I’m not sure if you have noticed, but Google has added expanded upon their Sitelinks feature to the search results. Several websites are reporting that this really happened over the weekend, but I actually noticed it last week. Here is what one line site links look like:
I’m crediting Barry Schwartz of SE Roundtable with coming up with the phrase “one way sitelinks”. What are they? If you look at the screen capture I show above, you will notice that there are four links right above the green URL in the search results. These are actually the first four Sitelinks that point to additional pages on a website. The one way Sitelinks are actually only the links that show up in the search results at Google. They appear to be taken from the normal Site links that a website has.
Sitelinks and in most cases that I’ve seen, one way site links appear to be the first four Sitelinks–if your website is “worthy enough” to have them.
What does this mean for us? Google is trying to be more helpful for their users, they want to make it easier for us to get to the what we’re searching for. So, after their extensive testing of one way sitelinks, they appear to have rolled them out across all of the Google search results. This means that website owners should be seeing more traffic to the pages that are listed in the one way Sitelinks section of the search results, not just the actual URL that appears in the search results. This is actually a good thing. I believe that it’s better to have these one way Sitelinks in the search results when you show up: it’s an opportunity to have even more of your web pages in the search results rather than have just one page or even two pages (with the indented listing).
We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.
Google only shows sitelinks for search results that they think are going to be useful for their users. They talk about the structure of you website, so if you currently don’t have Sitelinks for your website, you might take a look at your site’s overall site structure.
Remember, if the links that are showing in Sitelinks for you site are not the most desirable links, you can always block the less desirable links by using Google Webmaster Tools. Log in to Google Webmaster Tools and go to the Sitelinks section. Here’s some information from Google about how to do that:
To block a sitelink, first ensure that you have verified ownership of the site. Then:
- On the Webmaster Tools Dashboard, click the site you want.
- Under Links, click Sitelinks. If we have sitelinks information for your site, we’ll display a list of sitelinks.
- Click Block next to the sitelink you want to remove. Please let us know why you want to block the sitelink – it will help us improve the way we generate and display sitelinks.
Once you’ve blocked or unblocked a sitelink, it can take some time for your changes to be visible.