Name your breadcrumbs: how to respond to Google’s mobile search results overhaul

Google’s recent changes to the presentation of mobile search results have implications for all brand owners.

By Vincent D’Angelo,
Director, Global Brand Advisors

With effect from April 16th, the search giant updated its algorithm to display mobile search results with a “real-world” site name instead of a URL, and with the page location indicated in “breadcrumb” format. According to Google, the intention is to make mobile search results clearer and easier to read and interpret.

MobileSearchGoogle’s official announcement – featuring a useful “before and after” search results example – is here and World Trademark Review has also analyzed the change. (For the time being, the change to display site names rather than URLs is US-only).

From CSC’s perspective there are two important issues for brand owners to consider:

  1. Naming. The new format can lead to deceptive naming practices that could result in fraud, phishing and brand abuse, as well as competition with other trademark owners seeking the same company, product or service name breadcrumb. We encourage brand owners to monitor mobile search results, work with their website administrators to take action and develop a naming strategy to make sure search results are clear.
  2. Traffic costs. This trend may be part of Google’s attempt to drive more traffic through its search engine. For brands, this could impact direct navigation to websites and lead to increased competition in search, potentially increasing search marketing costs and impacting online revenue. CSC encourages brand owners to stay connected with their customers by promoting their primary domain names and apps to drive traffic directly to their own web properties.

Our Brand Advisory Team is available to help all CSC customers with strategies to adapt to these changes. For help and advice, please contact or request a complimentary consultation.