Wednesday, January 3, 2008 3:10 AM

Google Sitelinks Site Structures

Recently Google has allowed through the use of their webmaster tools the option of blocking google sitelinks that are currently being shown for your site.

Why would you want to block sitelinks?

There are numerous reasons for blocking sitelinks. My personal favorites being that sometimes ill chosen links are displayed as a sitelink. Meaning that a long sentence that had been repeatedly linked to a certain page happens to be the most recurring theme for that page, so google placing that link text in the sitelinks section of the search results. Another great example is when you have say an e-commerce website where google has selected an item that was for sale and is currently no longer available, we certainly would not want a main sitelink to point to inventory that is no longer stocked when it could be pointing to say the current featured item for sale by the site.

Okay, so clearly there are times when you want to block sitelinks. So what does this mean exactly? Well it means that you are telling google that you no longer want that link displayed in the results. Does google just eliminate one of your sitelinks? No! What they do is search your site for an alternative sitelink to use. This is where older sites can benefit if their original site structure was not layed out properly, keep in mind that google mentions that not all links qualify to be sitelinks so by this I assume if you block a link and google does not deem another page worthy you may lose a sitelink. Keep in mind I have not tested this or had it happen to me so only google really knows. If you have information you can share regarding this please comment here.

Something else I would like to discuss is why some sites have more sitelinks than others. This could be something easily explainable. Examples include a few things I just discussed, such as recently sitelinks have been blocked and new links are currently being generated, or there are only a select few links for the entire site so only those can be displayed. However other reasons may exist to explain this phenomenon and again if you have knowledge of this please comment on the subject.

Complex Site Structures

There is also an argument to be made for larger sites that an intricate linking system can benefit your serps. In my opinion this is completely valid, if you feel you can create a structure that better controls how visitors navigate your site or you goals is to stress the importance of particular pages of your site then maybe this is for you. A word of warning, I feel it is very dangerous to try to build a site structure to manipulate how you may beleive the pagerank system works as even if you know precisely what to do, one small change by "the big G" and you can say so say goodnight irene to your ingeniusly complicated site structure.


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