This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

Google Removes ‘Demote Sitelinks’ Feature from Search Console

3 MINUTE READ | October 13, 2016

Google Removes ‘Demote Sitelinks’ Feature from Search Console

If as to prove right the old saying, “Nothing good happens after midnight,” Google took to their Webmaster Blog at 4:36am this morning to announce that webmasters would no longer have the option of demoting featured sitelinks within Google Search Console. Prior to this morning, SEOs and webmasters had the option to remove (by “demoting”) specific links from showing up as Featured Sitelinks in organic results. This was done by submitting the URL to be demoted, and for which URL it should not show up to Google via Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). The feature launched in 2007, and was a popular tool among SEOs for past 9 years.

Google’s announcement, made via Webmaster blog in the wee small hours of October 13, stated the reason for the change was Google’s improved algorithmic system for picking good sitelinks. Any poor sitelinks still showing up, it was suggested, were the fault of the site and not the Google algorithm.

“Over the years, our algorithms have gotten much better at finding, creating, and showing relevant sitelinks, and so we feel it’s time to simplify things,” the announcement states. It continues:

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them. This process is completely automated. Sitelinks have evolved into being based on traditional web ranking, so the way to influence them is the same as other web pages.

Many webmasters and SEOs have responded to the announcement directly, commenting on the post itself that even with excellent SEO best practices in place, there are plenty of poor sitelinks still showing up in results.

Google’s new recommendations for managing organic sitelinks revolves around three best practices:

1. Provide a clear structure for your website, using relevant internal links and anchor text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.2. Allow Google to crawl and index important pages within your site. Use Fetch and Render to check that they can be rendered properly.3. If you need to remove a page from search completely, use a “noindex” robots meta tag on that page.

If you are still seeing poor sitelinks in Google SERPs for your website, they officially recommend visiting the Google Webmaster Forum for help.

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

Gee, thanks, Google.

Posted by Jonathan Hunt

Related Content

thumbnail image

Get Informed

The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry

5 MINUTES READ | November 19, 2020

Get Informed

Ecommerce Platform Choice Must Weigh Tradeoffs

1 MINUTE READ | August 6, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Inspired

Considerations for Reengaging New Online Customers

1 MINUTE READ | April 29, 2020

Get Informed

EMEA Search Trends Amid COVID-19

8 MINUTES READ | April 28, 2020

Get Informed

Google Launches Non-Paid Shopping Offers (aka free PLAs)

7 MINUTES READ | April 24, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

How To Boost SEO During The COVID-19 Crisis

1 MINUTE READ | April 17, 2020

Get Informed

Impact to SEO During COVID-19

1 MINUTE READ | April 16, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

Jason White Talks About Importance of Owning Keyword Data

1 MINUTE READ | February 26, 2020

Get Informed

Jason White On Agents of Change

1 MINUTE READ | December 9, 2019

Get Informed

Takeaways from Yext’s Onward19 Conference

4 MINUTES READ | November 5, 2019