Google have just launched a new function in their Google Webmaster Center where website owners can now decide what Google Sitelinks they want displayed in the search results.
Google Sitelinks, are the internal page links displayed for a website in Google’s results, normally when a search is done for the site’s title. For example, if you were to do a search for “ineedhits” in Google, you’d see the following at the top of the search results.
NOTE: sitelinks are not displayed for all websites.
The team at Google have now let you control the sitelinks that are displayed to avoid exposure to web pages that you might not want listed or highlighted. According to the release post:
“Now, Webmaster Tools lets you view potential sitelinks for your site and block the ones you don’t want to appear in Google search results. Because sitelinks are extremely useful in helping users navigate your site, we don’t typically recommend blocking them. However, occasionally you might want to exclude a page from your sitelinks, for example: a page that has become outdated or unavailable, or a page that contains information you don’t want emphasized to users. Once you block a page, it won’t appear as a sitelink for 90 days unless you choose to unblock it sooner. It may take a week or so to remove a page from your sitelinks, but we are working on making this process faster.”
To control which sitelinks you want displayed, log into Google Webmaster Central (assuming you have already verified your website), then click the “links” option from the side navigation and choose “sitelinks” from the menu displayed. Once you’re in there, you can decide which ones you want blocked, ensuring Google traffic goes to the pages that matter most.
While selection of sitelinks by Google is done by the algorithm, website owners (at this stage) are unable to specify which pages they would like displayed as sitelinks. I can’t see Google allowing site owners to add new sitelinks anytime soon.