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Last week Google launched an update to sitelinks in Canada. These changes have been rolled out in a Google Canada English Search but not yet in the French language version. And… it is important to point out that the expansion of sitelinks can be viewed using the latest web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer (Version 7). Sitelinks generation is determined by the Search Engine.

What are Sitelinks?

Sitelinks are the additional links that appear underneath the first search result. They allow Google searchers to go directly to specific pages that are deeper within the website. They appear in organic search results based on search queries on branded terms.

Here is an example of sitelinks in a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) that have not yet been expanded. You will note that there is a single row of links. In this case, a total of four links to key web pages within the site appear.

Here is an example of the new sitelinks layout. The first search result listing remains the top domain and the same in terms of format (title, URL and short description). The new additions relates to the extended listings in this full two-column sitelinks layout. Rather than just a link, it now includes a title, URL and one line of the text snippet. The maximum number of individual sitelinks that can appear per query are now 12 (up from 8).

How does it work?

Google determines sitelinks based on their algorithms. They are generated and ranked based on link structure of your website. Yes – site architecture has just become even more important if you are serious about Search.

Why sitelinks?

This addresses the issue that some web searchers still use broad queries such as “government of canada” rather than more specific search keyword phrases in terms of what they are attempting to find. This can also be very valuable for improving the visibility of unique sections of large and complex websites. In addition, a link could send traffic to directly to their portfolio of photos (IE sites with image galleries such as a wedding photographer). As you can see, this goes far beyond the regular results from a few years ago. And… it will, of course, help you understand your web traffic from a Google Analytics perspective.

Like all things Search-related, generating good sitelinks, and optimization thereof can improve your website conversions.

Got Sitelinks? Are they optimized?