As we know, a well-structured URL helps users and Google to quickly identify the page topic and determine its relevance to the user’s search. On April 16th, Google announced that they will be changing the way they display URLs in their search results for Mobile users.  The new customizable URLs will better reflect site names and how the page sits within the site. The first of these two changes will replace the site domain name with the real-world name of the site, the other will display the page URL in breadcrumbs format. Besides being easier for the Mobile user to read, this has great advantages to us (as content managers); by supporting schema.org structured data, Google is giving us the power to help drive what is displayed as the site name (with some caveats) and the breadcrumbs.

Real-World Name

To include a real-world name for your site in Google’s Search results you will need to use structured data markup to indicate your desired site name. By also providing an alternative name for your site, Google’s Search algorithms will be able to choose which name to use, there is not much information on how they will do this at this time. Once you have added this new markup and Google re-indexes your site, the changes will be reflected in their Search results. There are some rules that need to be followed:

  • Your real-world name should be reasonably similar to your domain name
  • It should be a natural name used for your site, such as “Wakefly” rather than “Wakefly, Inc.”
  • It must be unique to your site and not used by others
  • It must not be misleading

In order to take advantage of this new feature is a simple script, like that that below.

<script type=”application/ld+json”>;
{  “@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “WebSite”,
“name” : “Wakefly”,
“alternateName” : “Wake}fly”,
“url” : “https://www.wakefly.com”
}
</script>

More information and code examples can be found on the Google Developers Site Name page.

Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation are links on a page that help the user understand and navigate your site structure and hierarchy, such as:

Wakefly > Services > Search Engine Optimization > SEO Assessment

These links not only indicate to the visitor where in the site they are, but also gives them quick access to links back up through the site hierarchy.

By applying markup to your breadcrumb navigation (such as that below) Google will be able to interpret and better present your page in their Search results.

<div id=”a” itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Breadcrumb” itemref=”b”>
<a href=”http://www.example.com/computers” itemprop=”url”>
<span itemprop=”title”>Computers</span>
</a> ›
</div>
<div id=”b” itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Breadcrumb” itemprop=”child” itemref=”c”>
<a href=”http://www.example.com/computers/laptops” itemprop=”url”>
<span itemprop=”title”>Laptops</span>
</a> ›
</div>
<div id=”c” itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Breadcrumb” itemprop=”child”>
<a href=”<a href=”http://www.example.com/computers/laptops/Light” target=”_blank”>http://www.example.com/computers/laptops/</a>travellaptops” itemprop=”url”>
<span itemprop=”title”>Travel Laptops</span>
</a>
</div>

This markup would render on your page as:

Computers > Laptops > Travel Laptops

And in search results would look something similar to the screen shot below.

Shortcode google results example

More information and code examples on how to leverage Breadcrumbs in Googles Search Results can be found on the Google Developers Breadcrumbs page.

Google will be gradually rolling out these changes limiting sites names to the US only (for now) and globally for the breadcrumb. If you need more help in implementing these updates, reach out to us.