Earlier in November, Google removed the “sitelinks” section from below individual search results for unbranded/generic websites – whilst branded sites kept them for the most part, a huge amount of sites lost them for generic queries.
Based on a Google spokesman’s comments, this change was unintentional – whether it was accidentally removed, or a bug stopped them displaying, we’re not quite sure.
The good news is, they’re back.
Search results in Google now have relevant links from the website displayed under the description snippet, which allows people to easily access more relevant pages on your website even if it is your homepage which has the most ranking power.
We believe that this bug may be have been introduced whilst adding in the code for, and trialing images in the “sitelinks” section of their search index on mobile, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen images in the sitelinks area, they first appeared back in 2013, but quickly disappeared again – it may be that this new trial is looking to re-introduce them for good this time.
This isn’t the first bug we’ve seen on the big G in recent months, only a few weeks back Google had accidentally listed page publish dates based on the date of embedded Youtube videos.
What that meant was, if you published a new webpage, and embedded a Youtube video from back in 2014, the page publish date would show as 2014 in the search results – this may not seem like a big deal, but if for example you run a review site, this may put visitors off – a review from 2014 is a lot less useful than one from last month!
What caused the bug, we’re not quite sure, but we think it will be related to another new feature, so we’re keeping our eyes peeled – do you have an idea what it could be? We’d love to know!
We’ll keep you updated when we know more.