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Breadcrumbs in Website Navigation: User Experience & SEO

When navigating the vast digital landscape, breadcrumbs in website navigation serve as an essential tool. Inspired by “Hansel and Gretel,” the classic fairy tale, this term refers to a secondary navigation system that indicates a user’s location within a website or web application.

The current article is "2.27. Breadcrumbs" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
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The Concept of Breadcrumbs

Just as Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home, breadcrumbs in website navigation provide a trail for users to trace their journey back to the starting point. These breadcrumbs typically appear horizontally beneath the website’s masthead or primary navigation. They offer links to each preceding page the user has traversed to reach the current page. In a hierarchical site structure, they also link to the parent pages of the current one.

Visualizing Breadcrumbs

To visualize this, consider the following example:

Home > Electronics > Televisions > Product Page

In this breadcrumb trail:
Home” represents the highest-level page,
Electronics” is a category page nested under Home,
Televisions” is a sub-category page within Electronics and
Product Page” is the specific page the user is currently viewing.

Each element in the breadcrumb trail is a clickable link in the website navigation, allowing users to return to that page effortlessly. This action negates the need to use the browser’s back button or the website’s main navigation menu.

The Importance of Breadcrumbs in Website Navigation

Breadcrumbs in website navigation prove particularly useful on websites with a vast amount of content arranged hierarchically. They enhance the user experience by providing a visual guide to the website’s structure. Moreover, they can significantly contribute to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by offering internal links and keywords that boost search engine ranking.

Breadcrumbs not only guide users through your site. In addition, they also help search engines (like Google) understand your site’s structure, improving your visibility in search results.

Breadcrumbs may not be a direct Search Engine (like Google) ranking factor, but Google does care about it in the Google Seach Console, and they have a page for it in Google Docs. Finally, SEO is about technical aspects and user experience, and Breadcrumbs add to the user navigation experience.

Read More about Breadcrumbs in the Website Navigation

You can read more about Breadcrumbs’ technical details in Google Docs.


In conclusion, understanding and implementing breadcrumbs in website navigation is crucial to website design and SEO. It aids in user navigation and enhances the overall user experience while contributing positively to a website’s search engine ranking. We will implement Breadcrumbs with the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin in later chapters.

The current article is "2.27. Breadcrumbs" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 2.26. Robots.txt File. Next Article: 2.28. RSS Feeds SEO


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