I was doing some research on breadcrumbs an came across the following resources:

So Matt Cutts says that breadcumbs are new to SERPS in SEO, that was around 2010, but he gives the following advice:

  1. See that the breadcrumbs reflect the correct hierarchy of the website.
  2. Use delimiters (ahhhh .. for what ?? i am confused. )

And the secound article that I have linked of course is of most recent origin.

Well now coming to the difficulty I am facing , so I have been handed over a site, it does have breadcrumbs in it, now my question is going to be about the content and the HTML structure of the breadcrumbs.

The HTML of my breadcrumbs is as follows:

<div class="row bread">
                        <ol class="breadcrumb">
                            <li class="bre-1"><a href="lala.html">1-6 LTR<span></span></a></li>
                            <li class="bre-2"><a href="lala2.html">6-12 LTR <span></span></a></li>

Is that good HTML structure for the breadcrumbs (at this point I remember Matt said "delimeters are good" ..... where do I add it though?), in general, can I further optimize the HTML structure?

And now coming to the content of the breadcrumbs, suppose I have a site of shoes, what content do I use for the breadcrumbs, Technical lingo (eg shoes > 1-6 > 6) VS user readable lingo (eg. shoe-sizes > shoe-sizes 1-6 > shoe-size 6 ), my site seems to use the former, EVERYWHERE and my instinct says that thats horrible to do (smarty mentions in her article to keep the content on breadcrumbs user readable and not to go too much into adding keywords there ... I like this approach), problem is I have no evidance (I am a SEO newbie) to show my boss that doing eg shoes > 1-6 > 6 is BAD, so can somebody tell me, is using ONLY technical lingo bad?

To summarize I have two questions about breadcrumbs, i.e., is the HTML I have used easy for Google to identify as breadcumbs, also is the content that I currently have in my breadcrumb text of any good?

  • BTW- the delimiter in your case is the >. You can experiment with others, such as, :: as an example. I do not think it matters what it is. In your case, they would go between the li tags. You want to make the breadcrumbs for users. They should be clear to anyone. In your example, using the term sizes is important but I would not repeat the term shoe. Otherwise, the breadcrumbs could be ignored as being spammy.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


A delimiter is simply a character (or more than 1) that separates content parts of data. For example:

> , / »

So, the right angle bracket > you used in your examples are considered delimiters.

The second one you suggest is redundant. It repeats the same keyword. There's no need. Nothing to add about importance of user-centric approach in writing breadcrumbs. But in this case, I think the one you consider "technical lingo" is in reality the better for users.

If I have a parent category that says "Shoe sizes", I guess that the child of it would be a shoe size. In the case of a group of shoe size, I guess the grand-children would be a single size.

For further help in implementation, you should look at this thread that explains how to use structured data.

Breadcrumb using Schema.org rich snippets


There is a good chance that google understands your current breadcrumb method, class, and separators, especially if it mirrors category structure. You could indeed further enhance it with rich data via Schema.org semantics. Here is the Google guide as well as the recommended Schema.org reference. There is also the older "legacy" data-vocabulary reference. Keep in mind, Google will pick and choose which crumbs it shows. It depends on what fits in the tiny horizontal SERP space and what is most relevant to the query.

As far as how the chain goes, def use keywords in a minimal way. I would use neither of your approaches. Pardon any brevity (& opinion), but if there is 1 main parent, it should be called shoes. Then for each child, just put sizes 1-6 > size 6. If you decide to stick with your current suggested, don't use a hyphen between shoe size.

Also, if this crumb list matches categories in an ecom platform, make sure the categories have better page titles and <h1> than their category title suggests from this crumb list. For example, a category might show sizes 1-6 as its util title, and for crumbs and stuff...but when visiting that category, the page title and <h1> should be far more rich and descriptive. This is where you can get away with putting extra descriptor or long tail keywords in. Hope that makes sense :)


I'd recommend changing your breadcrumbs to the human readable lingo because it's human friendly. Also, because shoe-size 6 might be a keyword that people type in Google, as compared to 6. It might help increase your CTR in organic search when someone typing shoe-size 6 matches your site's breadcrumbs.

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