Google Sitelinks Explained

Marjory Meechan - July 1, 2008

Ever since Google introduced sitelinks, website owners and webmasters have had lots of questions about how these work. At Google’s recent June Tune Live Chat, the question arose again as to why some sites have these links and how they can control them. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of the Q and A section of the chat with Google’s answer to the question:

Q: Will we ever have control over sitelinks to bring searchers to the better pages on our site, vs the ones Google thinks are the best pages?
A: Sitelinks are automatically generated by our algorithm and are meant to help users navigate your site. While you cannot opt into having sitelinks, you are able to block sitelinks using Google Webmaster Tools.

Later on during the audible portion of the chat, in answer to this question:
Does the design of my site affect how these links are compiled? What can I do to help Google compile better sitelinks?

Bergy Berghausen replied that site architecture can affect your chances of getting sitelinks:

“Having a very simple html based navigation is the best way that we can tell how your site is organized and we try to guess based on where we think people are going on your site and how your site is structured.”

While we can’t tell you how to get the sitelinks, we can tell you how to get rid of them. If Google is linking to a page of your site that you would rather not have in the results pages, you can use the sitelink tool in Google’s Webmaster Tools to tell Google to remove the sitelink.

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