Wildcard Friday – Controlling Google Sitelinks

By Joe


Google has been displaying sitelinks for a while now. Sitelinks are the links to subpages that appears in Google search results, mainly for branded searches or when you search for a domain. The example on this slide shows the sitelinks that appear when you search for Adidas.

So why is it important to control sitelinks? Well, if you’ll notice the example on this slide, you’ll see that when I do a branded search for a particular company, one of the sitelinks displaying is a 404 page that doesn’t exist. Obviously you wouldn’t want searchers looking for your brand and finding low quality links like this, so it is important as a site owner to understand which links are showing for your branded searches.

To control sitelinks, you’ll need to have a Webmaster Tools account registered with Google. Once logged into Google Webmaster Tools, click under the drop down menu of “Site configuration” on the left hand navigation and select the “Sitelinks” option. With the Sitelinks page open on the right, you can then find the areas that reads “Demote this sitelink URL:” and enter in the URLs of any links that you no longer wish to appear. Upon entering the URL(s), click the “Demote” button, and after a period of time, Google will remove the URL from appearing…it’s that simple!