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Are breadcrumbs a Google ranking factor?

Breadcrumbs are used to improve the user experiences for website visitors and confirm the site structure for search engines.

A breadcrumb is a small text path, usually at the top of a page that shows where the user is on the site. They also appear in Google search results to give users a quick look of where on your site the page sits.

Despite breadcrumb navigation being helpful for Google and users, it might not have a direct impact on your organic search engine rankings.

Google first rolled out breadcrumbs in 2009 as an enhancement of how site hierarchies are displayed in its search results. Each breadcrumb is a link that clicks directly to a particular page. As a result, SEO professionals started to theorise that breadcrumb navigation links may be a Google ranking factor.

When it was introduced, breadcrumbs were considered an internal link structure to optimise in addition to being a tool to simplify website navigation. Breadcrumb linking combined the keyword strategy for a website and the information architecture of the content.

Despite the way search result displays have evolved over the years, Google still incorporates breadcrumbs. The search engine giant recommends the implementation of breadcrumbs. However, no one directly associated with Google has ever officially confirmed that it is a ranking factor.

Google’s John Mueller tweeted in 2021 that they use breadcrumbs for crawling to find internal links and rich results. However, the location of the breadcrumbs on a webpage doesn’t affect SEO.

The verdict on breadcrumbs and Google ranking

Breadcrumbs ensure a positive user experience and confirms the site’s structure for search engines. In addition, they build more internal links and could potentially impact your CTR.

But if you include breadcrumb navigation to your web pages, you’re not guaranteed a significant boost in your rankings. Google’s recommendation to developers to use breadcrumbs is mainly aimed at UX and usability, rather than SEO and ranking.

Contact Right Click Media for more information

Right Click Media is a digital agency with extensive experience in all aspects of SEO. For more information about adding breadcrumbs to your website, get in touch with our team today.