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April 23, 2015

URL breadcrumbs on Google

Mobile optimisation

Performing a Google search on a mobile device, until now, has yielded the title, the URL and the meta data or a snippet of text taken directly from the landing page.

With the number of people using mobile devices steadily increasing worldwide, Google, being the largest search engine in the World, is proving that it will stay above the curve. Consumers are using their phones as their handheld computer, personal assistant, dictionary, local shop and more, and Google are trying to make this an easy and enjoyable experience. They are creating a new, mobile friendly world.

As of the 21st of April (2015) Google have introduced URL breadcrumbs; as of yet, only on mobile devices, but desktops could soon also see the move. This means that instead of the search result offering the full, often truncated, URL, it now breaks it down into breadcrumbs.



The new breadcrumbs are easier to read, instead of a host of forward slashes (/) and hyphens (-) it breaks it down into plain English. This means that if you have a simple and logical site structure, you should be safe and happy, you are already offering a lovely user experience and are adhering to a long-standing SEO best practice.

However, if your site structure is a little old, dusty and has many nooks and crannies hiding your pages and products deep within the structure, you could lose out on visits due to the search showing seemingly better and more digestible results from other, competitor sites.

Make sure that you make good use of a structured hierarchy and that the child pages are best placed. A good example would be:


This set of breadcrumbs will appear on the page like this:

Dresses > Cocktail Dresses > Cocktail Green Dresses

Phishing attacks

The new breadcrumbs actually make it harder for phishing sites to operate. This is because it shows the journey and if someone tries to mimic your site, the extra credentials are more likely to appear and be seen by the consumer in the increasingly legible Google search. i.e. > Basket instead of > Basket A little more applicable to banking but great to know that they are looking out for us.

Added extras from the new optimisations:

Search result landing pages

If you click on your search result, you may also notice that the search bar at the top of the page also simply shows the main website URL, cutting the rest of the string off. Making it much easier to glance upwards and remember which eCommerce site you’re on. Instead of seeing a protocol, your customer now sees your brand!

Talking about brands …

If, once you check out your breadcrumbs, you think that your URL is a little long and would like it to settle on the eye a little easier, then Google are also offering site name replacements. This means that in the search results, instead of seeing: > Dresses > Green Dresses

you would like to see:

Example Clothing > Dresses > Green Dresses

You can!

There are a few rules to follow and ultimately Google calls the shots but this is worth thinking about. It’s a little like getting your personalised Google+ account. You have to be honest mind, no drastic changes to your actual web address are allowed.

Last but not least

Mobile friendly

If you read our recent post about the new Google mobile friendly searches, you’ll know that if your site cuts the mustard then Google’s algorithms will push you up on mobile search views. If you’re finding a few issues then please read our follow up post about allowing Robots to read your page. So, once this is all in place, you’ll now notice that under the title and breadcrumbs, pops up a lovely little message saying ‚ÄòMobile-friendly’.

So now, your potential customers can easily see the hierarchy of your pages, helping them with future searches, they can see you’re mobile-friendly and when they go to the landing page, your brand/URL is reinforced. All in all, this creates a lovely little, clean experience for the user.

I could go on forever, it seems, but if you want to get in touch we can tell you all about it!