I noticed most wordpress themes use breadcrumbs but "hard coded" without any structured data. So even though the breadcrumbs appear on the page, it's just normal markup without any data-vocabulary or schema properties.

My question is, will search engines still pick up on them? Are there any benefits ( from a search engine point of view , not the user's ) of using them at all without structured data?

I ask from an SEO point of view, not the visitor's, because the visitor will obviously benefit from them regardless of structured data or not.

Thank you

  • Might be relevant to know if all of the links that would be part of the breadcrumbs are still available without the breadcrumbs, and if they’d have the same or different anchor texts.
    – unor
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


Personally, I don't bother with marking up the breadcrumbs. For blog posts and etc. I focus on published date and author. If you have a well structured site you should be in a good shape.

Most WordPress sites are terrible at handling breadcrumbs in the first place. Especially when there are multiple categories that are related to the same content and etc.

Is marking up breadcrumbs beneficial? Sure, as with anything related to SEO, the more you can do to help yourself the better. However, should it be on top of your TO-DO list? Probably not.

  • I had hard-coded bread-crumbs that I converted to mark-up. Currently I am removing them, but may put them back in the end as I figure out how they best can help users as a I change the site. Google was spotty as h3ck when it came to bread-crumbs despite the automation and simple solid way that the bread-crumbs were created- no spamming- I did them for users. I found absolutely NO SEO value what so ever, however I reserve the right to be a dumb@$$ and may change my mind later. ;-) I have done some really stupid things in the past year or so... so I may not be standing on solid ground.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 15:36
  • @closetnoc the only potential value I see is in SERP landscape for breadcrumbs. But then again it would really depend on what the end goal is.
    – dasickle
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 16:25
  • That was where I was disappointed. Only some of the SERP links reflected the breadcrumbs- extremely few compared to how many existed. I will likely try again. I have a slightly new model but since I have soooooooo many higher priority items on my list and none of any of my site is really a high priority (I am goofing off mostly testing ideas and what not) it might take a while to implement. I might roll something into my (not really a CMS) system that I wrote. It could be much faster and interesting that way. I wonder if I could my hierarchy object for that??
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 18:00
  • @closetnoc, have you changed your position re breadcrumbs value since this time?
    – Trebor
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 17:01

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