The Breadcrumb Navigation: SEO’s Secret Weapon

The Breadcrumb Navigation: SEO’s Secret Weapon

November 2, 2021, Author: mystic-admin_@

Breadcrumbs is the name given to the graphical elements commonly used in the navigational aid in the user interfaces and web pages.

Because of this feature, Users can keep track of and maintain awareness of their locations within documents, programs, or websites.

If we talk about the breadcrumb navigation so, breadcrumbs are the secondary navigation tool that enables the users to understand simply the relation between their current location on the website page, which may be any product page to another page of the website.

For example, The category page.

Even if you have reached any page that does not concern you, breadcrumbs enable you to find your way back home.

Breadcrumb navigation is not only found on the website though.

Microsoft has already introduced breadcrumbs in Windows Vista and since then it has become an integral feature of every Windows edition.

On a website, there are multiple navigation trails so users really need to clearly identify a trail that leads to what they actually want to know.

Without this navigation, they might give up and bounce. For understanding breadcrumb navigation in an effective manner, you need to understand its types, usage, and benefits.


Path or History-Based Breadcrumbs:

 Path or history-based breadcrumbs serve the same purpose as the browser back button. It enables the user to go back to any of the previous pages they visited. This helps the user most when they have reached the product page after applying multiple filters on the category page.

The user can very easily navigate toward their previously visited pages by keeping all their selections intact by the help of history-based breadcrumbs. One of the generic examples of this kind of navigation is the ‘Back to Results’ link.

Location or Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs:

With the help of location or hierarchy-based breadcrumbs, a user can go to a broader category (higher-level page) from the page they are on.

It very often happens on e-commerce websites that users type the keyword (product) that they are looking for and after the search, they do not exactly get satisfied so they want to go to the main page again. This is the navigation tool that helps users to go back to the top main page.

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Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs:

Whatever attribute a user selects on the page is shown by the attribute-based breadcrumbs. This kind of Breadcrumbs also very commonly works on e-commerce websites where users mostly search by applying different filters.

Now, lets dive deeper into the uses of bread crumb navigation.

Uses of Breadcrumb Navigation:

1) Show users the entire path and give them context. This way, users remain focused on the task.

2) Start them on the home page. This way, they show the journey to the user from one end to another. Being on the homepage, breadcrumbs work as orientation anchors.

3) Used as > as a separator between the levels. It is a very convenient way to separate one level from another one.

4) Putting the crumbs at the top of the website. Researchers have found that users generally expect breadcrumbs navigation at the top of the page below the title.

5) Breadcrumbs navigation works best for contrast.

6) Breadcrumbs are usually small in size and this size works best for them.

7) Keeping the last letter bold works well for breadcrumbs navigation.

8) There should be consistency amongst the page URL and breadcrumbs.


Benefits of Breadcrumb Navigation:

One of the biggest benefits of breadcrumb navigation is that it does not have any disadvantages. They never cause any kind of trouble in user testing. When users are using a website, they pay attention to breadcrumbs only 30% of the time, however, even when their attention is not on them, it does not cause anyone any big harm.

Breadcrumbs take very little space on the page so you do not have to worry about spacing options ever to use breadcrumb navigation. Since it has been quite some time since breadcrumbs have been around navigating, they are extremely recognizable and easy to use by users. For more information on landing page optimization go to this page.

By showing the entire trail of the process, breadcrumbs can reduce users’ anxiety to a great extent.

For instance, on a webpage, there can be different steps for doing something. With breadcrumb navigation, a user initially knows the entire steps involved in the process.

With this feature, a user is always aware of the time and effort they have to give on a particular site. With breadcrumb navigation, users get visual cues that act as a strong motivator in finishing the processes.

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Some of the benefits of using breadcrumb navigation are:

1) Encourages Browsing
2) Reduces bounces
3) Improves findability for your website
4) Amazing SEO benefits
5) Helps in reducing the user’s anxiety
6) Make processes on your website appear simple


Breadcrumbs is highly significant for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google has already announced that they are replacing the URL within its search results with the name of the website and breadcrumb navigation path.

Currently, mobile devices have been doing this and it may be rolled out to desktops as well in the coming days.

Google suggests that using the original name of the website will aid in improving usability so the breadcrumbs links will show the users exactly where they will be taken to by clicking on the search results. For more information on SEO optimization.

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