Breadcrumbs are navigational elements of a website. They are used to create a better user experience. Breadcrumbs also improve the crawlability of your website and hence have an impact on the SEO of the website. There are still a number of websites that do not implement breadcrumbs, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Well, breadcrumbs allow users to track where they are on a website and how far they are from the home page. They are usually located at the top of a website or just under the navigation bar. Similar to internal links, they help users to find the information they are looking for easily. The breadcrumbs make it easy to backtrack to a previous page if need be.
How does this affect SEO?
Well, the recent changes in Google have made breadcrumbs very important – here’s how. Google now displays breadcrumbs in the search results and uses them to categorize information in the search results. Google’s Search Console even has a structured data report for it.
Here are the three most common types of Breadcrumbs:
1. Hierarchy Based Breadcrumbs
There are the most common types of breadcrumbs. It tells users where they are in the site and how to get back to the home page.
For example: Home > Resources > SEO Guide
2. Attribute Based Breadcrumbs
Attribute based breadcrumbs are most commonly used on ecommerce websites. They show what attributes the user has clicked.
For example: Home > Shoes > Hiking > Womens
3. History Based Breadcrumbs
History based breadcrumbs shows users what other pages on the site the user has visited – it is similar to browser history.
For example: Home > SEO article 1 > SEO article 2 > Current page
So, what will breadcrumbs actually do?
In an age when user experience matters, breadcrumbs definitely make it easy for users to browse to and forth on a website. It improves the user experience. Breadcrumbs are also great for improving site rankings. So, even Google is happy! Using breadcrumbs allows you to categorize and contextualize content. Google added breadcrumbs to the results pages back in 2018. This makes them very important from an SEO perspective. Bounce rate is not a direct ranking factor, but it does affect your website. Breadcrumbs help keep people on your website longer. Bounce rate can indicate problems with UX – problems that breadcrumbs can solve. Breadcrumbs are powerful and have benefits for both user experience as well as SEO.