Google adds links to Web page sections in search results

Web masters can take steps to increase their chances that Google will serve up links to their page sections

Google has enhanced its search results by providing links to different sections of Web pages, in addition to the traditional main Web page link.

The new sublinks appear along with the text snippet that Google captures from the Web page, showing examples of text where the search query term appears.

Now, people can click on the main link to go to the top of the Web page or instead go directly to a specific section, Google said Friday in an official blog.

If a query is narrow enough in scope so that Google can infer more specifically the type of information the user is interested in, only one link to the relevant Web page section will appear.

Google creates these links to page sections automatically using its algorithms to analyze Web page structure, the company said in a related announcement explaining these enhancements to webmasters.

However, webmasters can take steps to increase their chances that Google will serve up links to their page sections, wrote Raj Krishnan from the Google Snippets Team.

"First, ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name -- i.e., not just 'Section 2.1' -- and that your page includes a 'table of contents' which links to the individual anchors," he wrote.

The sublinks to page sections will appear when the search engine determines it's relevant to show them, so not all results will have them.

This is another in a long list of improvements Google has made over the years to beef up and extend the usefulness of the much-maligned "10 blue links" of search results.

For example, an ongoing and broad "universal search" initiative has brought links to news articles, images, video clips, maps and other specialty pages to Google's general Web search engine.

In addition, Google suggests related search queries to help users narrow the scope of their search, and offers options to filter results by the date when the page was published, such as in the past 24 hours or the past year.

Other features meant to augment the "10 blue links" include the ability for users to view thumbnail images from the results, as well as to display more text from the pages beyond the brief text snippets.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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