Google appears to be testing breadcrumbs in some search results, at least in some areas. If you are unfamiliar with the term breadcrumbs, it refers to the hierarchical display commonly used in site navigation. For example: Home Page>Product Page>Product A Page. Several bloggers have noticed Google displaying these types of breadcrumbs in various places in seemingly random results to some queries.
Google’s use of breadcrumbs appears to only be a test, and a limited one at that. Google has talked repeatedly about sites having good site architecture in the past. This allows Google to more easily and quickly crawl sites.
Bing acknowledges this too. Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center recently said, “You can have great content and a plethora of high quality inbound links from authority sites, but if your site’s structure is flawed or broken, then it will still not achieve the optimal page rank you desire from search engines.”
Here are some tips from both Google and Bing regarding site architecture issues. In addition, Google recently provided this related information on getting your site crawled faster.
If Google begins incorporating the breadcrumbs display as in the above tests, on a mainstream level, that will be all the more reason to clean your site architecture up, at least in the navigation area. Site architecture certainly goes beyond this, but it is a key part of usability anyway.
Have you seen breadcrumbs show up in Google results? What do you think about the idea? Share your thoughts.