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Google Adds Sitelinks for a New Batch of Websites
Oliver Henniges




msg:3582930
 5:52 pm on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

A few days before X-mas last year it has been reported here in webmasterworld that google implemented a new section in webmaster central, where we could help to finetune the displaying of sitelinks.
Today a friend of mine mailed me, that now a search-query for his domain name comes up with those sitelinks. I immediately checked mine, and - bingo - there they are.

Both our sites are hosted in Germany and are indexed with a TBPR of 3. What are your experiences with this? Normally such innovations first spread for U.S.-sites and then gradually are moved to all other languages and countries. When did what happen for which PR-levels in which regions?

A few days after Christmas I blocked one of the sitelinks in my console, because I found it a bit inappropriate, i.e. not so useful for my visitors (though nevertheless displayed quite on top of my frontpage, because it is quite important with respect to thematical balance). Nevertheless google shows this link (to give some feedback to the googlers reading here).

Do you think we as webmasters in the near future might play a more active role in defining which pages to choose as sitelinks?

Will you change your overall organization of themes, now that you know ideally exactly EIGHT "should" fill root-level?

 

sandpetra




msg:3582982
 7:08 pm on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am seeing sitelnks today for a lot of new websites.....on my IP at least

jimbeetle




msg:3583003
 7:48 pm on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, seems like there's a glut of reports over the past week or so of folks seeing sitelinks for the first time.

Asia_Expat




msg:3583254
 9:15 am on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

I woke up today to find my website now has sitelinks in the serps. It's the first time I've ever seen it for my website and I'm hoping it means I'm doing something right.
The sitelinks only work for my website's name as far as I can tell, which is quite unique. There are six sitelinks showing and the algo has correctly chosen the busiest sections with the most articles.
I do not see any change in traffic, although recently I've seen approximately 20 percent increase from both Google and Yahoo.

I'm guessing I should be happy about this... but I'm not sure why.

... but the really strange thing is, according to Webmastertools, 'Google has not generated any sitelinks for your site'!

[edited by: tedster at 10:29 am (utc) on Feb. 24, 2008]

tedster




msg:3583295
 10:37 am on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

... but the really strange thing is, according to Webmastertools, 'Google has not generated any sitelinks for your site'!

Strange indeed! For so many it's the other way around. Guess this proves we have a new roll-out of Sitelinks. Some earlier reports also were posted in another thread [webmasterworld.com].

It would be nice to hear of some traffic improvements from those who just got Sitelinks.

Clark




msg:3583454
 7:30 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Cool, thanks for pointing this out!

[edited by: Clark at 7:35 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2008]

Miamacs




msg:3583462
 7:49 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

example site is hosted in the US.
sitelinks appeared over a month ago in GWT only.
It's been #1 for a couple of phrases for over a year but neither these queries nor the domain name showed the links... on google.com at least.

For google.ca, another set of SERPs that the site is popular on, DID show them. Site has nothing to do with Canada.

Then the links disappeared from GWT. They're still gone.

But now - since two days ago or so - they're displayed on the SERPs of google.com.

...

I guess this much inconsistency is necessary for me to feel secure about being an SEO, in fact I think I'd feel -less- secure if Google suddenly got its act together *grin*

traffic virtually unaffected.

...

davec




msg:3583469
 8:19 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yep, just noticed one of our larger uk sites is showing sitelinks for the first time.

ken_b




msg:3583473
 8:26 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

OK getting site links added to our serps listing is cool.

But what if any real benefit is there to these?

Receptional Andy




msg:3583480
 8:57 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

what if any real benefit is there to these

One nice side effect is a bit of insight into how Google views your site hierarchy.

People do click them too, although as they're mainly for brand terms the effect is more of skipping a navigation step for visitors who would ordinarily start at the homepage.

Personally, I think it makes sites seem, slightly more 'important' to end users: a bit of a bonus on top of the 'number one site is best' impression that persists.

Hey, more page real-estate can never be a bad thing, right?

tedster




msg:3583482
 8:58 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some of my clients didn't notice any benefit when their Sitelinks appeared, but others notice more Google traffic directly to an internal page that converts better.

crobb305




msg:3583483
 9:02 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Personally, I think it makes sites seem, slightly more 'important' to end users

In most cases, I only see the sitelinks when searching for an exact match of the domain name (with or without spaces). So, unless visitors are searching for that, I don't see how anyone will ever see it. I also see the sitelinks occurring for domains that have been 950'd or heavily penalized on most search phrases. So it can't be much of an indicator of "authority".

Receptional Andy




msg:3583486
 9:20 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

So it can't be much of an indicator of "authority".

Not to an SEO, no. But end users think that the higher up in results a site is the 'better' it is. I'm not saying this is a good perception, but it seems quite widely held.

I only see the sitelinks when searching for an exact match of the domain name (with or without spaces). So, unless visitors are searching for that, I don't see how anyone will ever see it.

Those can be very useful visitors though. One example is people researching a company before a purchasing decision.

Oliver Henniges




msg:3583499
 10:04 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

> But what if any real benefit is there to these?

I suspect one of google's future goal is to present the searcher not only eight such suggestions for the main page, but also "alternative entrances" to more complex websites on all levels.

For instance think of wikipedias disambiguation-pages or "related products" on an ecommerce sites. Google's searchers will surely appreciate, if, after searching for mere widgets, the serps will offer you direct links to the green,red,yellow,blue... widget landing pages.

I think, a related phenomenon are those additional two-word-searches, which google now for a couple of months presents as a footer for most one-word-searches. Also eight in most cases, by the way.

Both phenomena again underline the important role of Semantics in current algos.

Semantics, KI and the goal of "machine-understanding natural languages" from the very beginning have suffered the absence of data on what has been called "world knowledge:"

For instance, take again the disambiguation-problem. If you want to decide whether the word "Queen" on a given website denotes a British rock-band or one of the other 52 Alternatives wiki lists, you have to "understand" the whole rest of the website. And statistical analysis of word-coocurrance can only give hints, but not "decide" with sufficient precision.

I'm not up to date, but I think academic research in semantics in her comuper-models has for a long time been working with artificial semantic markers added to the lexemes of the dicitonary "by hand". With googles massive amount of data collected already (+user behaviour data by the toolbar), for the first time in history it seems possible this "world knowledge" be integrated into a model on an automated SCALABLE basis.

So the benefit for the searcher will be navigation-efficiency.
The benefit for us webmasters is that those links give us hints how google views our sites organized thematically. And the benfit for google is that we, clicking those links, will reinforce the relevant paths of the neuronal semantic network, not-clicking those links will sort out the irrelevant.

PaulPA




msg:3583529
 10:55 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

In Webmaster Tools it still says:

Google has not generated any sitelinks for your site.

But thankfully that is not accurate as it is now showing the links

ken_b




msg:3583537
 11:24 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe a little off topic, but ...

I only see the site links when searching for an exact match of the domain name

...piqued my interest, so I took a look at my stats.

In the last 30 days, at least 975 visitors arrived at my site using some variation of my exact domain name, spaces, no spaces, .com, no.com, etc.

But they visited an average of just over 24 pages each. That's a bit over 3 times the average pageviews per visit for all my visitors.

Mine is a strictly info site, no onsite sales at all.

But still, that 975 is only a fraction of one percent of my visitor total, so if the site links only show for domain name type searches, then not many of my visitors will ever see them.

klown




msg:3583577
 1:29 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Damn, I had site links for my name yesterday, and a common side name (brand and the country). Today both are back to just doubled links.

Bewenched




msg:3583593
 2:02 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yup .. ours just showed up today searching for our business name as well as our domain name.

They had been showing them in webmaster tools for sometime, but are just now.

they have obviously done a manual site review because one of the links is not within the main "menu" that all the other links came from.

techrealm




msg:3583645
 3:43 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yippee... Ok, over it, now back to the real work... Explaining to the CEO that his project isn't in the listings because there is no real traffic to that part of the site because it is too new. Funny how you think you want something till it actually happens and you get say "oh. pfft."

walkman




msg:3583647
 3:46 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am EXTREMELY happy. My main bread and butter site just got them! The words are on my domain as well and they yield over 260,000,000 results! I am thrilled as I believe you get some sort of status from G with them. You have more leaway on borderline cases IMO, but I do not plan on pushing my luck.

Congrats to all.

Vimes




msg:3583648
 3:47 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi,

Iím seeing the opposite site links that have been up for months have disappeared in GWT
They are still showing on the SERPís so I hope this is a glitch, closer inspection of PR extra with in the tools doesnít improve my out look as the highest PR page of my site is still showing ďData is not available at this time.Ē For January, very strange is anyone else seeing this, my sites info seems to be at least a month out on GWT, page rank not up dating or at least is in limbo. My SERPís appear to be the same no huge ranking differences.

Is this a Glitch or is anyone else experiencing similar effects.

Vimes.

tedster




msg:3583658
 4:02 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, GWT is out of synch with the SERPs right now on Sitelinks. But the SERPs are the real story and GWT is but a reporting utility - so I'll take the actual SERPs of a report any day.

Vimes




msg:3583668
 4:49 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster,

I'm still worried about the PR not being updated tho is anyone else seeing this with in GWT, the two combined site links disappearing and PR on the highest page not reporting information.

Just wondering if I'm seeing the beginning of something drastic happening or if its the same for others.

Vimes

Pico_Train




msg:3583677
 5:16 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Great! Got sitelinks for one site and as far as traffic goes, it seems pretty steady, no real changes as a result as far as I can tell. Hopefully that changes...

sem4u




msg:3583756
 9:22 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I now see sitelinks for a number of sites I have worked on, including ones where I have suggested a new sitelink in webmaster tools.

mjwalshe




msg:3583801
 11:04 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am seeing it to 2 out of th 3 I have checked

phranque




msg:3583846
 12:42 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

including ones where I have suggested a new sitelink in webmaster tools

i'm not seeing where you can suggest a sitelink.
here's the most recent GWT blog post on SiteLinks [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com].

fishfinger




msg:3583855
 12:56 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a real mix here, checked about 10 sites so far. Things I note

1) High PR is not necessary; I have PR2s and 3s showing sitelinks.
2) In most cases, the webmaster tool is not in sync with the SERPs i.e. it says I don't have them on majority of sites
3) Data used appears to be at least 3 weeks old. I have a site that shows them but to pages that no longer exist since we published new site on 1st Feb.
4) Unclear how sitelink title is generated. They are not using title tag, header tag, page file name or anchor text used in IBLs or internal links consistently. Nor does it appear to be based on keyword density.
5) On a few sites they are only using 3 or 4 sitelinks but then displaying an additional 2nd listing (normal, old format) directly underneath instead of as a sitelink.

Also on another I'm seeing a site link to the contact page AND another link under it as another result - also to the contact page!

crobb305




msg:3584036
 4:42 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

The sitelinks I saw in the serps yesterday are gone. Maybe testing, or different dc's?

ambellina




msg:3584061
 5:20 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

yaaay sitelinks! they look cool. I wish I'd taken the time to remove certain ones in GWMT now, though. I never did before because I didn't expect them to actually show up. Boo.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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