Google’s announcing some big changes with their Sitelinks feature. First, Search Engine Land spots them testing ten Sitelinks on some mobile devices, then they confirm that there will soon be eight Sitelinks in SERPs (pictured below is the current version, showing only four).
And now Google announces that with you can control your Sitelinks through Webmaster Central. Here’s how the process works:
Now, Webmaster Tools lets you view potential sitelinks for your site and block the ones you won’t want to appear in Google search results. Because sitelinks are extremely useful in helping users navigate your site, we don’t typically recommend blocking them. However, occasionally you might want to exclude a page from your sitelinks, for example: a page that has become outdated or unavailable, or a page that contains information you don’t want emphasized to users.
Once you block a page, it won’t appear as a sitelink for 90 days unless you choose to unblock it sooner. It may take a week or so to remove a page from your sitelinks, but we are working on making this process faster.
In the Webmaster Tools Dashboard, you’ll find this capability under Links > Sitelinks. I’m a bit unclear as to why the webmaster’s block would expire after 90 days.
However, if your site doesn’t already have sitelinks included in your Google listings, you can’t add them. Discovering sitelinks is still an automatic, algorithmic process for Google.
Search Engine Land also spotted more Webmaster Central improvements:
- “query stats . . . breakdown by date range”
- “receipts for any spam reports, paid link reports, reconsideration requests, and crawl rate change requests you’ve filed”
- “a form of a duplicate content warning,” called “High URL Counts”
As always, many of these features have long been requested by users, including during Matt Cutts’ open call at SMX Advanced.