Unraveling Google's Sitelinks - How to Get 4 Extra Links With Your #1 Ranking!
 by Ian Cook

Unraveling Google's mysterious free bonus Sitelinks...
How to Get 4 Extra Links With Your #1 Ranking!
—by John Heard

Have you ever noticed that when you enter certain keywords into Google that the top listing sometimes displays four additional "bonus" links from the site? For example a search for shoes produces:


There's no doubt those four extra links will greatly increase the odds of your site being visited, but the burning question is...

How does Google decide which sites get such special treatment?

No, they are not paid listings. On the contrary, these additional free listings are called Sitelinks. And, according to Google's Webmaster Help Center they...

...are meant to help users navigate your site. 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.

As you can see, Google wants you to believe that webmasters have little or no control over them. However, in our research we compared several sites which are showing Google Sitelinks (including a few of our own) and have learned enough to offer some solid guidelines on how you might be able to achieve a Sitelinks display for your site:

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