Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb Navigation featured image
23 Nov 2022
Dharmesh Patel

Breadcrumb Navigation


What Is Breadcrumb Navigation And Its Benefits

A fan of James Bond movies may have heard about breadcrumbs where he leaves a trail so that he can be traced. The term ‘breadcrumbs’ is understood to have been inspired by the fairytale story of Hansel and Gretel, in which they leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back. Breadcrumb navigation refers to a graphical widget like a scroll bar or a button that helps the user to navigate through any user interface. When a user has reached a webpage they don’t need, they can retrace back to the main page or the previous location on a website.


It is easy to locate the breadcrumb navigation widget on a web page or multiple-page websites. In simple terms, this refers to the “Back” button or navigational tool placed below the header. It is also present on software web application software like Windows. This navigational widget is mostly a horizontally placed arrow that indicates going back to the previous page. This page will again lead back to the one before it. It is a hierarchy or systematic page progression where you are using the ‘back’ button to retrace your steps.  


Why do we need the breadcrumb navigation? It is a secondary navigation tool and is not a replacement for the main navigation features of a website. Its presence greatly helps in quick navigation steps by a user.

  • It provides an easy and quick navigation method for multiple-page websites. When a user reaches a page, they don’t wish to be on, an action to go back can be initiated. This navigation bar helps in an easy return to the page before or even the Home Page. 
  • If there is a need to use the website’s main navigation map to go to the previous page or the home page, it is a single-click operation to return. 
  • Ease of navigation and quick solutions for movement within a website is the key to keeping a user engaged. A complicated process of navigation and a website is most likely to lose online traffic. User’s experience becomes easy and quick using breadcrumb navigation. This shows the user where they are located on a website and how they can go back to the earlier page. It also helps to reduce the bounce rate effectively. 
  • Search engines use breadcrumbs as an online software tool for evaluating websites and their ease of navigation. It affects the way individual websites are ranked on the SERP results. 


There are three types or categories of breadcrumb navigation. They are as follows. 

  • The first is the locational type of breadcrumbs used in a hierarchical website. In this a user in a multi-page website can easily find their location and go back to the page they are looking for. When a search engine provides web links to a search query, the user directly lands on the product or information page. If they do not find it useful, they can explore the other pages or links of the website by using the link to the previous page.  
  • The next type is the history-based breadcrumb. In this, the user is shown the trail or progression of the links to reach a web page.  The user can see the page links they have crossed to reach a particular page. If they need to note the location, this will be helpful for future navigation. 
  • Attribute-based breadcrumb is the third type. This is frequently visible on eCommerce websites. In this type of navigation, a user can see a specific product or service-related attribute mentioned in the progression links that describe the route to the present page.


Breadcrumb navigation helps in the easy navigation of a website and allows the user to know their exact location. This is effective in the search engine optimization process of a website gaining them visibility and enhanced SERP rankings. Major search engines evaluate websites based on this feature and it enhances their rankings on SERP results. This is a simple feature that enables the convenience of web page movement for a first-time user. It is encouraging for them to explore further even if they do not find the result page very useful. In eCommerce websites, this feature proves beneficial in engaging the interest of the visitor. The choice of breadcrumbs is on the website owner and the designer. A correct choice from the three types of breadcrumbs can be effective for success in SEO and finding online traffic for a website.