Continuing with the series of posts covering Google’s announced Search Quality Updates in February 2012:
Tweak to categorizer for expanded sitelinks. [launch codename “Snippy”, project codename “Megasitelinks”] This improvement adjusts a signal we use to try and identify duplicate snippets. We were applying a categorizer that wasn’t performing well for our expanded sitelinks, so we’ve stopped applying the categorizer in those cases. The result is more relevant sitelinks.
Google was apparently having a problem with the way it automatically created Sitelinks for websites. If you are unfamiliar with the term “Sitelinks,” they are the 6 or so links to subpages listed after the top result, of the search results where Google is pretty sure that the top result stands out above the rest in relevance. Here’s an example:
Please note that personalization does play a factor in the display of Sitelinks. Google is much more certain to display them for sites you have shared on Google Plus.
Snippets are the description portion of Google search results, under the linked page title that you click on, and above the display URL. Google uses these snippets as clues to the content of the target page when deciding which pages to include in the Sitelinks. Since the occurrence of Sitelinks has noticeably increased of late, especially for those who use Google Plus, Google was apparently seeing a lot of problems in duplication with the algorithm they were using to create them. As lower quality websites built on open source CMS systems started getting Sitelinks, their tendency to create pages with duplicate meta description tags was probably a big part of the problem. Now Google says they have to problem fixed. Bully for them!
- No. 3: Less Duplication in Expanded Sitelinks – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- No. 10: Improved ranking for queries using “site:” operator – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- No. 4: More consistent thumbnail sizes on results page – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- Duplicate Content and the New Canonical Link Tag
- eBook Preview 2: SEO Off-Page Factors