How to Get Breadcrumbs in Google Search Results

Breadcrumbs are the feature in Google search results where instead of displaying a page’s full URL, they display the site’s navigation, separated by arrows – for example, normally they would display, but if they can find breadcrumbs on your site, then they will display > articles > SEO > boringarticle.

Each link is clickable and takes you to that part of the site. Obviously, this is very user friendly and a great way to help users find what they are looking for on your site faster. A video on Google’s Webmaster Help YouTube Channel talks about how you can get breadcrumbs on your site. Basically, your site has to be using an obviously categorized navigational structure which Google can parse. If you do, and you don’t have breadcrumbs showing up in your search results, then there are 3 possible reasons that this is happening.

First of all, your HTML code may not be easily parseable. Google recommends looking at the code used by sites which do have breadcrumbs, and trying to copy their code as closely as possible to make sure that Google’s web crawler can understand it. Secondly, your code may be perfectly fine, and it may have been indexed, but the search index just may not have updated yet. According to Matt Cutts, the Google breadcrumbs team is currently only pushing out updates every few weeks, although they are working on speeding up that process. You may need to simply be patient and wait to see if they show up a while after you update your site. Lastly, Google may not trust your domain enough to show breadcrumbs for your site. To avoid this, you basically just have to follow standard SEO rules – have lots of high-quality content, and don’t have spammy amounts of links on your site, but make sure there are plenty of incoming links, etc.

If you think that you do have a reliable site and you’ve changed your HTML code and waited a few weeks and still don’t see breadcrumbs for your site, then Matt Cutts recommends checking out the Google Webmaster Help Forum, where you can post a link to your site and get advice on why it may not be showing up from a variety of other experienced SEO professionals, and even a few Googlers. Unfortunately, there’s no way to really guarantee that you can get breadcrumbs to show up for your site, but hopefully, by following this advice, you can get them to work.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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