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We are designing breadcrumbs trail for a 'Products for Sale' site. Site will have products from several retail companies. Breadcrumbs will have

Home > Prod Category > Prod sub category > state > city

There can be many companies having physical stores in several states and cities and they may also sell products online. A given product can fall under multiple categories. For example, a shoe may fall under two categories - Footwear and Outdoors-Gears. Thus, there will be numerous breadcrumbs trails leading to the same canonical page.

Users buying online will not care about the state and city but a user looking for a physical store will.

  1. Should State and city come first?

    Home > state > city > Footwear Boots > weather proof

    v/s

    Home > Footwear Boots > weather proof > state > city

    What would be better from the SEO perspective given that the product category and location both are equally important? Products would be available at physical locations and some people would prefer to go to the location in person. So the location is as important as the category.

  2. Because the product category names can be very long, will it be better to abbreviate them and have the title tag contain full category name? Can it have a negative effect on SEO?

    This will cause h1 tag, title of the page and*URL to differ from the Breadcrumb name.

2 Answers 2

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Breadcrumbs visualize the user's place in the structure of a website. In general terms, breadcrumbs represent the hierarchical structure of a website, but not your understanding of the importance of a product.

If we talk about the hierarchical structure of the website, then it makes sense to create a landing page that completely represents one product and indicates in the content a list of available places (countries, cities) for this product. In content representing the localization of a product, it makes sense to provide a link to the canonical content representing that product. However, localization only makes sense to represent the physical stores offering the product.

Therefore, it makes sense to give priority in the hierarchical structure to the product and not to localization. With proper use of local SEO, your product should appear in the SERP for the search term "(product name) near me (user and product localization close)".

I am not considering here the possibility that your products are unique to some countries.

More generally, there is not enough information for a more informed answer.

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  • Updated the question with more info. Consider physical store in multiple cities and multiple categories.
    – marcg
    Mar 30, 2023 at 12:51
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Why do you need to put the state and the city in the path? Internet has no frontiers, only when you indicate your postal direction. Anyway, if you need it:

The state and the city are more like a filter for the main categories, so it's logical to use first the category and then apply the localization. The breadcrumbs should match the URL path.

Keep in mind that you could split it to "tag territory". However, a descending path is very intuitive.

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  • See popular site like crexi.xom They have breadcrumbs like Crexi / For Sale / GA / Atlanta / Office So they put category last. State and city first
    – marcg
    Mar 28, 2023 at 16:08

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