Authority Status?

Authority Status?

Hahaha. Wishful thinking. They’re just Sitelinks.

They have nothing to do with the status of any web site and everything to do with Google’s search results and their users – the surfers conducting searches.

Webmasters would like to think that the occurrence of Sitelinks bestows a certain status upon their humble web site and that some how, in some way, they’re directly responsible.

Arrogance? Ignorance? Maybe a little of both. 😆

How does Google compile the list of links shown below some search results?

The links shown below some sites in our search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.

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.

C’mon now – let’s look at this realistically. Google initially displayed site links for the larger, more popular sites. Stands to reason. Try something new and collect a bit of data regarding the use before using it on a larger scale (as they are now).

This has led to the illusion to some that Google would only display sitelinks for larger, more important sites (read = “authority sites”).

It’s really simple if you just take a moment to look at the overall picture, that is if your head isn’t too swollen. I’m sure you realize that sitelinks are predominantly displayed when a surfer searches for a particular company, site or product. It stands to reason that if you’re searching for a particular site that the additional links displayed might be of use to you.

Google tells you up front that they’re shortcuts designed to save users time and help them find the information they might be looking for, and if they are not relevant to the searchers query, they won’t be displayed.

If you some how think that because sitelinks are displayed when a person searches for your domain or company name you’re on the same playing field as Yahoo!, DMOZ, Microsoft, or the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you’re sadly mistaken.

Seems a little ridiculous once you’re grounded, doesn’t it?

  1. aviva’s avatar

    Good article, and I agree completely. However, I do think that in earlier times, when Google “displayed site links for the larger, more popular sites” it did mean something. Also, if you’ve got a generic category domain – e.g. – getting sitelinks for the term “widgets” is very helpful as it pretty much fills the SERPs above the fold with links to your website.

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