Google has announced in a blog post that it has “expanded and improved” a search feature called sitelinks, which you may know as those tiny little links beneath the main webpage you see when you search for certain terms on Google.
Here’s what sitelinks used to look like:
And here’s what sitelinks look like now, post-expansion-and-improvement:
So what’s changed? The font size is bigger; there is now a mini-description of each sitelink below each result; and the beginning of the sitelink’s web address appears beneath each mini-description. In addition, searchers will get up to 12 sitelinks per search (up from a previous maximum of 8), depending upon the size of the site.
The major improvements, according to the Google blog post, are in readability, algorithmic site ranking, and accessibility.
Some may not agree that the new version of sitelinks is better than what appeared before: if you are not looking for the webpage Google thinks you are searching for, all of your other search results have been pushed farther down the page by the more plentiful sitelinks.
An informal sample of search terms found that the new-and-improved sitelinks appeared for many top queries, such as “Facebook,” “iPhone” and “Huffington Post,” but some queries, like “pickle berries,” still returned no sitelinks at all.
It has been a busy week for Google, which, despite it being only Tuesday as of press time, has already announced its intention to buy Motorola Mobility for over $12 billion and unveiled a shopping app for the iPad.
Google says that the new sitelinks will begin rolling out worldwide to those using Chrome, Firefox, and IE7 immediately