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BizReport : Search Marketing : April 17, 2009

Google introduces one-line sitelinks

Google's blog today carries the formal announcement of one-line sitelinks, scaled-down versions of the two-column link display usually reserved for the top listed search result.

by Helen Leggatt

Google introduced sitelinks about 2 years ago. Sitelinks are the group of links displayed under the first search result and which link searchers to pages deep within a website.
Sitelinks benefit site owners by giving searchers a glimpse of the sort of content being offered, helping to increase traffic.

With the launch of the scaled down one-line sitelinks comes the opportunity for more than just the top search result to have them. The single line of sitelinks, located directly above the search result page URL, will display up to four sitelinks and will be applied to multiple search results.

Site owners can exert a certain amount of control over which pages are displayed by blocking a page from appearing as a sitelink via Webmaster Tools. This will stop the site showing up in one-line sitelines for 90 days only, so site owners need to keep on top of this function.

Not everyone feels this latest Google update is good news for online businesses. ReadWriteWeb's Phil Glockner believes sitelinks could detract from the overall experience of visiting a website, bypassing crucial homepage messaging, and decrease the average amount of time consumers spend on a site.

"Sitelinks can be seen as a slow encroachment of Google into a function that is traditionally part of the experience of visiting a site," wrote Glockner. "Depending on how a site is structured, a business might not appreciate customers being pushed directly to a page below the frontpage."

Tags: Google, one-line sitelinks, search, search result, sitelinks, traffic

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