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Breadcrumb navigation included in results

 12:32 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Alright, I've confirmed this is only happening in some datacentres but it appears that Google is starting to replace some URL snippets with your own page navigation system instead of an actual URI:

... snippet ...
www.example.com Section Sub section.

It seems similar to the way sitelinks are intended to work, giving users more flexibility in finding their way around a site.

So far, I've noticed that one of my sites which uses such a system has these navigation links and another one is a city which has it's breadcrumb system setup in a similar way:

> Home > Council > Mayor Name > Photo Gallery > 2008 Santa Claus Parade


Receptional Andy

 12:43 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can confirm this - no longer a URL under results, but a series of links representing the breadcrumb "trail". Seems to be in testing by Google at the moment for a limited number of users.

I think there have been earlier reports of this feature, although I couldn't find any references on the site.


 4:20 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I saw the same thing today at google.co.in.

www.example.com Parent Page to Result

The funny thing is that while the parent page links, www.example.com links to nothing. The same thing is happening in the other listings as well.

The way breadcrumbs are designed (at least what I commonly see), the last part doesn't link because it is the current page.

So while the title of the result links to the relevant page, the breadcrumb link goes to the parent page, and nothing goes to the homepage. I see some confusion happening here!


 5:07 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

They've just made a post about it in the Official Google Blog. It seems they look for breadcrumb-like navigation links.


 6:13 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Here's a link to the Google Blog post:



 7:02 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

From here none of the breadcrumb links are clickable in anyway ( I followed their "how to make granola" link )..gets one to the search page ..

but the green texts are all just text ..( not links ..and certainly not separated links )..

BTW what use would a link from an "ellipses" be ? ..a "click in the dark" ..

and I'm blocking nothing on the page ..


 3:51 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'll bet they become clickable in the near future, especially if you have that specific landing page.


 7:17 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

They are certainly clickable for one of my sites. (Logged in)


 9:47 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see the same thing in Austria, two sites affected.


 9:58 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nice feature though confusing in that the root domain link isn't clickable.


 11:48 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

nice feature. makes it possible to click on upper level pages within presented page. I like it!


 1:33 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing clickable links for my site. Goes to parent page however, the link text is not the same as the breadcrumb link text on the subordinate page.

I can't figure out where the link text is coming from. I slightly vary the breadcrumb link text from page to page but the link text isn't coming from either of the two pages.


 2:23 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Logged into Google and seeing the same thing here.


 5:08 am on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I really like this. Work almost like breadcrumbs on the destination page. Lots easier for the average user to recognize the info path on a site and choose a step or two back on the info path if that seems to be more closely related to their actual intent.

This is great.


 1:25 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Any guesses which features google requires for displaying the breadcrumb? I noticed related websites that have very similar coding to my own and there, the new feature does not appear to be used.


 7:39 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

hmm, what are the long term results. Sites with out bread crumbs at a disadvantage? I wonder how users will adapt to the new look of the serps.


 8:07 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

As I understand it, Google is not necessarily borrowing the site's own breadcrumbs. Instead (quote from the article) they are "rolling out an improvement that replaces the URL in some search results with a hierarchy showing the precise location of the page on the website."

As I read that, Google is rolling their own.


 3:11 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Looking in my sector they are only showing these for sites that do have a definite on site breadcrumb.

Sadly they aren't doing a very good job of it with mine, they only seem to be showing the first step of mine.

So I have pages with a breadcrumb of:-
Home > Country > State > City > Widget Shop

and a search for the widget shop simply gives:-
www.example.com > Country

from other similar sites I'm seeing:-
www.example.com > ... > State > City

Which actually seems useful unlike mine.


 11:26 pm on Jan 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

This has been rolling for a few months now , so hopefully we have some experiences - here's a few questions that folks can pitch in with if they want to share it around .

Can anyone who has newly introduced this , or noticed that their site received this feature, comment on effects or issues regarding :

> Click thru rates
> Conversion rates
> Character limits
> Has varied keyword link text in the breadcrumb strengthened ranking where it might be 2 word specific
e.g. Home > Left Widget > Left Red Widget
> Are keyword specific URL's still a stronger relevancy signal than this , or just complimentary
e.g. mysite/left-red-widget.htm
> Ranking observations
> Anything else ?

It would be good to share some specifics and metrics to indicate improvements on SEO and PPC relevancy.


 1:16 am on Jan 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was able to get breadcrumbs to show for one of my sites by making explicit breadcrumb links on my pages that were formatted as category -> subcategory -> product type. The SERPs show my breadcrumb link text instead of the URL, which I thought was pretty snazzy. I have hopes that the keyword repetition and link structure involved also helps "theme" this site so that I get better results on broad searches. But since most of my work on this site tended to be simple content and structural improvements through the holidays, it's too soon to tell if its building traffic yet or helping conversions, etc.


 5:22 am on Jan 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wish there were more inputs ..... ?

Does anyone know the character limits of this new feature , and how the display length is handled ? I think i noticed sites with long URL names are being disadvantaged by not being provided with this feature, even though the code enables it otherwise, but haven't seen any verifying comments on this.

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