your services – there will be some people who see the “Prime Instant Video” link and think “I didn’t realise Amazon did video, I’ll check it out.”
How do I get sitelinks?
Good question. There are no clear guidelines. No “how to” guides. All that’s really known is that it’s based on Google’s algorithm. And it’s more likely for brand-related search terms. Which means it’s a case of following Google best practice. And then monitoring the results.
Here are the steps you can take to make it happen:
Code your website correctly
Check nothing is broken, out of date (make sure you’re using html5), or unnecessarily coded (avoid using bloated code that slows down your website)
Review your main menu
Use easily understood words (eg “Our Services”, “About Us”)
Optimise your meta descriptions These appear under each link. The Amazon example above gives clear information (“Sale ends 11.59pm”, “Enjoy unlimited instant streaming of movies”) that encourages people to click
Build trust Have an established website (at least six months’ old) that hasn’t been associated with any penalties
The easier it is for Google to visit and assess (known as “crawling” your website), the more likely you’ll have sitelinks. That means adding hyperlinks within the text of each of your pages. Especially the ones you want to be sitelinks.
What if I want to change the links that appear?
You can’t pick and choose, unfortunately. If there is a page that you really don’t want to appear, you can ask Google to demote it.
Head over to Webmaster Tools, and click on Search Appearance, and then Sitelinks:
Then copy the URL of the page you want to demote, and paste it into the “Demote this sitelink URL” field, and click the Demote button:
You can do this up to 100 times, every 90 days. Although if you are having to demote that many, it’s probably time to look at the way your website is structured.
How long does a sitelink demotion take?
This varies, between within the hour to within a day.
The current procedure is correct at time of writing (Sep ’15). However, keep an eye out for Google updates. For example, on the official Google Sitelinks page it states “We’re always working to improve our sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future.”