When a site comes in 1st place in search results (for example on an exact query of the domain name), it happens that additional links, “sitelinks”, appear under the main link. Problem: it is not necessarily those that we would like to see that appear. We give you 2 solutions to master them and take better advantage of this opportunity…

You may have already noticed this: when you rank 1st in the search results on Google, additional links (up to 12) appear under the main link. Google displays these links to help the user easily find what they are looking for, without necessarily going to the home page.

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These sitelinks represent a real opportunity to develop your traffic, because they cause a higher click through rate than on a “normal” link in search results. Their only “flaw” is that they are generated automatically by Google, regardless of a sitemap.xml or any indication that you may have given to the search engine. And since Google does not reveal the way in which it generates these sitelinks, it is rather difficult to define them beforehand.

Among our sitelinks, there are some that we like less and absent that we would like to see ...

On the other hand, it is always possible to proceed a posteriori, by eliminating the little or irrelevant links, which will then be replaced by new links to other pages of your site. If you’re still not satisfied with these new links, you can again ask Google not to display them, and so on. But you will not be able to ask Google to replace link A with link B. A will be replaced by X, the result of a mysterious algorithm …

If you want to modify the sitelinks that appear under your main link, 2 methods are available to you.

1. Google Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools is one of the many services available to anyone with a Google Account. If you want to use these tools on your website, just follow the instructions and insert a code in the header of the site. Webmaster Tools offers a series of features that allow you to optimize your site. Sitelink management is on the menu:

  1. Under Site configuration, click on Sitelink links;
  2. In the field For this search result, enter the URL for which you do not want to see a sitelink;
  3. In the field Demote this sitelink link URL, enter the URL of the sitelink link you want to demote.

    Tools for Google webmaster

To correctly enter the URL for which you do not wish to see demoted sitelinks, click on the title of the search result and copy the URL which is in the address bar of your browser.

2. Unindex or delete pages from sitelinks

The most radical method, if you want to remove the page from the search results is to deindex or to delete it altogether, if it is really useless.

To deindex a page, use the ‘noindex’ tag:

To prevent all bots from indexing a page on your site, place the following Meta tag in the section of that page:
name = “robots” content = “noindex”>

To prevent only Google bots from indexing a page on your site (and not other bots), use the following tag:
name = “googlebot” content = “noindex”>

3. Check and adjust sitelinks

Since you don’t have the ability to positively designate which pages to include in Google sitelinks, you’ll probably have to go through “trial and error” to get a completely satisfying result.

It will also be necessary to think of optimizing the ‘title’ and ‘description’ tags of the pages that will appear in sitelinks since these titles and descriptions will be truncated: 35 because for the title and 35 or 70 characters for the description, depending on the number of sitelinks that will appear under the main link. You don’t necessarily have to reduce the “title” and “description” to this level, but simply make sure that the text appearing in the sitelinks is sufficiently explicit and incentive to generate clicks.

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