Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Google's new sitelinks

With Google's new sitelinks, the meta description tag becomes more important
Last month, Google announced new and extended sitelinks. The maximum number of sitelinks increased from eight to 12.

If Google decides to display sitelinks for your website, your site will get a much more prominent display than before.
How to make your sitelinks more attractive
Google uses the first 30-35 characters of the meta description tag of a web page for the snippets.
To increase the number of clicks on the snippets, you should optimize your meta description tags:
  • The first 35 characters in the meta description tag should contain a clear description of the page and/or a call-to-action.
  • Each page of your website should have its own meta description.
Note that Google updates the sitelinks of a website periodically. It may take some time before the new descriptions of your web pages appear in the sitelinks.
How to get sitelinks
In general, Google shows sitelinks if it is sure that a website is the exact match for a search query (usually product name or company name searches). Google generates the sitelinks for your website based on your website navigation and based on the links that point to your website.
If Google does not show sitelinks for your website then you should work on your website navigation:
  • Avoid JavaScript and Flash navigation and try to use regular <a href> links as often as possible.

  • If you use images for your website navigation, make sure that the images contain alternative texts that allow Google to categorize your links.
Do not use too many navigation links and make it easy for web surfers and search engines to find out which pages of your website are the most important pages. The better a web page is linked, the more likely it is that it will appear in the sitelinks on Google.
Sitelinks are a nice addition for brand name searches but they usually don't appear for searches that consist of two to four words. These words are the most important keywords for website promotion and search engine optimization.


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