“Breadcrumbs” are a common navigation element on Internet sites, which is a navigation path visible to users from the root page to the current page. Such a strange name is an inspiration from the fairy tale “Gingerbread House”, the main characters of which poured bread crumbs along their way so as not to lose their way home.
“Breadcrumbs” improve site usability. Simple and convenient navigation allows the user to understand how far from the main page and at what level he is. The navigation chain helps not only to understand your position on the site, but also to quickly move to another section.
Why “bread crumbs” and their impact on ranking
Writing a navigation chain that is user-friendly and understandable for users does not take much time and effort (besides, there are many ready-made plugins), but its impact on the authority of your site is quite large for three reasons.
- Increased usability. Breadcrumbs help you navigate the site. This is especially important for online stores when the user wanders from one subsection to another in search of a suitable product.
- Internal linking. The navigation chain increases the weight of the home page many times over. Each next page in the site hierarchy transfers its weight to the top level, and internal linking only contributes to this.
- Growth of positions in the search engine and snippet. Correctly spelled “breadcrumbs” are displayed in Yandex and Google snippets.
Improved behavioral factors coupled with increased root page link weight and quality snippets are driving your site forward in search results.
Types of chains
In most cases, this navigation element looks like a bar just below the header at the top of the site. Classic view: “Main (root) / Section / Subsection / … / current position”. There are other less common options.
This breadcrumb chain does not depend on the site hierarchy and only shows you how you got to the current page. For example, a “white double bed” can be simultaneously located in different subsections: double beds, white furniture, etc.
These are more functional breadcrumbs, because when you hover over each element of such a navigation chain, an additional list of adjacent subsections drops out. This is convenient for quickly navigating to the desired page, which means it increases usability.
Modified bread crumbs
This technique is used to shorten a chain that is too long. This method involves removing obvious subsections or adding new items. In most cases, trademarks are used as a grouping addition.
On virtual marketplaces, breadcrumbs traditionally begin with a catalog, not a root. This is also done to improve usability, because the user is hardly particularly interested in the general information from the main page, he needs to find the desired product as easily as possible.
Features and nuances
The navigation path is usually written at the top of the page as a horizontal bar. But sometimes vertical chains are also encountered, if it is more convenient for users with a certain site design.
It is design that often determines the structure of the “crumbs”. They should not spoil the appearance of the page, but be understandable to users, because usability is one of the important factors affecting ranking in search engines.
- Cyclic links.
Re-linking with a return to the current page is a dangerous nuance of “bread crumbs”, or rather their taboo. There can be no cyclic links on the site. To avoid this effect, the last item in the thread should be just the title of the current page without a hyperlink.
If you do not want to simply optimize your site for search engines, but to make the resource natural and practical, we recommend providing “bread crumbs” on all pages. Moreover, the path cannot be formal, but logical and convenient for users.
How do I make the right navigation?
- Don’t make bread crumbs on your homepage. This is a cyclical link that is bad for SEO.
- Place the navigation bar in the usual place for an ordinary user. Sometimes you can also duplicate the chain below.
- Use HTML tags to denote content. This will allow search engines to correctly read the information by using it in snippets.
Don’t miss out on breadcrumbs that can improve the quality of user interaction with your site and increase the authority of a resource in the eyes of search engines.