June 16, 2024

Are Breadcrumbs Google Search Ranking Factor or Not?

By Sona Mathews

Are Breadcrumbs a Google search ranking factor? Do you want to optimize the Breadcrumbs for Google search ranking? Can Breadcrumbs influence rankings?

Breadcrumbs are part of every blog or website to make navigation easy for visitors. Breadcrumbs markup also helps search engines navigate through pages. According to Google, Breadcrumbs indicate page position in the hierarchy.

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In SEO, breadcrumbs are not the pieces of bread that you leave behind to avoid getting lost; rather, they are the navigation to old pages or posts that your user can find.

But do website breadcrumbs impact your Google search position? Let's find out.

Let's understand everything about breadcrumbs and their impact on search results.


Breadcrumbs help users navigate to old pages. Google also considers finding page positions in the site hierarchy.

Breadcrumbs on a website work as the trail to old posts or pages. With these, a user can quickly find relevant pages that are not linked to pages.

As breadcrumbs are important for navigation, they also impact user experience, which is necessary to rank in Google search results.

But are breadcrumbs a Google organic ranking factor? Let's find out.

Claim: Breadcrumbs is a Google Ranking Factor

Google started displaying site hierarchy in 2009. With this update, Google search results started displaying the page positions on websites.

It displays the root, folders, and subfolders.

As breadcrumbs started displaying in search results, SEO experts stated claiming it as a ranking factor.

Googleblog published a post explaining that breadcrumbs can improve search snippet position for a very small number of search results.

This is where SEOs started believing that breadcrumbs impact Google's organic search ranking.

Evidence: Breadcrumbs are a Google Search Ranking Factor

Google is scanning website pages based on their position, topics and subtopics. Breadcrumbs become essential to create a hierarchical structure where you place pages on their positions.

Google developer document structured data
explains that breadcrumbs markup helps Google categorize pages.

At the same time, a user can visit a page from different sources and keywords. This is because a page can rank for multiple queries.

For example, one of my top-ranking pages ranked for more than 1000 queries. It means that the user not only visited the page using the exact match keyword but also used synonyms or related queries.

You can specify multiple breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs markup makes it easy for Google to categorize the page regardless of queries.

Google's 2009 U.S. patent application also explains that the search engine giant can use breadcrumbs even when the web admin is not using them.

Breadcrumbs is there to help Google understand the website structure. This information helps to rank pages in search results.

But the Patent never saw daylight and was left abandoned.

Breadcrumbs Influence Google PageRank:

Google's PageRank technology is a link analysis system that ranks web pages or blog posts. Even though Google has retired the PageRank Toolbar, it is using PageRank technology to rank pages.

Google treat breadcrumbs as normal links, and it can pass link juice to other links.

Google is still using PageRank as a ranking signal.

Google Search Console Warning about Breadcrumbs:

Google Search Console featured a guide about breadcrumbs and published a warning that misuse of structured data can lead to manual action.

Google will only consider something like that when Breadcrumbs are part of ranking signals. Google search console also displays breadcrumbs structured data reports.

Google also sends breadcrumbs error-related emails to the web admins to help them fix the issues.

The purpose of the whole exercise is to fix breadcrumb errors and improve search results.

Conclusion: Breadcrumbs are a Google Search Ranking Factor

Breadcrumbs are impacting the search results. Google is serious about breadcrumbs and has talked about them in multiple documents, tweets, and posts.

Breadcrumbs work as normal links for Google, but they are important for displaying a clear website structure. They are also part of GSC. It is necessary to fix any breadcrumbs-related errors to avoid ranking-related issues.

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