What are Google Breadcrumbs?

Whenever we search anything on Google, the URL of the search results are shown, right?
What Google did was change the URL visibility status and introduce a “breadcrumb” system which consists of precise guidelines as to where the user clicking on the words will visit.
The breadcrumb trails appear horizontally across the top of a webpage, below the title bars and/or the headers. The visitors are given a link back to the previous navigated pages in the hierarchical site structure.
A breadcrumb for BloggingTips looks like:
BloggingTips.com > About

Purpose of Breadcrumbs

  • Easy accessibility
  • Easy navigation
  • Easy URL display
Google describes the tool with the following words:
“The information in these new hierarchies come from analyzing destination web pages. For example, if you visit the ProductWiki Spidersapien page, you’ll see a series of similar links at the top, “Home> Toys & Games> Robots.” These are standard navigational tools used throughout the web called “breadcrumbs,” which webmasters frequently show on their sites to help users navigate. By analyzing site breadcrumbs, we’ve been able to improve the search snippet for a small percentage of search results, and we hope to expand in the future.”

Will it Improve Site Visibility and Rankings?

Yes, implementing the breadcrumb tool will add to the site’s visibility as per SEO rules. However, it is must that the tool is applied correctly so that the Google bots are able to recognize them.

How to add Breadcrumbs in WordPress themes?

If you are an avid WordPress user, you are itching to know how to add breadcrumbs to your WordPress theme.
The current crop of WordPress themes has the breadcrumbs in-built but in case, it isn’t so with your theme, you need to install it manually.
Follow these steps.
1. Open your theme’s function.php file with WordPress theme editor or simply download that using FTP.
2. Add the following code after the last line of the function.php file.
function the_breadcrumb( $before = null, $sep = ', ', $after = '' ) {
                   if ( null === $before )
                                      $before = __('Tags: ');
                   echo generate_the_tag_list($before, $sep, $after);
function generate_the_tag_list( $before = '', $sep = '', $after = '' ) {
return apply_filters( 'the_tags', generate_the_term_list( 0, 'post_tag', $before, $sep, $after ), $before, $sep, $after);
function generate_the_term_list( $id = 0, $taxonomy, $before = '', $sep = '', $after = '' ) {
                   $terms = get_the_terms( $id, $taxonomy );
                   if ( is_wp_error( $terms ) )
                                      return $terms;
                   if ( empty( $terms ) )
                                      return false;
                   foreach ( $terms as $term ) {
                                      $link = get_term_link( $term, $taxonomy );
                                      if ( is_wp_error( $link ) )
                                                         return $link;
                                      $term_links[] = '<a href="' . $link . '"property="v:title" rel="v:url">' . $term->name . '</a>';
                   $term_links = apply_filters( "term_links-$taxonomy", $term_links );
                   return $before . join( $sep, $term_links ) . $after;
3. Save the changes or/and upload the file at the right place through FTP.
4. Add the following code at the theme template where you want to show the breadcrumb list. If you want the Google breadcrumbs to show up on posts pages only, place the below code in single.php file otherwise, you can add the code anywhere on the site.
<div style="display:inline" xmlns:v="http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#">
<span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">
<a rel="v:url" property="v:title" href="http://www.yoursite.com">Home</a>
</span> »
<?php the_breadcrumb('<span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">', '</span> » <span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">', '</span>'); ?>
Note: Replace “www.yoursite.com” with your own home page URL.
Try this out and let me know if you faced any problems.