9 ways to get the sitelinks you want (and deserve!)

Organic sitelinks are the sub-links that appear under your homepage URL in search queries specific to your company.

Matt Cutts explaining how sitelinks are generated:

A typical company listing has 4-6 sitelinks meant to help users navigate your site directly from the search engine results page, rather than having to click your primary URL to navigate. Some URLs may have up to 12 sitelinks below the primary search result!

Organic sitelinks are great for users (and for you!)

There are many key benefits to organic sitelinks:

  • Users can quickly and easily gain access to a better-suited landing page than the homepage. This quick navigation option is great for the user and it reduces your organic bounce rate too.
  • Sitelinks provide a large presence on the search results pages. PPC Hero did some research into sitelinks, and found that, why they’re not clicked as often as the primary link, they do provide additional CTR and conversions. Read more the PPC Hero study. Showing 64% increases in PPC ad Click-Through-Rate with sitelinks
  • Having numerous – and well-crafted – sitelinks helps to make your brand look more popular. Big brand tends to have more, and better, sitelinks.


9 tips to get the sitelinks you want (and deserve!)

Typical sitelinks include a Contact Us page, plus other pages that look important to Google.

However, Google often misunderstands what the key pages are on your site! That’s why it’s crucial that companies watch over and adjust their sitelinks.

While you can’t specify sitelinks directly to Google, and they don’t disclose exactly how they choose organic sitelinks, there are key tactics you can use to get the sitelinks you want (and deserve!):

  1. Be #1! You will typically only get sitelinks for branded searches, such as for your company name. Sometimes the #1 result will get sitelinks as well, but it’s typically branded queries.

  1. Submit a sitemap.xml in Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). This appears to be a necessary step before sitelinks are “granted” by Google.

Demote undesirable sitelinks in Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) if you find that any are showing up.

To demote a sitelink URL:

  • On the Search Console homepage, click the site you want.
  • Under Search Appearance, click Sitelinks.
  • In the For this search result box, complete the URL for which you don’t want a specific sitelink URL to appear.
  • In the Demote this sitelink URL box, complete the URL of the sitelink you want to demote.
  • You can demote up to 100 URLs, and demotions are effective for 90 days from your last visit to the demotion page (no need to resubmit – just revisit the page).
  1. Look at what you’re linking to sitewide (stop linking or do nofollow), especially in your main navigation elements.

  2. Googlebot seems to like lists of links, including H2 tags with links to sections or pages and bulleted lists of links. Learn more here: http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/get-organic-google-sitelinks-long-form-content/

  3. Use rel=nofollow. Sometimes, privacy policies show up as sitelinks because they have a link on every page of the site. Use a rel=nofollow on pages that Google is incorrectly choosing as sitelinks.

  4. Optimize your pages. Ideally, your best pages should already be optimized, but make sure titles and meta-descriptions are in order.

  5. Inbound links look at where other sites are linking to (change your redirects or outreach to other sites and ask them to update their links).

  6. Googlebot prefers popular pages, including landing pages with volume in analytics.

Organic sitelink takeaways

While there is no direct formula for sitelinks, these tips can help you better communicate to Googlebot what you would like to show up for your brand.

Since search results are often very personalized and based on Google’s algorithm, it may be that certain sitelinks appear for some users, but not for others.

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