If you are logging in to Google today you may have noticed a few changes. Google have updated the way it presents its results. No longer is the green text beneath the search title a URL, but a breadcrumb-like representation of the page’s location in the website and the site name.
This new format better reflects the name of the website as it uses the real-world website name at the forefront of the breadcrumb path, followed by the set of links which highlight the site’s navigation hierarchy. Well, at least that’s Google’s explanation although from early feedback not everyone seems to agree that the new format is an improvement. For websites to adapt to this change, Google is offering a new way for webmasters to signal site names and breadcrumb data to Google’s updated algorithms through a structured data markup here.
This update is showing us how Google could be setting the stage for their upcoming mobile-friendly update (launching next Tuesday, April 21st) which will give precedence to websites that want to have a presence in mobile search rankings.
Google says this is a “better presentation” of the pages you will be able to click on. Google said they are actually “updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format.”
The site name changes have already taken effect in US mobile search results and will soon roll out globally. The breadcrumbs update is already present in some UK search results. You can also add more than one breadcrumb trail as seen here.
The breadcrumbs change is something that Google have been testing for quite some time so despite the initial negative feedback across social media, this must be something that will add value to search results. What do you think?