Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about site structure in his latest Webmaster Help video where a user writes in to ask:
Many of my items belong to multiple categories on my eCommerce site. Can I place multiple breadcrumbs on a page? Do they confuse Googlebot? Do you properly understand the logical site structure of my site?
If you use breadcrumbs Google currently picks the first one, so Matt recommends to do your best to get all pages arranged in the right hierarchy.
However, if an item does belong to multiple categories, Matt says it is possible to have multiple breadcrumbs on a single page. It some circumstances having multiple breadcrumbs actually helps Googlebot understand more about your site.
Matt says not to worry if you don’t use multiple breadcrumbs because most people don’t. It’s normal to have only one set of breadcrumbs, and Matt actually says they “encourage” it.
If your page hierarchy is already set up to have pages belonging to multiple categories, Matt says it doesn’t hurt to have those other sets of breadcrumbs on the page. Google will take the first one and use the others as a way to gain a deeper understanding of your site.
To hear Matt’s full response in his own words, please see the video below: