During a hangout, one SEO professional asked John Mueller about breadcrumbs.
They explained that they have noticed a common pattern on most websites. Say, for example, there is a page at level 3 for a specific blog page. Their structure usually goes like this: Home page > billing > blog page > blog-specific pages.
However, for e-commerce pages, say perhaps for a product page, a user can reach that particular page through multiple ways: through filters, through brand pages, or through city level pages.
They have seen examples of breadcrumbs within that particular page. These are different ways that you reach this particular product page. But, when they see the pattern in the search results (say, if you search for a particular product, and the breadcrumb is listed just above the title).
This structure is something that they haven’t mentioned in their breadcrumb Schema. And they haven’t added it to their pages.
So they are wondering: how do these things correlate with each other?
John answered that he suspects that what is happening here is that you have several breadcrumb schemas on the same page, and they don’t know what to do with them.
So, Google will ignore them entirely. And they try to figure it out themselves.
From that perspective, if you’re giving Google conflicting markup, then it’s likely that they don’t use any of that markup.
And Google will treat it as if there’s no breadcrumb markup at all on the page.
John can imagine, that’s what is happening here.
And when they don’t have any breadcrumb markup at all, sometimes they will try to figure out what the path is leading to that page.
Sometimes they will rely on the URL structure, like the folders that you have, and they will show that.
Usually, what John recommends in a case like this is for the SEO pro to make sure that they have just one set of that markup on the pages. So that Google can pick up this markup and say “Oh, well there’s reasonable markup, we will just use that.”
If you have visible breadcrumbs on the page that show different paths, that’s fine as long as the structured data is really for one specific version.
This happens at approximately the 47:40 mark in the video.