I post in multiple categories, so is it better to have:

Consulting > Services > Implementation > Service A

Consulting > Services > Optimization > Service A

Consulting > Services > Upgrade > Service A


Consulting > Services > Implementation, Optimization, Upgrade > Service A

I was doing second way, the problem is google doesn't show 3rd set of crumbs. ie it only displays: Consulting > Services on search result.

But having multiple breadcrumbs on the page doesn't look good. any suugestions?

Update For @PatomaS 's question

I mean 3 lines of breadcrumbs, see above i have posted same article (Service A) in 3 categories (Implementation, Optimization, Upgrade). So you can reach same article through 3 categories. So whats the best breadcrumb to display on article 'Service A'?

  • I think your question should be a bit more clear, what do you mean by having multiple breadcrumbs?
    – PatomaS
    Nov 1, 2012 at 13:41
  • updated question. hopefully it made it clear. I want breadcrumb more for search engines to display it, rather than to visitors. I want more page value from search engines, so it rank better. Nov 1, 2012 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


The most important thing is that a search engine knows what the canonical, the original and unique version of "Service A" is.

If "Service A" can be reached via different contexts, locations, click paths, it's better to actively tell the search engine of the canonical version than creating a duplicate content problem and waiting for unwanted search engine decisions.

Take a look at this explanation about rel=canonical.

The next thing is: If every crumb of your bread is linked of what quality is the linked category page? If it's of any use or plays a measurable role within your site it might be recognized in the search results. If you talk about site links: They are only displayed if your site's structure is recognized by the search engine and the algorithm thinks it's worth for users to display entry points to your site.

Finally, what kind of breadcrumbs you use depends on the concept, goals and overall structure of your site (you didn't write about): Is it useful for your visitors to know the context the landed after a search? Is it better they know the click path? Or better (like in your example) to display more than one (or all) possible navigations to the content? Do what's best for the user.

From a SEO perspective some tend to give the search engine less options and display just one breadcrumb path, aiming for only presenting the "most important" category - whatever that is.

  • Thank you, thats a thoughtful answer. I wanted to vote you up but wasn't allowed as it says i need 15 reputation :( Nov 1, 2012 at 19:53

Categories are conceptual facts, bots don't care about that, they care about content itself, so they will check and index the page itself; if the page includes on it, somehow words that for you and your users are categories, is just coincidence.

If those words are surrounded with a specific markup that gives them some relevance, then bots will consider them as more special words.

About your content, if you published the document, and assigned three categories to it, the there is only one document, so don't worry about the seo of the breadcrumbs, the document by itself will get it's own relevance and ranking, and the words in the breadcrumbs will contribute to that.

If you published the same document three times, then you have problems, the first one is that you shouldn't have done that, the second is that bots will recognize the same content in different url's and that's not specially good, so then you have to use the canonical tag as initall mentioned. But it will be much better to rewrite the content and focus it on the category it's located.

Finally, about the specific limitation that you mention on Google, as mentioned, don't worry about that, the document itself will get it's own ranking, relevance and position in search results, which is more important. The algorithm may be dropping some levels of breadcrumbs in favor of more broad results; for specificity, they are showing your document already, and for a broader range, they are showing the two topmost categories.


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