Recently, Google Webmaster tools started allowing webmasters to disallow certain sitelinks (see picture below) from appear on your search results. While they still don’t allow you to control whether or not these sitelinks show up and for what search queries they are displayed for, it certainly is a step in the right direction.
So what exactly is a Google sitelink? According to Google:
“…Sitelinks are additional links Google sometimes generates from site contents in order to help users navigate your site. Google generates these sitelinks periodically from your site’s contents…”
While it’s certainly a welcome gesture, I would question whether or not it really “helps users navigate your site.” Upon checking the Sitelinks Google created for C28, a Christian clothing retailer that I do work for, I found links for the following pages:
- The Links page (partners): This is probably the least important page on the site!
- 2 Broken links to product category pages (for some reason Google decided to remove the parameters from query string that are supposed to follow the question mark (e.g. productlistings.asp?category1=guys&category2=shirts)
- Link to the “Kids” clothing category: This is one of the least important product categories with virtually no outbound links pointing to it.
- Locations Page: Good job Google, this truly is an important page
- Events Page: Important page
- About Us Page: Important page
Overall, 3 of the 8 sitelinks were pages that I myself would have included if I had the option.
So what’s the moral of this post? If you have sitelinks for your listing (I’ve noticed they only tend to show up when searching for the company or brand name) make sure they are relevant and work properly. If they don’t, login to Google Webmaster central and exclude them. However, as I write this, I have yet to see the pages I requested be excluded actually removed, and I put in the request 24 hours ago.