Should a breadcrumbs navigation have links set to rel="nofollow"?

1 Answer 1


I think it depends what your goal is and what the breadcrumbs represent. I would say that for most wordpress sites nofollow on breadcrumbs is probably a nonissue.

Let's start with nofollow. Nofollow says you don't want a search engine to pass on page rank to this link. So if you had comment links and people can post their personal website you would probably use nofollow. This makes spamming your website link pointless because the links aren't being followed anyways.

Nofollow is also important because page rank flows evenly between links on the page. So if you have three links that are really important to you and then a hundred comments with random websites in them, you don't want page rank getting split 103 ways.

Now your question. If the breadcrumb items are important for search engines then have them followed. If you don't care about your breadcrumbs getting indexed then nofollow them. If it were me I would probably have my root node followed, the front page of my blog, and I would not have child nodes followed because those are just categories.

  • Hm. This brings me to a problem: I'd need to find out how to identify the category/archives/etc. links, then try to hack into them and then add rel="canonical" instead of rel="nofollow"...
    – kaiser
    Apr 19, 2011 at 19:31
  • In your header.php you can use conditional tags to determine when you are on pages of that type and include canonical. However, don't include canonical. This is used incorrectly because it is not understood well by people. It is also optionally enforced my search engines, has no means of being authoritative and is not trackable. codex.wordpress.org/Conditional_Tags
    – mrtsherman
    Apr 19, 2011 at 20:20
  • I know conditional tags, but they won't solve my problem. I need to check whether a link goes to an archive type page or not and not if i'm currently on an archive page. Links to non-archive pages should have follow even on archive pages. Archives (itself) of any kind are reduntant and therefore should be marked as a) nofollow (bad) or b) canonical (better).
    – kaiser
    Apr 20, 2011 at 11:31
  • You can't add canonical to links. They go on pages in the head section. So you can't mark the breadcrumbs as canonical in the first place. You can put canonical on the archive pages - but don't. I can't make sense of it or why you would want to do that.
    – mrtsherman
    Apr 20, 2011 at 15:43

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