Breadcrumbs are used to confirm the site structure for search engines and enhance user experiences for website visitors.
A breadcrumb is a brief text path that often appears at the top of a page and indicates where a user is on a website. They also show up in Google search results so users can see easily where a page is located on your website.
Despite the fact that breadcrumb navigation is advantageous for both users and Google, it might not directly affect your organic search engine rankings.
In 2009, Google rolled out bread crumbs as an improvement to the way site hierarchies are shown in its search results. Each breadcrumb has a link that opens a specific page when clicked. Because of this, SEO experts began to suspect that breadcrumb navigation links might affect Google rankings.
When breadcrumbs were first introduced, they were thought of as a tool for making website navigation easier as well as an internal link structure to optimize. The information architecture of the content and the keyword strategy for a website were combined through breadcrumb linking.
Google still uses breadcrumbs even though search result displays have changed throughout the years. The industry leader in search suggests using breadcrumbs. But nobody with a direct connection to Google has ever formally acknowledged that it affects Google rankings.
Google’s John Mueller, tweeted in 2021 that the company uses breadcrumbs when crawling to find rich results and internal links. However, SEO will not affect where the breadcrumbs are placed on a page.
The Google ranking and breadcrumbs verdict
In addition to validating the site's structure for search engines, breadcrumbs ensure a positive user experience. They also create extra internal links, which could possibly affect your CTR.
However, there is no certainty that adding breadcrumb navigation to your web pages will significantly improve your results. Instead of emphasizing SEO and ranking, Google advises developers to employ breadcrumbs for UX and usability.
Does Having Breadcrumb Navigation Improve the Ranking of Your Website? The answer is that it won't improve your ranking.
A website does not inherently rank higher or better than its competitors just because it has navigation breadcrumbs. However, it is a well-known fact that websites with navigation breadcrumbs perform better over the long term than those without them because they provide users with a better and more stable user experience.
Having said that, it is quite acceptable if your website does not have navigation breadcrumbs and you do not wish to activate them on your site. Because Google and other search engines are aware that not every website owner would wish to display navigation breadcrumbs to users for personal reasons, omitting them from your website won't adversely affect its SEO or negatively affect its ranks. You are perfectly ok if you don't want to have it on your website because it is not exclusive.