Google Sitelinks, What’s Their Real Value?

Webmasters will always be excited and intrigued about Google Sitelinks until they know exactly how to get them. Google’s explanation is as usual rather obscure, never completely disclosing the way the actual algorithm works. There are a number of theories behind sitelinks.

Basically, they serve as shortcuts to help users quickly navigate to the most important pages on your website. 

Google assigns sitelinks to a website if it satisfies a great number of people who make that particular query. “We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user.” An interesting behaviour behind sitelinks is that they can actually be geo-specific: people from one country may like a particular website (and in this country it therefore has sitelinks) while people from another country don’t like it (and the website doesn’t have sitelinks there).

So why are so many webmasters trying to get sitelinks? Well, it’s quite obvious.

More users click on your listing. Note that most searchers who see your sitelinks already know your brand because usually Google generates sitelinks for brand name searchers – thus most likely they would have clicked your listing regardless of your sitelink availability. However, “most likely” doesn’t mean “necessarily”, and a small percentage of searchers will skip the first listing, which is especially significant in case of unmanaged negative reputation items appearing somewhere at the top.

Your website seems more important to surfers. Although there is no supporting data on this so far, anyone would agree that sitelinks make the website listing in SERPs look more trustworthy. 

Sitelinks promote your brand awareness growth. Oftentimes pages showing up as sitelinks are those that give more detailed information about you and your website (e.g. ‘About us’). This cannot but encourage people to visit those pages and learn more about your brand. If you are smart enough to make those pages really interesting, providing some more catchy facts about your business, you can’t help achieving even higher brand awareness.

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