Dynamic sitelinks: What are they all about?

By Inderpaul Rai | 08 Aug 2014

As all advertisers know, Sitelinks are one of the most important ad extensions available in Adwords.

They're known to increase CTR by as much as 30%, and with Google's change to Ad Rank at the tail end of last year, it's made it all the more important that you're making use of all the ad extensions.

Sitelinks are a quick win, as an ad extension they can be utilised to good effect for almost all advertisers, however not all advertisers are making the best use out of them.

At the end of July, out of the blue, Google announced the launch of Dynamic Sitelinks.

What Are They?

Dynamic Sitelinks are automatically generated sitelinks that appear below your ad text like regular sitelinks. The URLs that they link to are also automatically generated. These sitelinks can also appear on all devices.

But I'm Already Using Sitelinks On My Campaigns?

No worries! Google have said that if you've already set your own sitelinks up, these will always show instead of Dynamic Sitelinks, except for in rare instances that the sitelinks you have running are highly irrelevant to the user's search.

So Why Have Google Bothered Bringing Out Dynamic Sitelinks?

A valid question is what is the point of them, shouldn't all advertisers be running sitelinks anyway?

Believe it or not there are advertisers who don't use utilise them. Some advertisers' websites haven't got relevant links that are worthy of sitelinks, so it may not be best for strategy to use them.

There are also more smaller advertisers out there who may have just got started in the world of PPC who aren't aware of the importance of sitelinks, or haven't the resource to implement them.

So this is Google's way of making sure every advertiser out there is using them.

Why do Google care so much? As I mentioned before the CTR improvements are huge with sitelinks, and with more clicks means more money for Google.

Where Can I Find These Dynamic Sitelinks In My Interface?

If this feature has been rolled out in your campaigns, you'll be able to find them under the 'Labs' tab in your account if your account is whitelisted for this feature (this tab is often hidden):

So What If I Don't Want To Use Sitelinks On My Campaigns?

In the cases where it doesn't make sense to use sitelinks for the advertiser's objectives, this is certainly a concern.

One of the client's at our agency, for example, do not wish to use Sitelinks on their branded campaigns (almost unheard of at this agency!) for very valid reasons.

Just this week, delving into that client's campaigns under the Labs tab we saw stats for Dynamic Sitelinks across these campaigns:

Fortunately Google are not enforcing the use of these Dynamic Sitelinks (yet..), but you are automatically opted in. There is an opt out feature, right here, if this is something that is not applicable to your goals.

For clients and advertisers where you do want to be running sitelinks everywhere, this is a good area where you can see if there are any Dynamic Sitelinks running, which would suggest that certain campaigns aren't running regular sitelinks, or they may not be relevant enough.

One more thing to note, clicks on Dynamic Sitelinks are free!  However, this does not mean you should abandon your regular sitelinks as for one, they may not show often (Google have specified that impression volume for Dynamic Sitelinks will be low, whereas regular Sitelinks show all of the time you're in the top positions), and two: you have no control over what sitelinks Google choose to dynamically pull, or the pages they choose to link to.