The above image shows two same search engine results page (SERP) listings, with different display URLs: the one on the top is the direct display of the page URL while the one below is what’s happening – site hierarchies display URL.
Google has announced site hierarchies display in the Display URL positions, which replaces the URL in some search results with a hierarchy showing the precise location of the page on the website.
The new hierarchies display provides valuable context and new navigation options. The changes are rolling out now and should be available globally in the next few days. Well optimized sites would have their SERP listings enhanced by showing the hierarchies. Why?
Site hierarchy display URL provides more information to the searchers, making the site stand out. Not to mention the bolded keywords in the display URL if you do it right.
How Does Google Get Site Hierarchies Information for Display?
Webmasters frequently show a navigational tool called “breadcrumb” above the main content to help users navigate. By analyzing site breadcrumbs, Google is able to improve the search snippet for a small percentage of search results.
It remains a question mark now whether and what will be replaced with if a page does not have breadcrumb. Should you build breadcrumbs navigation for Google?
Benefits of Breadcrumbs Navigation
No. You should not. But, you should build one for your users.
- Breadcrumbs make it easier for users to move around the site
- When the main navigation doesn’t quite meet their needs, users turn to breadcrumbs.
- Breadcrumbs show people their current location helping them understand where they are
- Breadcrumbs never cause problems in user testing
- Breadcrumbs take up very little space on the page
Other than the usability benefits, breadcrumbs can boost your search engine rankings, the SEO benefit.
How to Build Good Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are easy to build with a horizontal line that progresses from the highest level (homepage) to the lowest (the current page), one step at a time.
Use a simple text link for each level; it’s best to include keywords in the text. Don’t make it too long, though. And, use a simple, one-character separator between the levels (like “>” or “-“).