August 18, 2015 | Sarah Danks


This morning I read on Search Engine Land that Google’s playing with/rolling out/has launched expandable sitelinks for mobile organic searches. Shree Vaidya noticed it this past weekend, evidently.

It would seem that Google still needs to iron out their process for picking the pages listed in these expandable dropdowns; Shree noticed some inconsistencies with the navigational options.

And, how big does your website have to be in order for Google to “give” your mobile search result these expandable sitelinks?

Obviously our site isn’t deemed big/important enough (yet):

expandable sitelinks thinksem


But, when I searched for Moz — the logical next step in the search marketing succession (ha) — it seems Google considers them big enough to try out this new feature:

expandable sitelinks moz 1

What I find interesting about the Moz listing is the very first expandable link is their blog…

…perhaps because it’s the most robust section of the website?

expandable mobile sitelinks moz


Next I thought I’d move to a big-box search — so naturally I looked up Worst — oops I mean Best — Buy:

expandable mobile sitelinks best buy local

Oddly enough, here we see virtually nothing of products; instead Google assumes I want to find the nearest store. Of course, since the search was performed on a mobile phone that could be a strong theory.

That being said, the two options within this expandable sitelink are somewhat odd. Why?

The first link (Best Buy – Roseville) goes to this:

expandable sitelinks best buy option 1

While the second link (Open Box & Clearance…) goes to this:

expandable sitelinks best buy option 2

Seems a bit weird — you’d think the Best Buy – Roseville link would bring mobile visitors to the above link, seeing as how that’s actually the Roseville store facade. Of course, that’s probably not a Google expandable sitelink thing; it’s more likely a Best Buy mobile site thing.


Still in electronics-type store mode, I tried National Camera Exchange next:

expandable mobile sitelinks national camera

But, nope. National Camera’s website must not be “big enough” to warrant expandable sitelinks (yet).


Moving away from electronics — and closer to lunch — I tried a nice local pizza place next:

expandable mobile sitelinks davannis

So Davanni’s website IS big enough to benefit from the new expandable sitelinks. I even liked the list of sitelinks — and the expandable options within — for this result the best.

(And not just because they’re a client of ours.)


Switching gears back to online marketing companies, I decided to try a couple of our local competitors to see how they fared in the expandable-sitelinks-or-not question:

First I tried our buddies over at Spyder Trap:

expandable mobile sitelinks spyder trap

No dice. Sorry, friends — y’all are in the same mobile boat as we are (for now).

But, over at Three Deep Marketing:

expandable mobile sitelinks three deep marketing

…it seems their blog is robust enough to win them an expandable sitelink.

I also checked the MNSearch site, thinking it would be too small:

expandable mobile sitelinks mnsearch

…but I was wrong! While they only have one expandable link, it’s for the MnSearch Summit, which means that’s probably the heftiest (in Google’s eyes, anyway) portion of the site.


My theory: Google’s expanding sitelinks that are backed by a robust section of the website; they’re also credible sections/pages within that website. I.e., they’ve got a nice link profile (which leads to good Page Authority) and probably lots of organic traffic already.

The main reason I think that is because of the mass quantity of expandable links within the FindLaw mobile result:

expandable mobile sitelinks findlaw

Lookit THAT hefty result! All six sitelinks are expandable, and within each “dropdown navigation” there are the max number of results (six). Wowzas.

Of course, with local-specific types of searches (e.g., Davanni’s) the sitelinks are going to be geographically relevant, versus the other sites I’ve checked wherein the expandable option falls to those sections of a website robust enough to warrant an expansion.

As with all things Google, I’m sure this new layout get better over time — and they’ll either take our input or won’t to enhance it — or, if it doesn’t seem to be resonating with mobile users, it’ll quietly go the way of the Dodo.

What do you think about Google’s new mobile expandable sitelinks?


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