Google Web Site Categories Explored

Social Patterns writes a detailed explanation of what he feels determines a site’s Google Web categories. What I define as a Web category are the “quick links” (yahoo calls them) you find under results such as this one. The Web categories attempt to break down the site’s main structure, with links to the main areas of the site under the main search result listing. The questions are; what determines which sites deserve these links? Which types of keywords trigger the results? And how does Google determine what to add as a web category link?

Social Patterns dug into this a bit more. He determines they are “likely determined by traffic patterns.” His findings in short:

Google snippet links do not return links outside of the home domain.
Google snippet links do not have to be from a text link, it can be an image link or even a javascript link.
Google snippet link text can be determined from an image’s alt text.
Google snippet links can be subdomains of the home domain.
Google snippet links are not determined by PageRank.
Google snippet links are displayed for the top result for a “brand” search or “domain” search. (For example, “zappos” and “zappos shoes”)

I tend to agree with this breakdown, however I believe Danny might not agree with all of the findings.

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