Having your site rank high in the search engines can be a real boost to traffic for your site. Could anything be better than achieving that top spot in Google? How about getting eight more keyword-rich links up there? What I'm talking about is the highly coveted site links.
Site links have been the icing on the cake for a top listing in Google. Site links are additional links to a site that occasionally appear below the listing. What made these especially sweet was that they haven't been something that you had direct control over, but were like a little gift from Google. And gifts from Google are good.
Speculation was that site links typically appeared on highly relevant searches, often for well-established sites, that also had clean, keyword-rich URLs. In other words, when Google could make a fairly safe assumption that the site links it would generate would lead the searcher to what they were looking for.
What could be even better than having site links appear for your site? What about having the number increase from five to eight links? Or how about the ability to actually have some say in the creation of site links? That would be pretty nice! How nice? Well, take a look at what this does for The Planet. It's like having your own navigation appear within the Google results and increasing the chances that the searcher will see what they are looking for and be able to click right through to it.
How powerful is this if you were looking for a reseller program or private rack hosting? Based on the result title and snippet, you may not have clicked through to the site to look around on your own. Along with the additional links, site links also make a site appear even more authoritative. Another subtle benefit: notice how the links take up additional room, about another listing's worth of space, essentially moving potential competitor listings further down the page.
Not only is this an exciting development, it's also further reassurance that Google is continuing to develop and implement great features into its Webmaster Tools. Unfortunately, if your site doesn't warrant site links, then this new feature won't give you the ability to make them magically appear. At least for now, what you can and can't do if site links are being created for your site may still be limited, but maybe that will change over time.
You can learn more about site links from the Google Webmaster Central Blog.