Monday, September 24, 2012 | 2:58 PM
Sitelinks give users a choice of destinations on your website that they can visit directly from your text ads. Hopefully you’ve already been using sitelinks to improve your campaign performance. Maybe you’re now preparing your campaigns to be eligible for enhanced sitelinks, which offer an even bigger boost.
Our existing policy has required each sitelink in a campaign to link to a different landing page. That means a user would have a meaningfully different experience on the landing page from each sitelink. Recently, though, we've noticed an increase in the number of sitelinks created with the same landing page URLs or identical content. So starting today, we are beginning more proactive enforcement of our policy.
How it will work
We’ll initially focus on new sitelinks and any sitelinks that you change. As your ads are being served, our systems will verify that your sitelinks meet the policy standards. Sitelinks that don’t meet the standards will be restricted from appearing.
Impact on format and performance
To increase the chances of having more sitelinks shown with your ads, we recommend 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. Remember, larger formats are more visible and have higher average clickthrough rates (CTR). And if you don’t have enough eligible sitelinks in your campaign, then your ads may not display sitelinks at all.
Future enforcement with existing sitelinks
We realize that manually checking and fixing duplicates among your existing sitelinks and landing pages might take some time. So we’re 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.
We suggest doing a basic sweep, starting with campaigns that show sitelinks most often. These are probably your campaigns with branded keywords, like the name of your business and its best-known products and services. Here’s how you can work through this using the AdWords interface.
- Log into the AdWords interface and click on the “Ad Extensions” tab.
- Select “Sitelinks Extensions” from the View drop-down menu.
- Sort your sitelink extensions by impressions or clicks by clicking on the column header.
- Click on each sitelink in the top campaign and follow it through to its landing page (there’s no charge for these clicks).
- Fix any duplicates you find by hovering over the extension area and clicking the pencil icon (see image below).
You can then work your way down through each campaign in your account. If you want to be completely thorough, you’ll need cross-check the landing pages on your Ads and Keywords tab with those of your sitelinks for each campaign.
For more details or help with sitelinks, please visit the AdWords Help Center or contact AdWords customer support.