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What are breadcrumbs and how they affect SEO?

Navigation chains known as breadcrumbs (sometimes referred to as duplicate navigation) display a visitor’s path from the root page to the current page. The term is derived from the children’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel,” in which children follow breadcrumbs to get home. The user can tell which page they are on thanks to the navigation chains. Redistributing static weight, streamlining navigation, and enhancing the snippet quality are the three main purposes of breadcrumbs. To build breadcrumbs, CMS modules, specialized plugins, or CSS/PHP are used.

Application Area

When there are more than two nesting layers, breadcrumbs are extremely helpful. They are used in blogs, forums, and online stores having several categories.

If your website has a linear nesting structure with no nesting levels, breadcrumbs might not be necessary.

What They Do 

Breadcrumbs are based on the site’s architecture or history. Structured breadcrumbs facilitate product range exploration and enable easy access to product categories. If the breadcrumbs are based on past behavior, removing the search filter is easier, and you can go back a page by clicking on them. Structure chains and the “Back to Results” function, which lets you save personalized filters, can be used together. 


The snippet uses a micro-markup called Schema.org to display breadcrumbs. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! support it. RDFa and Microdata formats are used to create breadcrumbs. A validator is used to verify that the micro-markup is correct. Breadcrumbs can be introduced using plugins for the CMS.

Emoji Snippets


The rendering of the snippet is enhanced by breadcrumbs. When writing a snippet, emoji can be used, but it is best to avoid overusing them. It is advised to use emoticons and emoji with a theme. They might be retrieved from particular directories. It is important to verify if the emoji are displayed correctly. The color of the emoji may influence sales in a favorable way. Emoji in the color red, for instance, increase clickability (CTR).

Mobile First Breadcrumbs 

Certain guidelines should be observed while developing navigation chains for mobile-friendly websites:

  • The top of the page is the best place for it.
  • The user’s path to the present page should be displayed in the chain.
  • Hyperlinks should be separated using the greater-than sign (>).
  • A straightforward layout with small print and relevant text is ideal.

Types of Breadcrumbs 

The main types of breadcrumbs include:

  • Standard is one of the main varieties of breadcrumbs. The user’s path from the home page to the present page is shown. They are the most common.
  • Dynamic. The chain displays the nesting of pages depending on the user’s path. They may be applied if a single item falls under numerous categories.
  • With a drop-down menu. An alphabetical list of the site’s other subsections is shown when you hover over a subsection. This enables the user to navigate to a related section of any category.
  • Reverse. There is only the “back” button on the page. When this button is activated, the already used filters are not reset.
  • Mixed. This mixes the “back” button activity with linear navigation.


Breadcrumbs provide the following key benefits: 

  • Enhanced usability. The site is easier to navigate using breadcrumbs. The visitor can see which section they are on and move up a level. This is particularly beneficial for pages with a lot of nesting.
  • Interlinking. Link weight distribution involves navigation chains. The weight is transferred from sections to the homepage. Those areas that are promoted with the inclusion of keywords should be indicated by links from the navigation chain.
  • Enhanced snippet quality. Breadcrumbs allow for the creation of snippets with navigation chains. To raise the snippet’s quality, micro-markup is employed. Google functions nicely with Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD formats.
  • Behavioral factors. Users are more likely to find the content they’re looking for, which deepens their browsing sessions and lowers bounce rates. The position of the website in search results increases as behavioral factors grow.

Common Mistakes


When employing breadcrumbs, webmasters are susceptible to certain mistakes. Users rarely pay attention to the site’s footer, where breadcrumbs are frequently put. Additionally, multiple paths might be employed for a single chain, making it challenging for people to browse and perplexing for search engines.

Suggestions for Placement 

There are a few rules to remember when placing breadcrumbs:

  • Breadcrumbs are not allowed on the homepage.
  • Instead of using the current page, the prior page is used as the final clickable element.
  • The navigation chain should be placed in the same part of each page.
  • In order to make the navigation stand out in the general design, it is advisable to emphasize it (maybe with an emoji).
  • Breadcrumbs are a helpful addition, but they shouldn’t replace the main menu.
  • Micro-markup and duplicate navigation can be used together to help structure the information.
  • The best spot for breadcrumbs on a website is under the header, where visitors can see them clearly.
  • To avoid overspam, it is not advised to use key terms as text anchors.

By following these guidelines, you can make your website more appealing to both users and search engines.


Breadcrumbs are used on sites with many nesting levels. They make it easier for users to navigate and move quickly through sections. Thus, you can improve behavioral factors and increase conversion rates.

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    Alexander Tarakhovich

    SEO expert with extensive experience. Helping you understand SEO. He takes the guesswork out of SEO, his advice in optimizations are based on what actually works. Alexander is currently working to make SEO known and accessible worldwide. Read Blog