How Googlebot Treats Multiple Breadcrumbs On E-Commerce Pages

Chris CrumeCommerce & RetailLeave a Comment

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Google has a new "Webmaster Help" video out about e-commerce pages with multiple breadcrumb trails. This is the second video in a row to deal specifically with e-commerce sites. Last time, Matt Cutts discussed product pages for products that are no longer available.

This time, he takes on the following question:

Many of my items belong to multiple categories on my eCommerce site. Can I place multiple breadcrumbs on a page? Do they confuse Googlebot? Do you properly understand the logical structure of my site?

"It turns out, if you do breadcrumbs, we will currently pick the first one," he says. "I would try to get things in the right category or hierarchy as much as you can, but that said, if an item does belong to multiple areas within your hierarchy it is possible to go ahead and have multiple breadcrumbs on a page, and in fact that can, in some circumstances, actually help Googlebot understand a little bit more about the site."

"But don't worry about it if it only fits in one, or if you've only got breadcrumbs for one," Cutts continues. "That's the way that most people do it. That's the normal way to do it. We encourage that, but if you do have the taxonomy (the category, the hierarchy), you know, and it's already there, and it's not like twenty different spots within your categories...if it's in a few spots, you know, two or three or four...something like that, it doesn't hurt to have those other breadcrumbs on the page. And we'll take the first one. That's our current behavior, and then we might be able to do a little bit of deeper understanding over time about the overall structure of your site."

For more about how Google treats breadcrumbs, you might want to take a look at this page in Google's webmaster help center. In fact, it even gives an example of a page having more than one breadcrumb trail (Books>Authors>Stephen King and Books>Fiction>Horror)

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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