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Is there a definite way you can control which pages (privacy Policy, About Us etc.) Google includes in the site links section of the search results for your site?

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The short answer is no.

The AI is making a prediction as to what page the user may be interested in on the site. If you will, the AI has a mind of its own.

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/appearance/sitelinks

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them.

At the moment, sitelinks are automated. We're always working to improve our sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate site owner input in the future.

It may help to feed the AI monster, information. It likes "structure data / schema" ... https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/intro-structured-data ... the sitelinks search box seems to the method most are trying to influence sitelinks ... https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/sitelinks-searchbox ... I'm a skeptic that the search box has any effect. I prefer the breadcrumbs to tell the AI which pages are more important.

It is conceivable that the AI may personalize these sitelinks, I don't know if anybody has attempted to test that. But it seems to be in line which google's trends.

I'm not getting the same sitelinks ...

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  • +1 re: sitelink searchbox. I believe that sitelinks are largely based on search intent/related content. Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 0:07
  • You can't directly control if a page appears as a site link, but you can exclude one from appearing by using the NOSNIPPET meta tag: <meta name=”robots” content=”nosnippet”> I talk a bit more about it here Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 14:32

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