How To Jump Links Snippet, (TOC in search)

by Wayne Smith

The headline tags where designed to allow a table of contents to be automatically generated from a web page, but headline tags have often been misused as a style tag. When headline tags are correctly used and are linked from a table of contents: The TOC can become a snippet appearing in Google Search Results. People in marketing can appreciate how having a table of contents displayed in the search results offers marketing potentials. Click through rates and user interaction within search provides a signal to search that the content answers the user intent for the search, which can improve the ranking of the listing.

Google learns the structure you are using and may apply the snippet to pages which are not using a table of contents. Although Google's highlighting tools does not create the jump to links, Google still learns the structure and applies them to pages that do not have a table of contents.

About Data Highlighter

Data Highlighter is a webmaster tool for teaching Google about the pattern of structured data on your website. You simply use Data Highlighter to tag the data fields on your site with a mouse. Then Google can present your data more attractively -- and in new ways -- in search results and in other products such as the Google Knowledge Graph.

How to:

The coding is simple first use headlines tags correctly, and second link to the headlines. Using a table of content is the prefered method of linking.

1. Check proper usage of headline tags

Headlines are part of ARIA accessibility standards they are best practices used as anchor points for the table of contents. If they are not being used properly one can have issues with both search engines and screen readers. Headline tags have a factory where tags of a lesser value are nested under the tag with a higher value. Only one h1 tag should be used. CSS is used to style tags and if a byline is included under a headline tag the byline is not a headline.

2. Link to your jump to anchors

Putting a table of contents on the page, which links to the headline tags is a good idea but not a requirement. The items that you want to jump to will need to be linked to in some form or another. If a table of contents is not used, one alternative approach is to link to them from another form of link.

Use Cases

Listicles: SEO By Design

A listicle is a structure for a webpage that presents information in a concise and structured format for headlines. Often they have or can have a table of contents and are numbered; But, there is a lot of flexibility in the structure.