Google Expands Search Sitelinks—Coming to PPC Next?

By Kayla Kurtz | @one800kayla | Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

It’s been a couple days since Google released their announcement that sitelinks were being expanded and improved and most of you may have even seen the release. I would be willing to guess most PPC-ers read the information and dismissed it fairly quickly as it seems to only apply to search engine results, not ads. However, I challenge you all to take another look because the truth is, this could affect your PPC performance. Here’s why!

Previously, search results sitelinks looked like this:

google old search sitelinks
Very similar to the simple 4-row setup allowed for PPC ad sitelinks, right? However, this week is showing search sitelinks that are far more large and in charge. Check out PPC Hero’s new results layout when I search for us:

google new search sitelinks
Like I said, large and in charge! A search result that would have previously been only 9 lines long (extra space included) now expands out to 29 lines! The basic gist of it is this: results with triggered sitelinks now display full-size links with a URL and one line of snippet text. The idea is that this upgrade will allow easier discovery of the page users are looking for. Google is also throwing in 4 more sitelinks so the total is 12 instead of 8 for those opted in.

The other change Google announced was that their algorithms would be improved to combine sitelink ranking with regular result ranking for higher quality links, which creates a more organized results page. Now all results for the top ranked site, based on the query, will appear as sitelinks, leaving the remaining results to other sites triggered by the query.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of why I’m bothering you with search engine results changes…how does this affect PPC? Imagine your PPC ad triggering at the same time as one of these expanded search results with 12 sitelinks. What is the user’s search psychology going to lead them to do? This could vary, but I would imagine all those sitelinks look pretty appealing when compared to the max of 8 sitelinks your ad could be showing (no full-size URL’s or text snippets, mind you).

Maybe this is a time for glass-half-full positivity? Perhaps these extended sitelinks are right around the corner for the PPC world, too! What do you think? Should we expect to see a similar update in AdWords sometime soon? Noticing a dip in CTR for “no reason” but think this upgrade could be the culprit? Report your thoughts and findings to PPC Hero in the comments section below!

For further information about this topic, check out the following link:

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more news updates from PPC Hero!