We have a web application on which users have profile pages that have a few details about the user, and then a list of blog posts that user has created. We're finding that in some circumstances Google will display a search result for one of these pages with the posts listed below like this:


Search result with post list

In other circumstances, we have profile pages structured in exactly the same way but it is not displayed in the same way on Google search results. Like this:


Search result without post list

I am trying to work out why the two pages are being displayed differently in the search results. The main difference is that they are on different domains, so my current thinking is that perhaps Google categorises domains in some way, and perhaps displays results differently because of that.

If anyone is able to tell me why this might be happening, or has any ideas, it would be much appreciated.

This is not a duplicate - the question does not answer my question about why two pages which have exactly the same markup and structure but just different content are displayed differently in search results.


1 Answer 1


One site is a forum site and the other site is a blog. Google only shows those links in the search results for forum sites. It never does so for blog sites.

The links are triggered because Google detects that the site is running common forum software such as PHP-BB. There is no documentation for the on-page markup that Google uses to detect forum sites. The only way to get your site to have this display in the search results would be to use forum software, or mimic the HTML and URL structure that the forum software produces very closely. You might even have to use the word "forum" prominently.

That particular display in the SERPs is known as "forum sitelinks". Here is Google's announcement about it (from 2009): http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/surfacing-forum-posts-in-search-results.html

  • Interesting, thanks for your reply. So even though the pages are the same (they are both being rendered from the same .NET server via a CName DNS record without any forum software) you think that because the root of the domain uses forum software, google is treating this subdomain in that way, even though the page itself is not actually running any forum software?
    – soupy1976
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 8:14
  • Having just had a look at the technologies used on that root domain, it doesn't look like they are using any visible forum technologies that I can see: builtwith.com/pmforum.co.uk
    – soupy1976
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 8:19
  • Given your findings it may just be the word "forum" that triggers it. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 9:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.