Breadcrumbs are the navigational features of a website that enable users to track where they are on that website and how far they are from the homepage. They also enable the users to backtrack to a web page that they had visited previously.
Breadcrumbs are used to develop an enhanced UX (user experience) and boost the website’s crawlability. They are generally positioned at the top of the website or just below the navigation bar (in some cases). Breadcrumbs can be easily implemented and they impact search engine optimization (SEO). Google is now displaying breadcrumbs in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and it is making use of these breadcrumbs to classify information in the search results.
Let us look at the different types of breadcrumbs based on the purpose they serve:
- Location-based breadcrumbs (Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs): These are the most commonly used among the types of breadcrumbs. They let the user know where he/she is within the site structure as well as how to return to the homepage.
- Attribute-based breadcrumbs: These are the type of breadcrumbs mainly used by the ecommerce sites to indicate what attributes the user has clicked.
- History-based breadcrumbs: This type of breadcrumbs indicate to the users what all pages in the site they have visited.
Now let us consider some of the benefits of using breadcrumbs:
- Breadcrumbs enhance the user experience (UX): Breadcrumbs enable the users to navigate the website easily and also prompt them to visit other sections of the website.
Breadcrumbs boost the site ranking: Google uses breadcrumbs to classify and review the content. This enables the websites using breadcrumbs to rank among the top 10 results in the search engine results pages (SERPs).