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Control Your (Expanding) Google Sitelinks




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).

Google Sitelinks: only four links, expanding to eight links

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 However, occasionally you might want to exclude a page from your sitelinks, for example: a page that has become outdated or unavailable, or a page that contains information you don’t want emphasized to users.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.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Woohoo! Some of the links Google uses for sitelinks for MP, are baffling.

  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    Great, there tryin to suck people in who don’t use webmaster central! Man, thats a nice feature :-/

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  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    Jordan I agree on wondering why the sitelink is back after 90 days. Unless of course it’s to make sure you log back into Webmaster Tools.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Bushido

    Finally! I’ve been looking forward to this feature. :)

  • http://www.seoposition.com Brian Gilley

    Any idea on how to prompt Google to generate sitelinks for any particular site? I’m assuming this won’t be utilized on sites unless they are “popular?”