One of the attendees from my recent Stansted SEO training course asked.
Google now shows breadcrumbs instead of the URL under the title search results on our WordPress website. In this case, is Google still scanning the URL for keywords or is it only scanning the breadcrumb contents?
Google tends to show the breadcrumb when it thinks the parent pages are relevant and that it might be useful to the visitor to understand the structure of the website. Remember that Google looks at the theme of a site as well as the individual page. Also remember that you should always include the page description in your URL and also the anchor text (Remember the Google Bomb). The following example shows why.
Here is a snippet that I generated by searching for “Cheap Laptops”.
Here is the URL of the page:
Some of the terms are included in the URL but this isn’t where the breadcrumb terms came from:
Take a look at this screenshot:
Notice that the breadcrumb terms come from the menu bar.
Notice that the terms in the Breadcrumb come from the anchor text in the menu bar. Therefore, to optimise your relevance make sure that the theme of the site, the anchor text and the URL terms are all correlated with titles that you want to promote.
As for the slump in ranking, I couldn’t say without doing a detailed analysis. I can say though, with almost certainty, that it’s not because of the breadcrumb trail.