After having answered the same question repeatedly about Sitelinks I’ve decided that perhaps this is a good topic for the blog, at least this way I’ll be able to direct people to a single location to find all the answers regarding this confusing area. Sitelinks is the name given to the links that appear below the #1 result for some Google queries.
An example of Sitelinks can be seen when we run a search on Google for “microsoft”:
Here we can see links to internal pages on the Microsoft website. So how do you get Google to do this for you? The answer, at present is, you don’t.
Here is what Matt Cutts wrote about it:
For a small number of sites, we’re not just showing our regular snippets: we try to expose useful links from within a site. In this Berkeley example, Google shows links for Berkeley departments, academics at Berkeley, etc. Pretty neat (and more importantly, useful) stuff.
People who know Google well will go “Cool” and move on. Other folks will ask things like “Are sites or their links selected by hand–can my site get in on this? Is money involved?” And the answer is: it’s all algorithmic. The algorithms pick the sites where this could be helpful. Of course money isn’t involved at all.
So it’s an algorithm, much like the ranking algorithm but with more mystery regarding how to get it for your site. Here is the only “for sure”, you need to hold a #1 position for a phrase. OK, that’s *easy enough* right. 😉 Past that there is more myth than fact about what the “secret recipe” is. Guesstimates range anywhere from site age to the internal linking structure in how the list is generated and whether it is at all for a query.
Rather than try to list off points when I’m not 100% sure which pieces of the puzzle are correct and which aren’t I think it’s more valuable to simply list off some of the better resources on the subject.
- Google’s webmaster help center comment on the subject.
- SE Guru Danny Sullivan’s blog post on Sitelinks.
- Search Engine Watch forum discussion on it.