Breadcrumb Trails Come To AdWords

Display URLs on AdWords search ads are getting another element — breadcrumb trails, a set of links next to the URL that lets users navigate directly to relevant sections of a site. An example of a breadcrumb trail would be “Apparel > Women’s Clothing > Tops > Sweaters.” As with organic breadcrumbs, the breadcrumbs displayed in an ad are dictated by rich snippets coded onto the landing page.

Advertisers will pay the same CPC for a breadcrumb click as they would pay for one on the headline.

First reported by UK search agency Periscopix, the feature hasn’t been officially announced, but it’s appearing in AdWords Help pages. Google hasn’t yet responded to a request for additional information.

If the landing page is marked up with the breadcrumb rich snippets, Google will automatically add breadcrumbs to ads that appear at the top or bottom of Google search results “for some advertisers”. Though Periscopix didn’t reveal the source of its information, it says breadcrumbs will only be displayed on desktop search (for now), and the ad must have the top level domain set as the display URL — if you already have a directory as part of the display URL, breadcrumbs will not be displayed.

Advertisers will be able to keep tabs on the performance of breadcrumbs, by using segments — click “Segment” in the toolbar above the statistics table, select the Ads tab and segment your data by “Click Type.” Click-through data will be included in the “Breadcrumb” click type.

This is an example of Google taking display functionality that has apparently worked well in organic results, and bringing it to the AdWords universe. It also makes AdWords ads look more like organic results, which, by itself, could increase click-throughs.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


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  • d_a_t

    wow. between this and sitelinks a click on an ad could go to ten or more different pages. crazy.

  • my_newyork

    I didn’t get it : do we set it up in the interface or does google automatically decided, based on your “rich snippets” tags? If this is the 2nd solution, that would be the first time adwords uses SEO/code data.

  • Ron Coachman

    Don’t think I like this. I am paying for customers to land on my selected page not other pages. I hope google have the sense to have an option for advertisers to turn this off.

  • Chris Pickering

    Surely someone could make a firefox plugin that blocks PPC results (exclude URL’s with adwords tracking codes). I never click on paid ad’s, they just lower my user experience. If I want to find something I’ll find the company that offers the best website for the terms i search for, not the company that spends the most money trying to fast track its way to the top of my page.

  • jonas schaub

    also spotted in German Google Ads:!/jsbdoe/status/195129094541819904

  • Shreyas Mulgund

    This is weird! How can you set the display URL as the root directory and not the exact landing page URL? Something is missing. I think it means that you will have to implement microdata throughout the website.

    Can anybody provide clarity on this thing?

  • Lionel Rizky

     make it easier to promote your website please visit my website and select the one product that I offer my diwebsite. thank you

  • Jesse DaCosta

     ”Display” not “destination” URL. And the article mentions that microdata needs to be implemented with the breadcrumb links to function.

  • M. Nabeel Rabbani

    I can see many people have disliked this feature.
    I totally depends on the product nature and the hierarchy of the site. Statistically significant data will tell if this feature is a success or failure. In my raw opinion, a less number of users will click on these breacrumb links, but the direct advantage that you can draw out of it is the visibility of your ad. Your ads are likely to be bigger in size, securing more space and ultimately bringing more clicks to your Headline.
    But.. Yes.. Results will speak aloud.

    Lets wait….

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