Sitelinks have been around for a while but used to look like this:
Now they look like this!:
Within Google’s new search hierarchy, sitelinks will now be full-size links with a URL and a line of snippet text, similar to regular search results. But Google has also designated a maximum number of 12 sitelinks per search result, giving pride of place within the page to the first search result.
The changes will roll out globally to all modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 7 and above, Google said.
Sitelinks are useful to users as they may not be able to specifically identify where in a site they want to visit, so he or she merely types in the overarching domain.
“It turns out that sitelinks are quite useful because they can help predict which sections of the site you want to visit,” Daniel Rocha, a software engineer on the Google Sitelinks team, wrote in a blog post. “Even if you didn’t specify your task in the query, sitelinks help you quickly navigate to the most relevant part of the site, which is particularly handy for large and complex websites. Sitelinks can also give you a good overview of a website’s content, and let webmasters expose areas of the site that visitors may not know about.”
Google has also said that it is tweaking its search algorithm to accommodate the changes. “In addition, we’re making a significant improvement to our algorithms by combining sitelink ranking with regular result ranking to yield a higher-quality list of links,” Rocha said. “This reduces link duplication and creates a better organized search results page. Now, all results from the top-ranked site will be nested within the first result as sitelinks, and all results from other sites will appear below them.”