Breadcrumb navigation is a secondary navigation on your website that is intended to help make a site more user friendly. They show the site hierarchy and help the user understand the websites organization and architecture. Breadcrumbs show the user how they got to a page and gives them an opportunity to get back to prior pages. This navigation typically appears horizontally at the top of a webpage below the title and they have a symbol such as > or >>, separating the current page from the path of pages they took to get there.
Breadcrumb navigation can be especially helpful for a user that landed on a page within your website from a search engine result or a link from another site. It helps the user orientate themselves on where they are within the site structure. This navigation starts with the homepage and ends with the current page the user is on.
Search engines like simulating the behaviors of users and the breadcrumb navigation helps the search engines understand the architecture of your site making it easier for them to read. Google is now integrating breadcrumb navigation in the search results which will help your site look more credible and shows the user other pages within your site related to the keyword they were searching. Breadcrumb navigation is an easy design element to incorporate into your website and it has become something users expect to see.
In this video, Benj Arriola, SEO Vice President at Internet Marketing Inc. explains breadcrumb navigation and its benefits.