Not sure if this is new or not, but it something that we have not seen before. Depending on the nature of your query, we are seeing Google displaying breadcrumb links where they previously displayed a site's link in the search engine results.
Similar to how Google has been displaying site links, we are seeing Google display your site's breadcrumb navigation where they typically display the green link to the page that we are accustomed to seeing. Of course this is providing that you have a clear and well organized hierarchy on your site. This of course speaks to the importance of leveraging breadcrumb navigation. We all know how important it is for usability of your site, but with this latest experimentation, it looks as though clear and well defined breadcrumb navigation can provide some additional SEO benefit as well.
We will have more on the importance of breadcrumb navigation later this week, but for now we will leave you with a few examples of what we are seeing in the Google SERPs based on a series of random queries that we have tested. Notice some of the larger brands that are having their breadcrumb displayed on the Google SERP?
A search for "winter tires" returned this result for Consumer Reports.org:
A search for "renters insurance" returned this result for Geico:
A search for " Lego Battles for Nintendo DS" returned the following result for Toys R Us:
Did we mentioned that the other cool thing about this feature is that all of the breadcrumb links are actually hyper-linked meaning that the user can potentially click through on upwards of 3 or four additional links that they did not have access to previously via the listing in the Google SERP (Search Results Page). I personally like this feature as it does provide a richer search experience and can help the user find the information that they are looking for in less time. Expect to see more of this as Google continues to roll this out.
Labels: breadcrumb navigation