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Google Sitelinks Removed - Should I be Concerned?

 4:40 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Today Google removed the sitelinks for my site. They no longer appear in WMT or in the SERPs when you search for my domain name.

My traffic so far this month is 30% up on previous months and my positioning in the SERPS looks as it normally does.

Is there any cause for concern ?



 6:08 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seeing Google traffic up by 30% is a very good thing. I would not have major concern about the loss of sitelinks if search traffic goes up (especially well-targeted search traffc), but certainly do keep a watch on the situation. It sounds rather odd, especially that potential sitelinks don't show in WMT. If you haven't made structural changes to your site, this might well be a Google bug.


 6:38 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

G says "we show them only if we think they'll be useful to the user"

How long have you had them? Ours came in at the end of October, and disappeared about a month later. No measurable effect on search traffic.

Edit / Add: not seeing top search queries for the past week. Transient bug?


 8:00 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think I have had the sitelinks for about a year. They were never particular useful or relevant, almost random. I had actually blocked two of the links which were to strange pages deep in my site.

G says "we show them only if we think they'll be useful to the user"

That might be the key. The sitelinks in the SERPS are tracked by Google so perhaps they have realised nobody is using my sitelinks and therefore they have been removed.

I don't think Google can understand the structure of my site based on the Sitelinks it has chosen. Having said that, I would be hard pressed to choose 6 to 8 key pages myself to show as Sitelinks. I suspect that is a weakness in they way my site is currently structured. Coincidently I am in the process of completely redesigning my site so I guess I had better pay extra consideration to the structure of the site.

Regarding the top search queries I am also not seeing any for the last week, however my sitelinks have been removed from the SERPS and WMT so I doubt the two are related.

In WMT I still have the two sitelinks that I had previously blocked listed. I am not particulary bothered about losing the sitelinks so I am going to give it a couple weeks to see if they returned and then I might unblock one of the blocked sitelinks and see what happens.


 10:22 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ours seem to be gone today also - in the serps.

WMT shows Current sitelinks Last updated Jan 12, 2009 and has the 8 listed that we've had for over a year.

[edited by: BradleyT at 10:36 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2009]


 6:30 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had them for most of last year, but lost them whenever we had this last PR update (no PR changes) Most of my sites are seasonal, and this is off season, although my traffic is about twice what it was this time last year. I expect they'll come back. It took 'em a while, but they finally got it sorted out to show the sitelinks I wanted - before they pulled them.

On the positive front, one client got new sitelinks for the first time, and two others got *vast* improvements in their existing sitelinks. Their respective competitors are probably having kittens as I type this.

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