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Why Breadcrumbs are not SEO Friendly for your Blog?

No one knew that a simple Breadcrumb used in the fairyTale of " Hansel and Gretel " would become a website element one day. Brea...

are breadcrumbs good for blogsNo one knew that a simple Breadcrumb used in the fairyTale of "Hansel and Gretel" would become a website element one day. Breadcrumbs or breadcrumb trail is a navigation system used in websites that offer more usability to the visitor. They appear horizontally above Post titles or below headers. They show user location and tells him what post and which section of the blog category he is on. Breadcrumb provides links back to the pages the user already visited in hierarchical order. Often a colon ( : )or slash ( / ) or even a greater-than sign ( > ) is used as hierarchy separator.  These are now widely used by blog owners in both Wordpress and Blogger platforms. Unfortunately Breadcrumbs destroy the advantages of Permalinks which play great role in targeting rich keywords. Blogger Team has introduced permalinks on all blogspot blogs and we already discussed several ways of optimizing permalinks, now it's the right time to realize how Trailing links effect permalink display in SERPs.


Typical breadcrumbs may look like this:

Homepage > Category Page > Sub Category Page


Home page / Section page / Subsection page

How BreadCrums Effect SERP Display?

Carefully look at the snapshot below. The first link pointed by red arrow is of our second blog (SEM) and the second link pointed by green is of our current blog (MBT). We are using Breadcrumb in SEM for the past few months  just as experimentation and the results I obtained were not satisfactory. Breadcrumbs is only replacing the permalink which contains our rich keywords and replaces it with the category/label name. As you can see in the snapshot below, instead of displaying keywords in the permalink, Googlebot is instead picking the category title ( i.e. Social Media)  and displaying it instead of the keywords used in URL structure.

Note: I will surely delete Breadcrumb plugin from SEM as soon as I get time.

In MBT Googlebot is displaying the permalink (i.e. google-crawling...) instead of a label or category title because we use no Breadcrumb plugin in our blog. As a result we are getting extra benefit of exposing more keywords on Google search page, thus leading to a higher rank on search engine pages.

breadcrums effect site SEO

If you view any URL of Mashable or even SEOMoz in Google you will find that Google spiders are picking and displaying the permalink instead of the Category or tag title, because both these blogs are using no Breadcrumb plugins anywhere on there platforms.


mashable search display


seomoz search display

Both these two great blogs are making best possible use of keywords to rank higher on search pages to drive organic traffic. They both use no BreadCrum plugin for reasons we already discussed. Therefore you may avoid installing any such widget on your blogger blogs or any WP plugin at your wordpress blogs. Blogs have simple structure and the pages are not sorted too deep (can go to a maximum of two-three trails) so such a plugin serves less in terms of both usability and Optimization.

When can you use Breadcrumbs?

If you have an Ecommerce site where you sell merchandise and the number of pages or categories are heavily tagged then you will for sure use breadcrumb to serve your visitors more. This is one reason why you see this plugin on Ecommerce sites like Ebay. Since Ebay has dozens of pages that are linked to one another via tags therefore a breadcrumb is necessary to keep the user informed about his location on the site.

Do you still want to add it in your blogs?

Though breadcrumb serves no logic in case of blogs but still if you like these trailing links then you can use the rel="noindex"   attribute to inform the robots not to index or crawl the links. This is one way the links will not be indexed and thus wont appear at all in search results page. This is the same logic applied by ebay folks:

ebay breadcrums noindex

Need Help?

If I sounded too technical then please post your queries so that I could help more precisely. I hope this post clears many doubts linked to this Rootline trails and might have given you enough help in deciding what is best for your blog. Peace and blessings pals! :)

Are you using Breadcrumbs on your blog? If yes then what action have you decided after reading todays tutorial? 



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: Why Breadcrumbs are not SEO Friendly for your Blog?
Why Breadcrumbs are not SEO Friendly for your Blog?
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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