What You Need to Know About Google’s Sitelinks Search Box Feature
Sitelinks Search Box Feature:
Google has come with a number of nifty new features for webmasters so users can search their website more easily. Some of them were not very useful after all, but some of them are very innovative. The new Sitelinks Search Box feature adds a search box to the results when users search for a particular brand name.
Site specific search
• User searches for a product, company or brand name
• The first result that is shown is often the official website belonging to the brand
• Just below the name of the website and above other links, Google puts a new search box
• Searching for anything from this search box will get results only from that site
• This is similar to the site search feature that Google has offered for years
• The separate search box also supports autocomplete
This is not a replacement for a search box within your website, but it means users often have
one step less to go through and find what they want.
Who should implement this feature?
Of course, this Sitelinks search box will not show up for every brand name and company that a user searches for. There are a few criteria for this:
• The brand name should be unique to the business domain as well as other areas
• The site must have a working search engine built in
• The site should pass a certain threshold for traffic
• The feature needs to be enabled by the webmaster through his account
Google probably determines whether a Sitelinks search box should be added for a search term by identifying traffic pattern. If a one search term leads users to its official website most of the time, then adding the separate search box makes more sense. We do not know the exact processes that Google uses to decide the relevance of this feature, but we can get a fair idea.
Implementing Sitelinks on your website
Adding Sitelinks Search Box feature for your website is done with a few steps. Here are some guidelines provided by Google:
• Use the “website” entity markup with the property “potential action”
• The markup needs to be added only to the home page
• Adding the markup to other pages does not harm, but it is of no utility
• The markup used can be either JSON-LD (recommended) or micro data
• Specify only one URL search pattern for the target keywords
• To avoid duplication of results, use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results on your website
• Make sure your server supports UTF-8 encoding, without which the markup will not be recognized
The Sitelinks feature is not mandatory and it can be disabled with the following markup:
This tag communicates to Google that you do not want the Sitelinks box to be shown for your website when users search with the target keyword. For websites looking to get more engagement, Sitelinks Search Box Feature is one of the more creative features released by Google search.
Some of the Top SEO Tools do provide options to make use of this feature.