Does Breadcrumb Navigation have any True SEO Value? Yes!
 by Casey Markee

Does Breadcrumb Navigation have any True SEO Value? Yes!

  • I have a question about breadcrumb navigation. We have a site with 3000+ pages that we started over 10 years ago. At the time breadcrumb navigation wasn't an option but now it seems to be the go-to standard. Should we be thinking about adding breadcrumbs to this site? Are breadcrumbs good in terms of SEO?

Answer: Google has started to auto-generate breadcrumb navigation for most sites and has been doing this for years. The vast majority of these auto-generated breadcrumbs used to be reserved for large hierarchically-arranged, e-commerce sites with hundreds of product pages grouped across dozens of different categories.

Breadcrumbs in SERPs Example Graphic

However, Google has expanded this substantially in recent months, most noticeably on mobile devices. Now, most sites, regardless of size, can generate navigational breadcrumbs. Here's a representation of the difference users can now see on mobile devices when comparing to previous months:

Breadcrumb Mobile Example Graphic

If you are not one of the sites on which Google is automatically generating these, you should look at adding breadcrumbs directly. Google has made this easy by providing a detailed breadcrumbs help page that just went live in June.

The help page provides examples and tutorials on how site owners can use either JSON, Microdata, or RDFa markup to structure the pages in a way that allows Google to generate breadcrumb trails for them in the SERPs.

NOTE: Google has stated in...