Google is finally getting around to implementing some policies regarding what you can and can’t do with Sitelinks. Let’s take a look at what’s changing, when it’s changing, and how it is going to affect your paid search account!
Google will implement the new sitelinks policy starting end of September. Each sitelink in a campaign must direct a user to a different URL in the website with completely different content.
For example, “Women’s Shoes,” in the image below, would need to go to a different page with different content than “Girl’s Shoes.”
Google will initially focus on new sitelinks and any sitelinks that you change. As your ads are being served, Google’s systems will verify that your sitelinks meet the policy standards. Sitelinks that don’t meet the standards will be restricted from appearing.
Impact on Paid Search Accounts:
All Sitelinks which do not follow Google’s sitelink policy would be restricted from appearing.
All new sitelinks and sitelinks which are changed would be verified by Google.
Though this will not be enforced immediately, in a few months all sitelinks would be verified and restricted if they do not meet the policy guidelines.
This is going to impact marketers who currently direct all their sitelinks to one page on their site. This is in line with Google’s strategy of providing the best user experience, since sitelinks are supposed to be used to guide people to deeper and other relevant pages on your site.
What should Marketers know about it?
First run a check on all your existing sitelinks and update them if they are non-compliant to Google’s new policy.
Going forward, Google recommends loading 6-10 unique sitelinks into your campaigns. Having fewer eligible sitelinks could keep your ad from showing in larger 2-line and 3-line formats, where more eligible sitelinks are required. So upload 6-10 unique sitelinks to get maximum returns from the sitelinks.
If you don’t have enough eligible sitelinks in your campaign, then your ads may not display sitelinks at all.
Future actions with existing sitelinks
Google is delaying proactive enforcement with existing sitelinks for a few months. But don’t wait until the last minute. And remember, any sitelink that you add or change will be subject to proactive enforcement right away.