You may have noticed a recent subtle change to some search results on Google. In an effort to help people find the information they want faster and easier, Google has started putting links within the search snippets (more commonly known as results. The new links are not just to a page, but to topics within a page.
Here’s an example result to a search for “estimated taxes”. Notice the three snippet links (I have circled on of them):
Here’s why this matters to business owners who manage their own websites: now users won’t have to waste time scrolling through long pages that cover multiple topics to find the info they want. Usually when a user does a search, they have a pretty narrow interest. These links will help them get to what the want to read much more easily. That’s powerful because the if your site is the one that answers the need of a potential customer, you gain instant credibility. Because you gave that person what they wanted, they are more apt to check out what else is on your site.
Google recommends you do the following to increase the chances of these links appearing in searches that include your site:
1. Make sure that pages on your website that are long and cover multiple topics are well organized. Break them up into clearly divided, logical sections with headers.
2. Use an anchor for each section. Make sure that the anchor doesn’t have a generic name (like “anchor1” for example. To be safe, use the same name as the section.
3. Include a table of contents at the top of the page. The new in-snippet links only appear for relevant queries, so you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.
One last thing: snippet links won’t appear on every single search result. You will only see them when Google deems a relevant relationship between the link and the search query.
So, if you have pages that could benefit from these new snippet links, try those three steps above. You’ll probably be a first-mover in your industry since Google only recently announced this feature. That could result in even more traffic because your site will be the only one with such super-relevant results. Be sure to monitor search results for relevant keywords to see when and how your new links appear.
Let me know your results!