Rant #425 — You Can(not) Manually Update Google Sitelinks!

How Do You Update Google Sitelinks?

Well, short answer—you can and you can’t update Google sitelinks for your website. If you’re not sure what I mean, these are the links and little tidbits of info that show up under your search results.

google sitelinks example
This question has come up quite often lately, and often at the advice of an SEO professional. This blows my mind that so many hard-working business people are misguided on this tiny, yet extremely important, detail about optimizing your business online.

Here’s a brief overview of what’s going on…

About Google Sitelinks

There’s not really a way to determine what Google chooses as your Sitelinks (the urls shown under the homepage search result).

There is no direct way to get Sitelinks for your website. You can’t just log into Google’s Search Console (Previously Webmaster Tools), flick a switch and get Sitelinks.

As things stand right now:

• Sitelinks are automated
• Sitelinks are created through website best practices
• Google doesn’t tell you how to create Sitelinks or control their appearance directly

Unfortunately, there are no fixed steps that you can follow to pick and choose Sitelinks.

In Google’s own words,

“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.”

About the Search Results for Any Keyword Phrase

In a search result, while searching for a direct keyword term (let’s say it’s ‘Smack Happy Design’), it is on page 1 (organically).

If you’re looking at the local results that are typically listed before organic results, you can try things like:

  • Getting more reviews added to Google
  • Improving your Google My Business profile to try and get better local SEO

I’d like to mention if for example your website has been blocked from being crawled for so long—it could take months to appropriately settle on the level of authority your website’s content holds in search.

Improving search results is a process.

To begin to figure out how to improve search results begins with determining current rankings, what terms you want to rank for, what terms people are actually searching for, who your competitors are, what your competitors are doing—and with those details, finally plan what happens next to improve all of it.

Hoping this helps! We just want to make your life easier. It’s not easy understanding all of the do’s and do not’s of website best practices like how to update Google sitelinks and more.

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