Google Names Web Categories "Sitelinks"

Sep 8, 2006 • 6:59 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

We have been covering what I and many others have been calling "Web Categories" for a while now. They look like this in the Google search results pages.


They went under several revisions, but this is the look that seems to be sticking, for now.

In addition, we explored several speculative reasons as to why a site or query may show those links.

But driven by more discussion in the forums, Vanessa Fox from Google has decided to give us Google's perspective on them. She posted an entry she named Information about Sitelinks, which links to a new page in the Webmaster help center on How do you compile the list of links shown below some search results?

(1) Well, now we know it is not called "Web Categories" it is called "Sitelinks."

The links shown below some sites in our search results, called Sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site.

(2) How do you get them? By your site structure and navigation.

Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they're looking for.

We only show Sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good Sitelinks, or we don't think that the Sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them.

At the moment, Sitelinks are completely automated. We're always working to improve our Sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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09/08/2006 06:23 pm

I like the idea of having sitelinks. It makes it easier for people to know what else the website offers!


09/08/2006 07:23 pm

I've been trying to figure this out for quite sometime now. I asked Matt Cutts multiple times and have posted on DigitalPoint multiple times about it. Thanks for posting some information about it.

drew stauffer

09/12/2006 03:19 pm

Does anyone know the link structure Google is looking for?

Barry Schwartz

09/12/2006 03:20 pm

I suppose one that shows major sections of the site. Both determined by URL structure and linkage data.

Liz Camps

09/14/2006 04:13 am

So far from what we've seen it doesn't seem to depend on directory structure but on the number of links pointing internally to "main pages" - in other words, it *seems* to be pulling the links from main navigation (of course that main nav has to be outside Javascript in order to be indexed). While we figure out how to get Google to pick our choice of links (if we can), a more immediate question is "are the Sitelinks that are already showing for you good entry pages into your site?" If your Sitelinks are pointing to your About Us page and you would prefer it point to your best selling product's page, then by all means waste no time, it takes 15 minutes to add a call to action on your About Us page that links to your best-selling product. Or whatever you want to link it to... this is just an example.


11/10/2007 01:30 pm

After exploring some web site source code I alsow belive sitelinks are been generated by the number of links pointing internally to "main pages" Google take this link and assume that they are SubHomePages.

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