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Faking A Breadcrumb Trail To Stand Out On Google

Google Rich Snippets are an outstanding way for webmasters to get more exposure for their pages in the Google search results. Using them, you can add add images, review stars and more to your listings. But for some webmasters, that is not enough.

Back in November I noticed HTML entities working in Google’s breadcrumb rich snippets, and I am a bit shocked to see they still work. A reader anonymously sent us another example, showing the breadcrumb rich snippets with stars. It reads SEO ★★★★★ Rated!

Here is a screen shot, I tried to hide the offending site the best I could:

In the above example, it might come across as Google looking to vouch that this SEO company is 5 star rated. But no, it is not. This is a webmaster who figured out a way to trick Google in thinking this is a breadcrumb trail, that there’s a page called “SEO ***** Rated” on the site.

We continue to get reports of how publishers are using rich snippets in ways Google may have not wanted. In fact, a few months ago Google launched a rich snippet spam reporting tool because of the increase levels of spam being submitted through rich snippets.

In the past couple weeks, several blogs have come out with their distaste of rich snippet spam including BruceClay.com and John Melborough. But this has been going on since last year and is only getting worse as Google shows more and more rich snippets in the search results.

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