New Google Sitelink Improvements


Earlier this week Google launched an update to sitelinks. The changes include an improvement to how the links are displayed, and further enhances the quality of results when a particular word or phrase is searched for.

Fundamentally, sitelinks haven’t changed and will still only appear if Google considers them useful for a specific search. But visually there are a few changes:

  • Full-size text links with a URL and a line of text, making the sitelinks easier to see.
  • Maximum number of links that appear has been raised from eight to 12.
  • The separation of the top domain and other domains is clearer. If sitelinks do appear for the top result then all other results will be other domains, with the exception of links for subdomains of the top result.

This week’s launch also includes a change in which sitelinks will appear. According to Google, “sitelink selection and ranking can change from query to query, allowing more optimized results.” Also through the use of a Webmaster Tools account, users can suggest a demotion for a particular sitelink if they don’t feel it is appropriate or if they feel it is incorrect. Removal is not guaranteed but it never hurts to make a suggestion to Google to enhance the way your own site and its corresponding sitelinks are viewed.


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  1. Steven TRACY says

    Yes I’ve noticed the changes in the Google serps.

    Little space left for new players.

    It looks like an outbound marketing search engine now.

    Not so interesting as before.

    Goofle panda was launched over here in France on thursday 11th of august.

    So far so good.

    My website and those of my clients are doing fine.

    Only logical mister Spock, Google panda is not targeting those kinds of websites lol.

    No wonder the world economy is goinig down with so much narrow minded thinking.

    If you want to know more about how the web works, stop reading google’s blog.

    Start trying, testing and failing. Then trying testing and failing etc… until you discover what reakky works.

    That’s what I do, and it work’s for me and my clients.

    just try it, do the exact opposite of what Matt says. It works.

    Only logical mister Spock, he is a google employee.

    Watch this video to learn more.

  2. Ash Buckles says

    I’ve only seen this for broad searches where the intent is to land on the brand site anyhow. This may change but it doesn’t seem to be affecting keyword searches. It will be interesting to watch.

  3. Gino Orlandi says

    I wish they would let webmasters control these links considering most of the time they show useless links, which reflects poorly on Google’s search quality. Sometimes algorithms just don’t work!

    • says

      Gino – Through Webmaster Tools you can suggest a link be removed, or in Google’s words “demoted.” This doesn’t guarantee they will move it from the sitelinks, but it is something you can do if you feel a link is incorrect or inappropriate.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • Gino Orlandi says

        Yeah I noticed that, but also noticed they mention deep linking to important pages as a factor. I think the best thing to do is to go to all the important pages and posts on your site and link back to all the pages/posts you want to show up in the sitelinks using the anchor text and alt tags you desire for the sitelink titles.

        • Adam Perkins says

          I noticed this happening on various levels to a number of my clients. Some kind of control would certainly be useful but anytime control is given to webmasters it could lead to abuses and spamming. Perhaps they’ll have some kind of review system eventually?

  4. Lily says

    Robyn– This is really interesting… I have ran into a few things lately with google sitelink, but was not sure what had changed and why. This article put it into perspective.

  5. Jeremy Hawes says

    Although Google doesn’t guarantee sitelink demotions for link location, I’ve found that they are usually very willing – in other words, it’s worth the short time it takes to ask :)

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