SEO Tip #72: How Are Site links Generated?

Matt Cuts: We’ve covered this a little bit before but the fact that you asked means that not everybody knows so let’s do a quick review.

Those are called site links and we show site links whenever we think they might be especially helpful for someone who’s already doing that navigational query. So for example, you mentioned the query LinkedIn. If I do that I’ll see things like groups, open jobs, LinkedIn jobs, company directory, about LinkedIn, and stuff like that.

The way that we compute that is algorithmic. There’s no person saying, “We think this is going to be the best link.” And in fact if we do a bad job and compute links that you would not like to have, you can remove site links in Google’s webmaster console.

The main thing to know is that it typically triggers whenever it’s a navigational search; that is a search that is going to return the website that you are searching for at number one. It is algorithmic. There’s nobody manually saying what the link should be or anything like that.

If you don’t get the site links, then you might just want to wait and be a little patient. Make sure that enough people know about your website. You want to be a reputable website. You want people to find out about your website because we don’t do it for every single query. We do it when we believe it’s useful for users and we have data to support that fact.

If you’re already number one, which it sounds like you are, you’re in relatively good shape. With any luck at all you might get site links over time.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.