Continuing their habit of excellence through innovation, Google are not resting on their UI laurels, rather making further changes to help people get the specific information they are after. The latest change is in site hierarchy displayed in the search results.
At the moment, when you search for a term, and the results are displayed, there is a small green URL telling you where you will be heading. An example is shown below- all we did was search for SEO, and this was the first result that came up.
At the moment, if there is a long URL, the user can’t get too much information about what section of the site they are going to- all they can get is the main URL, and possibly some idea based on URL structure. Google is now displaying results similar to breadcrumbs (used on many sites) so the user can determine which section the displayed page belongs in, so they can see where they are going, or possibly realise that you are after something more general, or looking for the category level. An example from Google’s Official Blog can be seen below:
If there are a number of different sub levels, the new hierarchy will display a truncated version of the results, hiding the intermediate levels. An example can be seen below, in that the results in the middle have been cut out.
Google’s goal from this is to help users find exactly what they want, not what Google wants them to see. As always Google holds some sway into what you see, but this will allow users to gain some level of freedom. These new changes put more stress on webmasters to ensure that each of the levels of the website features better content , and also that internal linking structure is setup in a way to best attract the search engines.