What The Puck Is Going On With Google Sitelinks?

January 17th, 2009 by

So over the last couple of months people have been noticing some strange behavior in regards to sitelinks.  In December Search Engine Roundtable made note of sitelinks being cut off possibly due to the use of periods in the text.  Then today, exactly a month after the last sitelinks post, Search Engine Roundtable reported that many sites are seeing their sitelinks disappear and reappear.

However, I don’t find any of these things as confusing as the results I discovered last night while looking up information about the Los Angeles Kings hockey game I was attending.  I did a search in Google for ‘la kings’ and when I got there I was presented with the following SERP.  Take a look at the sitelinks for the Kings website.  See anything strange?

Search Engine Results for 'la kings'

If you didn’t catch it, one of the sitelinks goes to ‘Pittsburgh Penguins Team Home Page’, which isn’t exactly LA Kings relevant.  I thought maybe because the team sites are subdomains of nhl.com that maybe that was what caused the problem, though every other sitelink is part of the Kings’ website.

Upon further investigation I found one more oddity in all of it.  The link says ‘Pittsburgh Penguins Team Home Page’ however the link directs you to the Pittsburgh Penguins store.  In this case not only is the sitelink irrelevant to the page being displayed, but it’s either directing to the wrong page or displaying improper anchor text. Clearly something is going on at Google as of late, but what exactly is happening.  With changes in things like indexing and sitelinks it makes me wonder if perhaps we are seeing recent algorithm changes backfire.

NHL Team Stats

One other thing I noticed, which I wasn’t aware previously is that the first result in Google gives me the team stats; wins, losses, ties.  It also gives you information on the last game played and the next game to be played.  What’s even more impressive is that I did some additional team searches and on the day of a game it will show you the score for the games played by that team and includes a breakdown of goals scored in each period.  This probably isn’t new, but it’s new to me, and I think it’s a pretty sweet feature to have for us hockey fans.

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3 Responses to “What The Puck Is Going On With Google Sitelinks?”

  1. Mike Wilton says:

    Yeah sitelinks are definitely being wonky, but since they are automated there is obviously room for error. Just seems like lately the errors have been more frequent. Leads me to believe we are looking at side effects to algorithm adjustments or mods to sitelinks in general.

  2. Anna says:

    When I do this search http://www.google.com/search?q=advanced+access&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS232US265 for the AA site, it shows our last site link as “visit this link” and it goes to the QuickHomes product page. uhhh, ok?

  3. Nathan says:

    As with all complicated software, it will have bugs. It just seems that Google has a lot less bugs than anyone else!

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