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Controlling Google’s sitelinks for your website
Jun
10

Controlling Google’s sitelinks for your website

SEO & Marketing Craig Bilski

Learn how to control the Sitelinks that appear under your main Google search listings with Google Webmaster Tools.

Google is pretty guarded on what you can directly change on their search listings for your own website. While you can’t choose the exact ‘Sitelinks’ that appear under your main listing, you can tell Google to remove or demote certain links from this section.

What are Sitelinks?

Sitelinks are internal page links that sometimes appear under your main Google search results. They are selected automatically by Google by analysing your website’s link structure to determine which links will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.

Google Sitelinks example

How can I control these?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell Google exactly which links you want to display however by process of elimination you can pretty much get the links you wish to display. If you have your website hooked up to Google’s Webmaster Tools system, which you should, then you can request for links to be removed, essentially creating a blacklist of pages for the Sitelinks section. If you play around with this enough, within reason, you should be able have the links you want to appear.

If you have Google Webmaster Tools setup, simply login and proceed to the ‘Sitelinks’ section under the ‘Search Appearance’ menu on the left hand side.

From this section you will see two boxes to fill in:

  1. The first field is the main search result that you want to demote a site link for.
  2. The second field is the URL of the site link that you wish to demote.

Demote sitelinks in Google Webmaster Tools

Unfortunately, it won’t be an instant process, it will take some time for Google to demote the link. There is also a chance that the link might not be removed at all if Google believes that is what users are looking for or if it can’t find a suitable replacement. Sitelinks are also query-dependent, which means it may still appear for certain queries.

You can demote up to 100 URL’s which is more than enough for you to sort out the pages you need to show.

TL;DR

  • Sitelinks are the smaller listings show under your main Google listings.
  • You can’t specify to Google which links to show, but you can demote links.
  • Google Webmaster Tools can be used to demote links.
  • It may take some time for Google to demote links, generally at least 24 hours. Google may choose not to demote links.
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About the Author - Craig Bilski

Craig is a web developer at Digital Developments, programming custom designed websites using Wordpress. After hours he turns into a sports nut, rock music lover and enjoys amateur photography.

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