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Google adds brands to Sitelink listings

Thursday, 19 March 2009 — by

Google’s Sitelinks aren’t nearly as mysterious as you’d think. And now, they’re even appearing for brand names, too…

Google Sitelinks appear when the words in the search you perform match the name of the web address. So if you search for: “blah blah tech“, you’ll see Sitelinks for the Blah, Blah! Technology blog.

I was given these special links as a result of an experiment that I concluded back in February 2008, where I successfully attempting to draw Google into assigning Sitelinks to my blog.

Since then, Google have bolstered the Sitelink listing with a search tool, one that uses the built-in search tool of the target website, allowing people to search directly from Google’s search results page. But more recently, they’ve changed the rules on what website or blogs get Sitelinks — and for the better, too.

Sitelinks get branded

Sometime last week, I was performing a little research into the BlackBerry Storm, just to see what all the fuss was about (none as far I was concerned). So, like anyone else would, I searched for: “BlackBerry Storm“, but what I saw surprised me.

Sitelinks for the BlackBerry Storm

Normally, as stated previously, the search term and the web address have to match. But, that’s clearly not the case here, as you can see from the illustration. Only the first word of the search phrase appears in the domain name part of the web address, while the second word of the search phrase appears in the latter portion of the web address.

So what gives? Well, it would appear that Google are now offering brand names some coverage, too. Interestingly, this means that a website can score for more than one group of Sitelinks.

Sitelinks for BlackBerry

In my original article on Sitelinks, I had bemoaned the way that Google assigned Sitelinks:

“Sitelinks are all about brand, which is good in one respect, but bad in another.

If you’re the likes of Nike, Ford or British Petroleum, then you’re going to dominate organic searches for both ‘Nike’ and ‘Ford’ and ‘British Petroleum’ from here to eternity. But what’s the value to small business whose name has little actual brand value?

In those situations, the value is negligible. The value is in the product or service name and not the brand.”

I’m glad to say, both Google & I are reading from the same page and Sitelinks now give the little guys a fighting chance of making more of their brand name, standing shoulder to shoulder with the big ‘uns!

With the right use of words, links and articles, plus a sprinkling of the right amount of search traffic, Sitelinks are certainly within the reach of a good number of blogs and websites…

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