Google is experimenting with a new type of sitelink for standard web search listings. Brodie Clark, SEO consultant, first noticed this on November 11 th – a discovery that he says will pick up speed in the coming days.
Brodie’s screenshots of this discovery:
Interesting. Looks such as you won’t want so as to add jump-to hyperlinks in content material for the sitelink remedy anymore.
Shows for numerous options (featured snippets, information panels and so on.), now seeing scroll-to-text parameters on customary listings.
More information: https://t.co/j6IUtkAza1 pic.twitter.com/8yAlmsJglg
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) November 11, 2021
Anytime there is an announcement or news of Google testing different aspects of “search” it creates some anxiety in the minds of SEO professionals and site owners. The obvious questions of “what does the change mean and how will it impact SEO?” get thrown up.
This article will help you understand what Google’s new Sitelink for standard web search listings is and what it means for SEO.
Google’s New Sitelink for Standard Web Search Listings
Scroll-to-text in Chrome is a feature that users can use to click on a link in Google’s search results – this action then enables the browser to simply scroll to the text on the web page and highlight it.
Google’s scroll-to-text was initially launched with featured snippets. This was slowly extended to different SERP features including some images and knowledge panels among others.
But the extension of the new sitelink for standard web search listings is new and could substantially change the way Google displays sitelinks for organic listings soon.
Of course, there are marked differences between Google’s new sitelink test and what the search giant has historically displayed as sitelinks for web pages.
3 Types of Standard Web Page Sitelinks Variations
It is important to add some context to how and why this new test from Google can and should matter to SEO professionals. The best way to do this is by first gaining some understanding of the different web page sitelinks that matter to SEO.
Typically there are 3 types of standard web page sitelinks that are of consequence. These include the following;
Internal Sitelinks Variation
Anytime Google finds that a site has related pages, it can display an internal page within the site as a sitelink. Now the sitelink can appear as a short-form version (for generic queries)) or it can display the long-form version (for branded queries). While the branded search variation typically is reserved for sites ranking in the top position. However, Google has made exceptions to this rule with certain sites such as Wikipedia – and this even when Wikipedia did not make it to the top ranking spot.
This is the most common form of variation and there is a good chance it will be readily employed for your web page if you have related content that is internally linked.
Jump-to Sitelinks Variation
When you include a “table-of-contents type” segment to your page and link it up with other internal headings, you can benefit from additional search dividends in the form of short-form sitelinks. But these link up only with a section of an existing page on your site and not with a different page on the same site.
Scroll-to Sitelinks Variation
This is the variation that Google is testing further and intending to tweak.
With this variation, Google intends to add new scroll-to-text abilities vis-à-vis algorithmically generated sitelinks. And because these are algorithmically generated, you won’t have any control over how the variation will operate. So what does this mean? In simple words, if a site owner has a heading on their web page without the jump-to link inserted in the content, Google will go-ahead to do it for the site.
This now brings us to the all-important question – what will the introduction of the new Scroll-to Sitelinks variation do for SEO?
Impact of Google’s New Scroll-to Sitelinks on SEO
The scroll-to-text feature is not new and has been in use in Google’s search results for a while now. However, these appearances have mostly been via featured snippets and a few other organic SERP features.
And although the jump-to-sitelinks variation can effectively enrich search results for users, if, however, Google goes ahead with using the new Scroll-to Sitelinks variation, it will be able to create its jump-to-sitelinks – since these are algorithmically generated.
Having said that, there are a few important takeaways here to bear in mind with respect to how Google is expected to treat sitelinks in the coming days.
In Chrome, the scroll-to-text can offer users a more extensive search experience by enabling the browser to scroll to and highlight important text in purple – earlier the highlighted text appeared in yellow (in older versions of Chrome).
Coming to enhancing search snippets, it is still a good idea for SEO professionals and site owners to focus on creating jump-to links within their site’s table-of-contents as a way of further boosting their search snippet. What you also need to keep in mind is this – even if Google does go ahead and start using its new Scroll- to-Sitelinks addition, how your snippet appears in SERPs to users will not change much.
What this simply means is this – you don’t have to worry about how or to what extent the new addition of Google’s Scroll-to-Sitelinks will impact your SEO strategy. At the end of the day, the user experience gets enriched – a collective goal that both site owners and Google share.