Google Webmaster Central announced the other day that we’re going to be seeing a lot more one line sitelinks from now on. If you’re thinking “one-line what?”, have a look at the post, and be sure to read on.
Sitelinks are those “additional” links you might get in the Google results for your company name if your brand and website is considered to be strong enough. Industrial examples include tesa and Lee Spring. See all those smaller, secondary links underneath the main result for the company? They’re the links which Google’s mysterious algorithm thinks are the most important on your site, and which visitors might want to go straight to. You can’t control which ones show, but the words which are showing demonstrate the importance of having good text in your links. Instead of saying “Company Profile”, wouldn’t it be great if the link said “Why we make great Widgets”?
Now, one-line sitelinks are a new thing. Instead of one or two columns of additional links as in the examples above, Google is going to show three or four secondary links in a single line. I can’t guarantee you’ll see the same as I did, but at the time of writing you could see an example for the query “Pacer“, which had one-line sitelinks for “Contact Us”, “Displays”, “Company” and “News”. The most important thing about all this is that these one-line sitelinks are apparently going to appear a lot more frequently, not just for company/brand searches, and not just in the top position.
What you should take away from all this is that the major links on your home page should be text links (or if they’re graphics, they must have proper ALT and TITLE attributes), and should sell your website in some way in those few characters. Otherwise you’re missing a big opportunity to reinforce your message before people even reach your website.