Those lovely things you can add onto your PPC advert to make it more shiny, informative, relevant and above all – more ‘clickable’.
Sitelinks also give you a bigger search presence and in some instances, give you 5 urls on the SERPs over one. They also allow you to cross promote and promote seasonal offers, or push a phone number or a direct call to action such as ‘Call Us NOW!!!’ – well the exclamations wouldn’t pass approval, but you get the idea.
Sitelinks = good.
New Google policy also equals good.
Previously, you could have all your sitelinks pointing to the same URL. This could be handy say for example, for a new phone, lets go with the iPhone5 – this isn’t a shameless keyword stuffing, I have recently done some work on this bad boy, promise. So. Previously you could have had an advert for the iPhone 5 and then have your sitelinks promoting different tariffs or different features of the phone. All could happily land on one page and it would be fine.
With the new update though, Google are going to enforce the idea that the sitelinks *must* all land on unique landing pages. Assuming motivation here is relevancy, but thinking about it you would hope the user wouldn’t click on your advert multiple times to find out where they all went to.
Your quality score needs to be high enough to summon the sitelinks so mainly these appear on branded terms where you should dominate. They can though also appear on generics, this is great if you work on a account with gender specific areas, maybe your keyword is ‘black shoes’ this doesn’t quality the searcher at all, this methodology for sitelinks is perfect for this, have sitelinks for men, women, boys, girls etc.
Google are giving you some time to sort this, a few months, as for some it can be a massive task, especially if you use dummy keywords for a 3rd party tracking. But, if you don’t do it, your sitelinks will stop appearing and your account can be negatively impacted.
So, to recap:
Sitelinks = good.
New Google policy = relevancy = good.
Your accounts = get amending them to meet the new policies.
Also as a sneak preview / view into my predictions, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next sitelink update is to match the PPC structure to that of organic. We have all seen in recent months changes to make PPC adverts look less like paid and this seems a natural evolution.