Normally Newbie Webmasters receive this breadcrumbs error through the mail from the Google Search Console and they become extremely worried. Don’t worry it is a very common issue but should be resolved at the earliest to avoid any hindrance in the path of crawlers of Google or any other search engine.
But for that, you have to understand some basic things about breadcrumbs to avoid doing any mistakes in the future.
What are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are the navigational aids for Google to figure out the path of your website. They are in the form of a text path to tell the users where they are on the website.
Types of Breadcrumbs
- Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs: They are arranged in the form of a higher order to a lower order of a website. For example; Homepage> Category> Blog> Post Title. Every link should be clickable to ease the visit of the user. They are the most commonly used breadcrumbs.
- Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs: Normally E-commerce stores have these kinds of breadcrumbs. They help the user to categorize the product. For example; Homepage> Product Categories> Products> Specific Brands.
- History-Based Breadcrumbs: They tell a visitor how they have been browsing a particular website. For example; Home> Previous Blog> Previous Blog> Current Blog.
So, Google also uses these breadcrumbs to navigate and crawl your website. Any error will eventually affect the indexation and user experience of a webpage.
How to Fix this Issue?
Simple steps to resolve this breadcrumbs issue are;
- Breadcrumbs in Google Search Console:
- Navigate directly through the email received or go to the Google Search Console and then click “Breadcrumbs”.
- Affected Items:
- A list of “Affected Items” will be there telling the number of affected URLs by this issue.
- Example Section with Affected URLs:
- Below the “Affected Items”, an “Example” section will tell you the exact URLs which are affected.
- Check the Category of Every URL:
- Open the affected URL and check the “Category” section of the post. Make sure to select some category for the URL. Every affected URL should have a selected category.
- Check Post Titles and Slugs:
- Check the Post Title and Permalink (Slug) of this affected URL to make sure that it does not have any missing post title or any unusual characters respectively.
- Repeat for every Affected URL:
- Repeat these steps for every affected URL.
- Navigate to the Category Section of the Website
- Now go to the “Category” section of your website in WordPress. If your theme has separate ‘Posts’ and ‘Blogs’ features then check the categories of both Posts and Blogs.
- Check Each Category for Any Missing Field
- Go through each and every created category and make sure that each category has a valid ‘Name‘, ‘Slug‘, and ‘Description‘. None of these attributes should be left empty.
- Install Yoast SEO Plugin:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search “Yoast SEO” plugin > Install & Activate it.
- Go to Search Appearance:
- After activation look for the Yoast SEO icon in the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard and hover over the “Yoast SEO” icon and Click “Search Appearance“.
- Select Breadcrumbs:
- Select “Breadcrumbs” from the panel and in the blank field of “Anchor text for the Homepage“, just type “Home” and click “Save Changes“.
- Validate Fix:
- Go back to the “Google Search Console” and click “Validate Fix” and it will start checking and validating the fix. That’s it.
Normally with 2-3 affected URLs, Google takes 2-3 Days to inform you about the success or failure of your attempted validation. However, it may take as long as two weeks to update any status of this breadcrumb issue. So, be patient.
All the data on your website should be well structured. In short, there should not be any page on your website that Google thinks of as an ‘Orphaned Page’. This fix is all about establishing links between different pages. It will help Google in navigating through your website easily which will eventually get your website a better ranking. It makes navigation easy for the visitors which increases time on your website and also decreases the bounce rate. All these factors contribute to a good user experience.
Do you have any suggestions for this solution? If you have, please don’t hesitate to leave feedback either through the comment section or through the “Contact Us” page.
Have a Good Day!