Often when you do a search on Google you will find that under the top result there are some links to inner pages on the site. These links are called “Site Links“, and they’re handed out by Google to sites that they think they can trust. Site Links add an aura of respectability to your website and greatly increase the chances of searchers clicking through to your website.
How do I get Site Links?
There is no guaranteed method to getting Site Links, but there are some things that you can do in order to increase your chances of getting them. One of the most obvious things that you should do is to generate a sitemap for your site, then submit this to Google’s Webmaster Tools so that they can send their spiders to crawl it. Depending on the platform your site is built on, there are lots of plugins and modules that you can install on your website that automatically generate an XML sitemap for you – so it’s really not a tough task.
As well as giving Google a sitemap, you must also be sure to adopt a very simple layout on your site, and where possible pages should be given simple names; for example your “contact” page should be named something like “/contact/“, or even “/contact/html“. This goes for all of the other pages on your site too, it brings an easy to follow discourse to your site, suggesting to Google that it’s easily navigable.
You will probably need a few backlinks in order to get Site Links in the search results. Some people tend to go all out and build backlinks to every page on their site, whilst other people create backlinks pointing at the main page only. It’s up to you which you do, but it’s probably fair to assume that a gentle backlinking campaign to each of your pages will look more natural to Google, and will be more likely to induce Site Links.
Demoting Site Links
You can demote Site Links in Google Webmaster Tools – obviously you can only demote the links if you have a Webmaster Tools account though, so it’s well worth signing up for you. Sometimes pages that you really don’t want to show up as Site Links can appear, so that’s what the demotion tool is there for. Be aware that sometimes when you demote a Site Link you may lose Google Site Links altogether for a period, so if it’s not completely necessary that you demote a link, don’t do it!
There is no magic button you can push in order to get Site Links – Google will reward you with them when they decide the time is right. All you can do in the mean time is to follow the best practice outlined above in the hope that your efforts are noticed. Often when you least expect it you’ll receive Site Links, don’t check every single day and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get them, patience is the key!