PMG Digital Made for Humans

Everything You Need to Know About Google's New Sitelink Search Box

2 MINUTE READ | October 29, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Google's New Sitelink Search Box

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John Greer

John Greer has written this article. More details coming soon.

A question pops into your head, you Google it, and within your search results is…another search box. The M.C. Escher drawing of the Google SERPs, “search within a search” is a new feature Google rolled out in September. Above is how this looks for a search for “Tesla.”

When Do Search Boxes Appear?

  • The boxes appear when sitelinks appear, only searches where the site get a very high click-through rate (e.g. their brand name).

  • There’s no way to add a search box, Google determines their presence.

  • However, there is a code to remove them (below). As a brand though, it seems better to keep the box and soak up the extra pixels in your listing.

The Search Experience

  • By default, searching within the above search box would not take visitors to a Tesla page (for example) – it would take them to another Google search.

    • This is a negative for a brand. It’s a chance for competitor ads to nab a visitor and an extra step in the conversion process.

  • To change this, a different tag (details below) can be added to send visitors directly to your internal search – not another Google search.

  • It’s unknown how much the search box will be used. However, if you redirect users to your internal search, organic landing page traffic to your internal search could measure the increase.

    • It’s too early to know for sure, but our data isn’t showing much of a spike from sitelink search usage.

Details on Redirecting to Your Internal Search

  • You’ll need to add a bit of code to your home page to have your internal search used here.

  • There’s 2 kinds of code options – JSON-LD and microdata. We’ve now seen live examples of both working, so whichever one is OK.

    • If you go with the microdata, you can actually hide the if you want. Check out Pinterest’s implementation if you go that route.

  • It takes 1 to 3 weeks for this change to take place – so don’t panic when it takes a while.

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This should help you get a handle on sitelink search, but let us know your own experience. We’ll be certainly watching to see how this evolves in the future.