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I woke up and found I have 2 "authority" sites today

     
9:32 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I feel like it's early christmas, 2 of my sites have become "authority" sites in Google. Has anyone else noticed changes of this nature? One was an AU domain the other a .org - Despite this I can't a huge rush of increased traffic.
11:02 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i don't know, how you tell if Google has it listed as an "authority site"?
11:19 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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[google.com.au...] this type of thing is an example of what I mean. I think it's a positive upgrade to the status of my sites in the eyes of Google.
11:24 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To use the precise Googlish vocabulary, Google has now awarded your site "Sitelinks" when you search on your business name. Yes, this is a good sign - congratulations!
11:42 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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ok, now I get it. I just went and checked, one of my sites is authoritative!

The other site is not, but google does give 2 links for it when I type in the domain name. it's also the site I had been struggling with on the 950 penalty, and seems like it's out of the penalty, but still ranks below 100 on many keywords.

12:12 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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when you search on your business name

Do these "Sitelinks" only show when someone searches by business/domain name?

I just tried my business/domain name and saw these Sitelinks for the first time on my listing.

My business/domain name could be seen/spoken as 1, 2 or 3 words. So I tried all 3 likely styles,

word1word2word3
word1word2 word3
word1 word2 word3

and got the same Sittelinks for all 3.

The latter two styles also got a "Did you mean word1word2word3" at the top of the serp.

12:13 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Not to get off on a tangent here, but I noticed that the "sitelinks" for WebmasterWorld are slanted toward Google products. Curious!
12:14 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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not wanting to put the dampers on this but ive seen sites with the extra links not ranking where they should in the serps just the same as any other site!

But it is nice to see esp where your site ranks for a key search term and i would agree that it makes you feel more confident, but not sure what triggers the addition of these links?

12:22 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sitelinks are rewarded by algorithm, and they are always associated with a specific search term or terms. In other words, you won't see Sitelinks every time a url has a solid #1 ranking. It's most common for Sitelinks to show on a search for the business name, especially when that business name is exactly the same as the domain name without the TLD extension.

Every once in a rare while, I do see Sitelinks for some other search term than the website's name, but this is very rare - even for a trademark that is owned by the parent company. The classic example is Apple - apple.com shows Sitelinks when you search on "apple" but not when your search on "ipod".

the "sitelinks" for WebmasterWorld are slanted toward Google products. Curious!

They tend to be our busiest forums, so I don't see it as all that curious. There are two Sitelinks for Adsense, however. One uses our current directory name "/google_adsense/" and the other uses our legacy forum number, "/forum89/". That's an algo bug, I assume.

12:39 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sitelinks have nothing to do with authority. They mostly just mean #1 scores way better than #2 for the term, and obviously that is most common for exact matchs on domain/company/brand name.
1:17 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They tend to be our busiest forums, so I don't see it as all that curious.

Tedster, I'm not suggesting any impropriety on WebmasterWorld or Google's part, I simply find it interesting. Google certainly has the right to display whichever "sitelinks" it wants. In my opinion it appears that they give more weight to areas of a website that have Google related information.

Google Adwords: 101,890 posts (sitelink)
html and browsers: 110,682 posts (no sitelink)
Foo: 136,105 posts (no sitelink)

1:28 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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limoshawn, I think your observations are interesting and may point to some factors in the mysterious Sitelinks algorithm. Here are some related observations:

1. The HTML and Browsers forum here was originally extremely busy - so busy that we split off other forums for css, javascript, graphics and so on. In recent times, it's not been nearly as busy. So historical data may play a part.

2. Foo is often quite off-topic for the main themes of webmastering. If I didn't some some extremely weird Sitelinks on other domains, I might think that some semantic theming was in play. Maybe it is, but it's kind of broken?

I know from some of my client that the Sitelinks algo can make some funky choices. We've use WebmasterTools to veto more than a few of them - I'm very glad Google gives us that option.

1:29 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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this G webmaster central blog video has some explanation of sitelinks [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
1:36 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that, phranque.

For anyone digging deeper into this topic, we've also got a reference thread in our Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.

Sitelinks - extra links under some #1 results [webmasterworld.com]

That thread also links out to some other resources.

1:39 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In my opinion it appears that they give more weight to areas of a website that have Google related information.

So how do you explain Google's choice of Sitelinks on sites that have no information about Google?

2:21 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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An if/then statement in an algorithm would handle the situation nicely. Although I don't think Google shows this kind of bias, it certainly could be done.
2:42 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just an observation with this "authority" status, I had a potential client come to me recently with an AU domain, he is doing considerable brand building offline. I type in his domain and the .com "authority" site is at the top of the rankings, his domain is new and the on page SEO is awfull and he's got no footprint so he's in large trouble. Every time his brand gets typed in Australia he's losing clients to the global "authority" so to speak. I've told him he's pushing it uphill and it would be very hard to offer him any guarantee he's ever going to displace the the .com with the AU, what do you think?
3:07 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sitelinks have nothing to do with authority.

I agree, Steveb. But it can just have an authority for the exact match on its own name.
3:18 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've told him he's pushing it uphill and it would be very hard to offer him any guarantee he's ever going to displace the the .com with the AU

A guarantee? No, of course not, and especially with a .com.au domain. But something like this is often doable, even if "uphill" -- with some link builders trained the martial arts ;) and smart leveraging of those offline efforts to bring their effects online.

11:27 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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An if/then statement in an algorithm would handle the situation nicely. Although I don't think Google shows this kind of bias, it certainly could be done.

I don't think it is a bias either. Since the query was "webmaster world" I would think what links that do show up are less keyword based and more popularity based.

General theme? Pretty much the sections shown are the ones that are the largest, most active, and the most heavily linked to. General links to the WebmasterWorld home I suspect are heavily Google related so that is what you will see in the site links.

But as always with Google...who the hell knows for sure anymore!

12:28 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All bias conspiracy theory aside, it seems that the main factor would be incoming links to inside pages. I would have thought that on page navigational link structure or user behavior would have played a bigger factor in sitelinks but maybe not. My reason for this thinking is "/forum89/". There doesn’t appear to be any navigational links from the home page to this forum so that would seem to rule out nav links and user behavior.

So while a directory like "foo" may be very popular, as Tedster said it is very off target and probably doesn’t get near as many incoming links and an AdWords or AdSense forum.

Another thought as I sit here is bookmarking. I wonder if the amount of times a page from a site has been saved to favorites might play a role.

11:34 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've also noticed on one of the two sites the "site link" points to one of my subdomains, I'm not sure if this is unusual or not but I thought it worth mentioning. I've also noticed that the same search query on two other machines on my office network deliver the older pre "site links" result so I'm guessing it may take a few days to hit all the DC's ?
7:54 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have 2 sites that have been awarded the "Sitelinks" status, at least according to Webmater tools. A couple of questions, if I may...

1. Where can I find the keywords that bring up a "Sitelink" result? On both of these sites, Webmaster tools show the Sitelinks, but I cannot figure out where these are located in the SERPS. I have tried just about everything and cannot find the results.

2. There is an incorrect link in one of the sublinks. I see the ability to block, but is there an ability to change? The link was changed about a month ago and the current page is returning a 404 error.

Thanks!

8:02 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Webmaster Tools only shows what your Sitelinks will look like IF they are ever awarded on a search. There are many, many websites that show the links inside Webmaster Tools but not on any searches. Inside GWT, it says "See which links on your site have been identified as candidates for appearing directly in Google search results."

Try a regular search on just your domain name example.com - that's one of the most probable spots to see Sitelinks.

8:15 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Mmmm. where is that exactly? I show this on the sitelinks page...

Sitelinks are additional links Google sometimes generates from site contents in order to help users navigate your site. Google generates these sitelinks periodically from your site's contents.

Because we generate sitelinks dynamically, this list can change from time to time.

And I show this on the ?

How do you compile the list of links shown below some search results?

The links shown below some sites in our search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they're looking for.

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them.

At the moment, sitelinks are completely automated. We're always working to improve our sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future.

8:19 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's on the Links Overview page. It is a good sign to see those candidate links in Webmaster Tools. It shows your site has gaind some prominence and a decent link architecture for Google's algo. It just doesn't meant that they are currently being displayed.

Added: See [webmasterworld.com...] for another recent thread about this.

8:23 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I see it now. Well, one can only hope. The site has been getting slammed lately and does very well for a bunch of competative phrases... Now if I could only knock off that .gov site that always seems to stay a notch above me, eh? ;)
11:30 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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For one of my domains, sitelinks are only being shown in a couple of geogographic locations in the extreme northern hemisphere. Not on google.com or anywhere else.

Google is showing my links.htm page as one of the sitelinks amongst 6 others.

Also, they are not showing up in Google webmaster tools. All I get here is: "Google has not generated any sitelinks for your site." However, a lot of other data is also missing. It's not showing any external or internal links either.

12:53 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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chicagofan67:
try registering the
www.domain
and
http://www.domain
and the
http://domain
versions of your site with webmaster tools if you havent allready and see what you get.
If you get different info for each one start reading some of Tedster's threads.
1:24 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From the Google Webmaster Tools I can see that one of my websites has Sitelinks but I've never seen them appear in search results.
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