Google Sitelinks – How to Use Them Properly for the Success of Your Small Business Website

Technology

Sitelinks are additional links that are displayed below your main search results in Google. This feature is really useful because it shows the main and important pages of the sites along with the homepage and makes it easy for users. However, a few website owner have concerns regarding these sitelinks because at times Google picks up some pages that are not appropriate from the site owner’s perspective.

This article discusses sitelinks, how to deal with them and offers tips that could help you while dealing with your small business website.

What are sitelinks?
Sitelinks are the hyperlinks of a website which are shown under the Google’s main search result. These links are meant to help the users navigate easily through the site. These links are automatically generated by Google based on the some parameters.

How Google picks sitelinks?
Google analyzes the website’s link structure to find shortcuts that make it easy for the user to find the information they are searching for. Those shortcuts are sitelinks likely assumed to be the pages relevant to the search query. In short, Google picks sitelinks based on users’ query and sites’ structure.

When Google displays sitelinks and when not
Sitelinks appear in search results when the site is credible and when they match the user’s query. Sitelinks will not appear if the site is not credible or when the site’s structure is not allowing the algorithms to find the good sitelinks relevant to user’s query.

What to do if a Sitelink URL is inappropriate?
If you think that Google displaying some less relevant or in appropriate page of your site, you can simply “demote it.” Once you demote a specific URL, Google understands that you are not considering this URL as a good one. Google considers this demotion when generating the sitelinks but may not guarantee you that the demoted URLs will never displayed again as a sitelink.

How to Demote a sitelink URL?
As these sitelinks are generated automatically by Google, you can demote/remove them through Google Webmaster Tools.

  • Go to Home Page of Google Webmaster Tools, then click the site that you want.
  • Under Search Appearance, click the sitelinks to access the demotion form.
  • Two text fields will appear:
    • – In the “For this search results” box, complete the URL that you don’t want as a particular sitelink URL to display in the search results.
    • – In the “Demote this sitelink URL” box, enter the URL of the sitelink that you want to demote.
    • – Once you enter the URL, click Demote button.

Once you demoted or undemoted a sitelink, Google takes few days to apply these changes. You can demote up to 100 URLs and all the demotions are effective for 90 days.

Even after demoting, the URL/s is/are not going down – What to do?
If the demoted sitelink URL/s is/are appearing in search results, even after demoting them, following are things to do which may help you out.

  • Use the “nosnippet” robots meta tag
  • Use a robotted javascript file or
  • Use a robotted iframe.

Sitelinks are important in making your website more user-friendly. However, the important point is relevancy and quality of such links.