Bill Haenel

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Posted by Bill Haenel on 11-Sep-10

Ever wonder what the links under the main Google search results are called? You know, the ones that look like they outline the main sections of the website they're listed under? If you don't know what I mean, do a Google search for something you know will turn up a well traveled site, such as "ncpr". Then look at the first site listed in the search listing results. You should notice a list of links under that first result which show you the primary content sections of the site in question.



Google calls those "Sitelinks". They're kind of like a site directory or index (seen in the above image as "Weather", "Programs", "Calendar", etc.), and Google maintains exclusive control over their output and display.

An associate of mine recently Emailed me with a question about these links, wondering if it is possible to change them or add/remove items to that list. This seems like a reasonable request. However, it just isn't possible. At least, not right now. Here was my reply to my associate's inquiry:

Everyone wants to know about this, as itís poorly documented and seems like something a site owner would want to control. However, a site owner cannot control it much other than to remove specific links, but then only if you have a Google Webmaster Tools account.

Google call it Sitelinks. You can read a bit about it here:

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=47334

In short, Google creates that listing automatically. Itís totally based on site traffic, search frequency and link structure. I would think that at a bare minimum itís a good idea to have a Webmaster Tools account, but I wouldnít guess that would have much effect unless Google has already decide your site should be sitelinked.

So this is what I know about it. If you know a bit more, please comment below. THe hardest thing about learning about this Google feature is that it really isn't notated very well in very many places. So think of this post as my contribution to the online documentation covering Google Sitelinks. If you have something to contribute to the conversation, maybe you can think of your comments as continuing that documentation?

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