Google announced launching an update to the way Google presents Sitelinks, the links shown below some of Google’s search results. In a nutshell, ”Sitelinks will now be full-size links with a URL and one line of snippet text—similar to regular results—making it even easier to find the section of the site you want.” Google also ”increasing the maximum number of sitelinks per query from eight to 12.”
The way Google displays search results for strongly branded websites changed dramatically. The display moved from the traditional title tag, meta description and up to 12 individual links – aka sitelinks – to a mega display that results in the same title tag and meta description of the homepage plus the expanded site links in which the site links now include the title tag and meta description of the sub-pages.
By adding more descriptive information to the site links, the brand results take over much more real estate on the SERP. This does several things:
- Increase the information available for sub-pages on a major site. This will lead brand searches to deeper pages than the homepage with the first click. This could result in better matches of the pages to the search
- Depending on how well the brand site is organized and optimized – traffic to the site may increase or decrease. We’ve seen both so far
- Competitors or information sites that were living above the fold or on the first page for a brand search will lose visibility in both organic and paid search results
Four Ways to Optimize for the Sitelink Update
Have a good, clean top level navigationwith descriptive anchor text. You might want to think again about navigation anchor text like “Services” or “Products”