I’ve always been under the impression that Google never gave sub-directories that ranked #1 any sitelinks. The reason being is I had never seen any. A few months back I attended the Adwords 301 and 302 seminar
given by the extremely knowledgeable and talented Brad Geddes
. After the seminar was over, Brad opened up the floor to an “ask anything” Q&A session. I had been curious about this, and asked him if he had ever seen a site with sub-directories receive sitelinks. His answer was no, and that as far as he knew it was just for root domains and sub domains. This was the conclusion I had come to after doing some research, so it was good to have it confirmed by an long time industry expert.
Everyone has seen the root domain example such as this site for the City of Charlotte:
SERP for City of Charlotte
You may have also seen sites with subdomains receive them as well, such as the Charlotte NC page on CitySearch.com:
Charlotte NC CitySearch.com SERP
But I have never seen a site with a subdirectory ranking #1 receive any sitelinks… until today! Searching for Charlotte Nightlife showed me that CarolinaNightlife.com’s Charlotte NC subdirectory is #1 with 3 sitelinks!
Charlotte Nightlife SERP
So it seems safe to say that Google recently changed the sitelinks algorithm to now include subdirectories that rank #1. On another note, I’ve noticed that you no longer have to be #1 to get site links. Here is the #2 position of the CarolinaNightlife.com root:
CarolinaNightlife.com root SERP
It’s good to know Google keeps improving it’s search results.