Google Sitelinks- Do they or Do they Not Affect Search Rankings?

Jul 11, 2008 | 1,926 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Google Sitelinks are primarily the links that are usually placed under a search result. These links can number anywhere between 4 and 8 as sub-links.

Over at the Webmaster World, there is a thread that is discussing the importance of sitelinks. Here are a few posts from that thread:

"Recently we had a Google site link change for our home page and we noticed a big dip in the serps. Google did not properly title the site link as it did in the past, so I went into webmaster tools and blocked the site link. When it asked me for a reason, I simply put that the page had the wrong title and put the correct title in.

Example: The Page is about "Widgets that are Green"

Google gave the site link as "Are Green"

Now, when I made this change, Google said the site link would be blocked until October 2nd. Anyone experiment with this feature yet and how did Google react in the Serps?"

"I've not seen any direct connection between ranking and sitelinks (blocked or otherwise) although sitelinks do give a good overview of how Google understands site structure. I would suggest that sitelinks are an effect, rather than a cause: site problems (especially structural or hierarchical ones) can be made more visible via sitelinks, but I don't think sitelinks themselves have any potential to cause ranking problems.

I would expect the impact of removing a sitelink on ranking to be nothing, aside from whatever changes occur to clickthrough rate as a result of the missing link or whatever replaced it."

"On a client site, we blocked a sitelink that was to some really silly page for them to sitelink to – can't even remember what it was, like privacy policy or returns page – and suffered no ill effects that I could tell.

It does look like they've done some updating recently – they just this past weekend added a sitelink to the most important event on my events site. Too bad the event was over two weeks ago. Be interesting to see if the link disappears now, since people won't be searching for it again until next year."

Well, here are the main points that came out of the entire discussion:

  • Sitelinks do not directly influence your search rankings.
  • Sitelinks can be removed but not changed via Webmaster Tools.
  • Sitelinks appear to be constructed based on your site architecture, as Google understands it.
  • Sitelinks can strongly influence your click-through rate on your search result listing.
  • Sitelinks, when removed, can be gone as long as a year or more.

How Sitelinks affect your website, is explained in much more detail at Google Groups:

"Recently we had a Google site link change for our home page and we noticed a big dip in the serps. Google did not properly title the site link as it did in the past, so I went into webmaster tools and blocked the site link. When it asked me for a reason, I simply put that the
page had the wrong title and put the correct title in.

Example: The Page is about "Fiber Optic Lights"and has the proper title tag on the page

Google gave the site link as "Optic Lights"

Now, when I made this change, Google said the site link would be blocked until October 7th."

This, Googler Jonathan Simon replied, "Any Sitelinks you blocked should be removed from the search results soon if they haven't been already. Although we don't take action on Sitelinks feedback for a specific site, your feedback is appreciated and used along with the feedback of other Webmaster Tools users to find and fix issues with the overall system that auto generates Sitelinks. You can review your Sitelinks periodically in Webmaster Tools to see if new Sitelinks have been generated. "

4.thumbnail Google Sitelinks  Do they or Do they Not Affect Search Rankings?

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Google Sitelinks  Do they or Do they Not Affect Search Rankings?
4.thumbnail Google Sitelinks  Do they or Do they Not Affect Search Rankings?