Setting up site links for a one-page scrolling site: Can anchored links be used?

by njpatten   Last Updated September 10, 2019 12:04 PM

I redesigned a website as a one-page scrolling site but now the sitelinks that appeared in Google search results are no longer there (ie- "About" "Contact Us")

The site is set up with anchored links with similar sections as before (ie but these sections not coming up in Google Search Results.

Is there a way to get these sitelinks pointing to the different sections of the one-page scrolling site to come up? I tried creating blank pages with URL's like and redirecting to but these new pages are still not coming up. I definitely do not want to be penalized for double content.

This is a WordPress website utilizing Yoast SEO.

Answers 3

It's likely google won't index sections of one page as separate entries in search results as it could provide a rather poor user experience.

I definitely wouldn't want to use google to search for something, only to find that I'm clicking on the same website over and over again and appearing only in different sections on the same page.

It's more likely that users would search for something then enter a link and read the page from top to bottom while skimming sections they don't want to see. Those users would not like to click on a link with different text that takes them to the same site again after reading it the first time.

If you want your links indexed, you need to make them as separate pages with unique content.

October 27, 2015 03:07 AM

I have used multiple paralax and single paged WordPress themes over the years.

Using anchor text to link to the content from the menu is definitely the way to do it properly.

When it comes to indexing the content separately you would want to have a page created, dedicated and optimized for that specific content. Hopefully the content is elaborate..

On the main page of the website use excerpts of the content from the various pages you would like to highlight, then link to those pages from within the excerpt on the main (home) page.

There are some specific themes that can assist with this: for example, if you're using Genesis framework they have a series of widgets for use on your front page for featured page or featured post(s).

Alternately there are several plugins that will offer you similar functionality within your website:

October 27, 2015 17:09 PM

I can confirm that at least as of today, google will indeed add sitelinks for singlepage scrolling sites.

Don't confuse sitemaps (e.g. sitemap.xml) with sitelinks.

Sitelinks are a google specific thing which are sub-links to individual pages/sections under your website search result.


Google Webmaster tools will allow you to submit a sitemap. This is really only necessary if for some reason you think that google's crawler may have trouble discovering all your pages.

Providing google webmaster tools a sitemap will help their crawler to discover your pages in order to crawl them (ie if for some reason google can't find all your pages via following links from your home page).

If google can't find/crawl your pages without a sitemap.xml...then this will of course prevent google from generating sitelinks. Besides that sitelinks and sitemaps are not related.

...when you have content not readily linked by other pages, such as new pages or obscure information, you can help our system learn about your URLs by providing them in a list, known as a sitemap. (2)


According to google (1) the sitelink generation process is automated based on their proprietary algorithms. This means you can't force sitelinks to show up, you can just try to do the right technical things to enable google to show sitelinks if they decide they want to.

Google may draw the content of sitelinks from page titles, anchor text (or alt text for image links), page meta-data, etc.

sitelinks on single page sites

I don't know the internals of google's algorithm, but I can tell you my setup and what seems to work.

  • single page site.
  • scrolling to different sections and/or clicking navigation updates the URL fragment (e.g.
  • nav links have anchor text that is the title of the linked section.

On google a few (not all) of my linked sections show up as sublinks under my google search result. However there is not any description. Just links. The link text matches the anchor text in my navigation as well as the h1 heading text at the top of each section.

example google sitelinks

Not all sections showed up. Hard to know how google decides which sections are the most important to show as sitelinks...perhaps inbound links? Other potential factors that may have influenced things in my case.

  • have incoming links from other sites that are linking to specific sections instead of just the homepage (e.g. have people link to
  • use google analytics and fire events as users "visit" the different sections

further thoughts...

If anyone knows what kind of markup would help get per-section descriptions for single-page site sitelinks (ie so they are more than just links like on multi-page sites)...let me know.

sitelinks from multipage sites seem to draw the sitelink sub-text from meta tag description (at least in the couple cases I checked). I wonder if updating the meta tag (via javascript) on navigation within the single page site would do the trick.

...a headless Chromium renders the page and executes the JavaScript. Googlebot parses the rendered HTML for links again and queues the URLs it finds for crawling. Googlebot also uses the rendered HTML to index the page. (3)


September 10, 2019 11:56 AM

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