On August 16, 2011, Google introduced the Expanded Sitelinks Update to a worldwide audience. This update exclusively targets brand queries – searches for brand names – and changes the way the first page of these search results is set up.
During the introduction of the Expanded Sitelinks, up to twelve sitelinks were being shown in the search results. Later, the maximum amount of sitelinks was reduced to six.
What are the most prominent changes of the Expanded Sitelinks Update?
Compared to the previous sitelinks (the simpler version), Expanded Sitelinks show:
- the URL of the specific page (though not always)
- a short description of the specific page
- more white space, making it look more like one unit
The user can better comprehend these new Expanded Sitelinks and they make it easy to quickly go to popular subpages on the website.
Development of how sitelinks were shown in the search results
Chronological history of how sitelinks were shown in the search results from eldest to current (today):
- Old: Search results without sitelinks
- Advancement: sitelinks in a single row
- Advancement: more Sitelinks divided into two blocks
- At the time of introduction: Expanded Sitelinks (here with twelve results and URL)
- Current: Expanded Sitelinks (here with six results)