Is It Able to Create a Breadcrumb Dynamically Then Appeared in the SERP?

Wadd
If a breadcrumb trail is created as a user navigates a website, how is a breadcrumb trail going to appear to a crawler (spider)?
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Truslow 🎓
You mean – it creates breadcrumbs dynamically based upon where the user has been previously? If so.. then it won't. Spiders don't crawl that way nor do they take cookies or whatever other method you're using to track and generate them.

Wadd ✍️ » Truslow
Yeah I am talking about true breadcrumbs Truslow (as I would code them out – to appear as a trail (IE the story)).
They are clearly worthless 100% to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) yeah? (but hmmmmmm tricky for sticky…)
As usual with anything even remotely tech and I.T. – I am reading different definitions of what breadcrumbs are – you couldn't make it up.
Truslow 🎓
Yeah – I mean… Google makes a picture of that journey based upon how things are linked together – but it also makes a picture of every potential journey. So… you really wouldn't want it locking in on "one single" journey it took through the site anyway.
It DOES try (and seems to be getting a bit better at) to understand user journeys. In fact, with the announcement of MUM, they have been tossing that term around fairly liberally. But it's going to look at the term the searcher put in and try to put them in the right spot of the right journey to get them to the place they want to end up. That's why I always recommend tiered content going from broad to more specific in nature. Google is going to try to get them to the most specific answer it can determine based upon what they typed in – but if what they put in is vague, they can move them up one tier and drop them there. And then that way the user can be in a place where if they wanted this – it's the next level down over here, but if they wanted that instead, it's the next level down over here, and so on. We either need to kick ass at linking or help things along with a good site structure overall right now, but some of the things I'm reading suggest that the whole roof is going to blow off of that – and soon, too. People still thinking about just keywords and linking pages based upon "related keywords" are already having some harder times nowadays – but in a year or two… it's going to be impossible to work that way.
I like to develop faceted navigation methods. Not just categories, but "tags" or other taxonomies that can be combined together to make more specific things – and because they are natural taxonomies already established – breadcrumbs work based upon the way they came in too. Google is pretty good (though not perfect) at dropping them in on the path there that has the primary means they want to access things, too.
Wadd ✍️ » Truslow
I think user journeys were mapped out with webmaster tools at one stage – in a very respectable graphical format.
(I could be thinking of some other software doing it – but I am fairly confident it was within Google somewhere… hmmm – a long time ago that)
"We either need to kick ass at linking or help things along with a good site structure overall right now, but some of the things I'm reading suggest that the whole roof is going to blow off of that – and soon, too."
That is my gut feeling as well.
Tim » Truslow
Can you explain more when you say "not just categories, but other "tags" or other taxonomies that can be combined together to make more specific things"? I really appreciate your insights and I'd love to learn more about this.
Truslow 🎓 » Tim
Am a bit befuddled in the head right now… so not sure I can give a good explanation. This is a decent one, though:
In there she talks a lot about making sure Google DOES NOT crawl all the millions of variations – but the real trick – and the magic – comes when you control the ones it DOES crawl. Those ones that represent combinations that represent high volume searches – get them in there.
SEARCHENGINEJOURNAL.COM
Faceted Navigation: Best Practices for SEO
Tim » Truslow
Thanks!
Truslow 🎓
As for the definitions… yeah. We use them in tech differently than the real world scenario. They typically don't show you where you've been like leaving a trail of real world breadcrumbs (which is why I asked) but rather, they show you where you are in relationship to home. So… they don't show where you've been, but show you a step by step path back to the top or home.
Wadd ✍️ » Truslow
Maybe – to satisfy the true meaning, and the stupid twisted I.T. meaning, I should put session managed breadcrumbs on a page, right next to "the route to home" links.
"We use them in tech differently than the real world scenario."
Yes. You know… just so people can understand a concept – we change it. The IT industry seems to take pride in itself over this kind of thing… and fights to justify such behaviours.
Truslow 🎓 » Wadd
You could add them. And they would be useful for the user, I think. I'd probably call it "recent pages" or something to avoid confusion. I dunno. Eventually reality or the origins of things no longer matter and you just need to follow suit. Though I resisted forever, I still sometimes neglect to spell Web Site (the proper and original name) a website (the modern name). And my grammar checkers scream all day long. lol
Google won't trigger that though – each bot hit is a unique session so… it wouldn't build a path to show there.
Tech has always done that.
Cookies. Canonicals. Web, Surfing, Hardware and Software… they are all words either derived from metaphors or analogies or simply words stolen by tech.
Personally, I love Spam. But spam? Not so much.
Wadd ✍️ » Truslow
I know – I've been a dev for 35 years 🙁 – the crap i've heard spouted… 🙁
just a bit of waffle – the thing I always disliked was "backlink" – it implies a link out, then a back link back in. I always thought "inbound link" was far far better.

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Lee
Breadcrumbs should not be 'created' as a user navigates a website.
Breadcrumbs should be part of site architecture planning. They almost always relate to the url, and sub folder structures if implemented in an optimal way.
Therefore the user and bot understand where they are on the site.
For most out of the box Content Management System (cms), I guess breadcrumbs are built in and enable the admin to change/optimise based on the site architecture, folder, url, page template structure. (eg category, product page templates for an ecommerce site).
If a custom site, built from scratch by a team a developers as the large ecommerce site I work in is, then breadcrumbs are built and considered by developers – again, relating to url, folder, subfolder, category and product pages in my case.
Bottom line is breadcrumbs should be in place if you have navigational depth, regardless of kind of site you're on.
They should be planned and appear as part of page template, url structure and folder 📂 architecture of the site as mentioned above.
They should never be "created" on the fly as and when a user lands on a page, or yes Googlebot won't know what's going on.
To really do things right, Google 'breadcrumbs structured data/schema' and have you or a dev implement it.
Yes, with relation to breadcrumbs effecting Search Engine Optimization (SEO), they definitely do.
They help bots better crawl and understand relevance/architecture , which in turn will help ranking signals more relevant for each page. Structured data breadcrumbs increase the chance of ranking higher for rich results in Google search too.

Wadd ✍️ » Lee
"They should never be "created" on the fly" – you mean like the real breadcrumbs were?
Lee » Wadd
I mean like the other person said, they shouldn't have the code compile/render/pull data and actually 'create' the breadcrumbs an each instance a user navigates to any specific page. Or Googlebot has no chance of finding that.
Best to have breadcrumb content served in first page load/server response to browser, in HTML view source if possible. Without needing further javascript server or client side rendering execution to load the breadcrumbs.
If this isn't done because of site set up, development, site architecture, it shouldn't be an issue if full javascript DOM rendering is needed before loading the breadcrumbs.
Wadd ✍️ » Lee
The question is not one of a method of rendering.
The question is more along the lines of.
Should breadcrumbs be a list of links the surfer just came from since they arrived at the site and started surfing the the site? (thus dynamic)
or
Should breadcrumbs be a list of links which a surfer can use to navigate back home, from the page the surfer is on. (thus static)
It is – as you will appreciate – a none subtle difference.
Lee » Wadd
The second one!
Wadd ✍️ » Lee
And yep – that is what I think an "online breadcrumb" is. Whereas – you will see – w3 below …
"A breadcrumb navigation provide links back to each previous page the user navigated through, and shows the user's current location in a website."
Shall we just examine this page?
🙂
How To Make a Breadcrumb Navigation
W3SCHOOLS.COM
How To Make a Breadcrumb Navigation
Lee » Wadd
That's all straight forward and easy to see hey! 🙂
The thing you need to focus on is how the breadcrumbs are pulled/displayed/the data part. That page is just the simple code of how to actually code them in HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), it's the functionality and things I mentioned in previous comments you need to focus on. Find out how your cms or devs on your site handle breadcrumbs as a component.
You can by all means hard code them in manually to each page, as in the W3schools link. But obviously that's manual and will take planning, making changes when needed etc.
That would be effective if you only have a small number of pages on your site to manage. Guess that's the next question, how big is your website, total pages etc?
The site I manage has about 200,000/300,000 pages, so you can see why manually coding breadcrumbs is not an option!
Wadd ✍️ » Lee
I am the dev Adam – I am really only talking about the use of the term "breadcrumbs" in this thread.
(mine would be session based probably if user dynamic breadcrumb links were the order of the day (and served dynamically with the page request rather than any ajax invocation to get them or whatever else) – or DB driven probably if they were simply static and based on the data structures and data in the DB which was being used to drive the site.)
What do you think of the w3 link above?
Lee » Wadd
One simple thing is breadcrumbs should show which page the user is on. Regardless of their journey or how they landed on it. That's the way to look at it.
Wadd ✍️ » Lee
I think conceptually – which ever type we are looking at – they show more than just the current page.
Lee » Wadd
Imagine you hard coded the breadcrumbs in the w3 example, manually, statically on a page.
It wouldn't matter if the user navigated from home page, first category, next category and landed on the page or got to the same page by navigation on site in any other way , or if the exact same page ranked, was found and clicked in Google. The user would still see the same breadcrumbs! That's the key.

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