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Should Breadcrumbs be Used on All Pages and Category Pages?

What are breadcrumbs?

A breadcrumb is a section of a webpage that reveals user’s location within the whole website. On websites having large number of pages, breadcrumbs improve the chances of finding the website sections and pages. They usually appear on the top of the page and are coded by the webmaster.

Where should we use them?

Breadcrumbs should be used for large websites that have large number of pages. An excellent example is Ecommerce websites, in which a large number of products are placed in different categories. Do not use breadcrumbs for websites that do not have any logical grouping.

Breadcrumbs should not be used on all pages. Since breadcrumb trails have linear structures therefore using them will be difficult if the pages of your websites can not be grouped or classified into neat categories. Use of breadcrumbs largely depends on the design of your website hierarchy. Breadcrumb trails are ineffective when a lower-level page is in more than one parent category. In such a case, breadcrumb trails are ineffective and can confuse the users. In addition, when sizing your breadcrumb trail, it should not be the first item to grab the user’s attention on a page. They should be displayed in the upper half of the page but below the primary navigation menu.

Breadcrumbs should be used only to help the users and not for the sake of adding good anchor text and be sure not to link the current page to itself. Another important thing that should be kept in mind while placing breadcrumbs is that never replace main navigation with them. In addition, breadcrumbs should be used consistently. This makes the user browsing safer and allows him/her to familiarize with the structure of the website. Never use breadcrumbs in the page title tag because it makes title lengthy and un-targeted.