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Structured Data - Breadcrumbs


Structured Data - Breadcrumbs

This article looks specifically at breadcrumbs and how using microdata to mark-up events on a website, for broader information on mark-up code please follow the link. For extensive and definitive information on Schema please follow this link.

Please follow the links below to see examples and explanations of how to implement code for:

Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation is a navigational path that illustrates to site visitors where they are within the website's hierarchical structure.

Using structured data to mark-up breadcrumb navigation enhances the way pages appear within the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) which can positively affect (Click Through Rates) CTRs and thus rankings.

Additionally microdata can assist in advising Google on a site’s structure making it easier for them to determine hierarchy and content grouping. The example below shows how the SERPs can display microdata on breadcrumbs:

Google are actually able to present URL’s like this without mark-up data now, if they are able to determine your website’s hierarchy. Breadcrumbs and the mark-up code applied to them, still help to define this structural relationship between your content and structure.

Mark-up Guidelines using Microdata

Google has provided guidelines for using microdata or RDFA markup to enable easier indexing of a website’s breadcrumbs by its crawlers. It is recommended that all breadcrumbs include microdata mark-up to enable enhanced SERP snippets with breadcrumb links.

Breadcrumb Properties

We have defined the properties that can be used in the breadcrumb mark-up code here and we show you how to use these afterwards:




The title of a breadcrumb


The URL of a breadcrumb


The next breadcrumb in the hierarchy. The child must be another Breadcrumb item


Indicates that the contents are an item


Defines the type of item contained within an ‘itemscope’


Defines a property of the item, e.g. ‘URL’ or ‘Title’

Example Breadcrumb Code

The code below would create a breadcrumb navigation trail on a page:

You are here: <a href="">Home</a> &gt;
<a href="">Category</a> &gt;
<a href="">Example Title</a>

In order to mark this data up we first need to wrap our breadcrumbs with a DIV, this explains to the robots crawling the site that this DIV contains a breadcrumb.
For example: add <div itemscope itemtype="" id="breadcrumbs">

The second step is defining the items in that DIV. We define all of the URLs as URLs, we define the first page in the trail as the Title, and we define the rest of the pages in the trail as Children in the path. This is what the end result would look like:

<ol itemscope itemtype="">
  <li itemprop="itemListElement" itemscope itemtype="">
    <a itemprop="item" href="">
    <span itemprop="name">Widgets</span></a>
    <meta itemprop="position" content="1" />
  <li itemprop="itemListElement" itemscope itemtype="">
    <a itemprop="item" href="">
    <span itemprop="name">Red Widgets</span></a>
    <meta itemprop="position" content="2" />

In the above example we can see that we are defining the ‘Title’, the ‘URL’ and the ‘Child’ elements of the breadcrumb in-line with what robots can read and understand. Breadcrumbs

The major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have agreed upon a collection of schemas that help structure and identify elements within a website. was established to document the standards which can define the structure of a webpage, including using microdata to structure breadcrumbs.

Raptor Tools!

Our range of SEO Tools include checking for and making specific implementation instructions for on your site. Use Raptor to find out where you have used mark-up code, if its implemented correctly and where it is missing.


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