Why Don't My Sitelinks on Google.com Match My Webmaster Tools Sitelinks?

Sep 9, 2008 • 7:40 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

A question I hear a lot is why don't the Sitelinks I see in a Google search result, match what I see when I login to Google Webmaster Tools?

For example, here are the Sitelinks I see for a search at Google.com for search engine roundtable:

Google Sitelinks

Then, when I login to Google Webmaster Tools and click on "Links" then "Sitelinks," I see a slightly different set of Sitelinks:

Google Sitelinks

Why are they different? Those were one of the few popular picks questions asked to Google, which received a response via a Google Groups thread. Googler, Maile Ohye said:

In search results, the sitelinks displayed are determined algorithmically based on the user's query. So, while Webmaster Tools may show 8 sitelinks for your verified site, it's possible that search results show only a subset (e.g. search results display 4 sitelinks). Furthermore, the sitelinks displayed in search results can vary according to the query (e.g. different combinations of sitelinks for different queries).

This is similar to how Google shows your snippet in the search results and even the title in the search results. So showing a dynamic Sitelink set, based on a query, does make the most sense.

Some other useful Sitelink Q&A:

  • Sitelinks are displayed based on 1) a relevant structure for your site conducive to sitelinks, and 2) that sitelinks will be helpful for the user's query.
  • New Sitelinks are not immediately available after you block an old Sitelink.
  • Every time you visit the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools, whether or not you modify your Sitelinks settings, the blocked sitelinks will renew their blocked time for an additional 90 days.
  • Your site must have at least 3 unblocked sitelinks in order for your sitelinks to appear in search results.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: September 8, 2008
 

Comments:

Winooski

09/10/2008 03:48 pm

Excellent coverage about sitelinks questions that must be occurring to many folks. Thanks!

Rakhi

09/25/2008 10:39 am

I was looking for Google analytics related questions, and got this post, and as I went reading this post discovered a lot. Thanks!!

No Name

11/03/2008 11:03 am

Sitelinks vary on Google.com and Webmaster Tools, my experiences say that Google.com shows links that are of good PR and only recently caches and indexed ones while webmaster toll shows all links.

Rakesh

02/23/2009 05:56 am

Google displays the search results for xen globaltech but if i type xenglobaltech without space its doesnt shows the sitelinks. Why is it so can an one guide me.

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