What is web pagination? It splits web content into a series of pages. 

It helps to reduce the amount of content and products on one page, presenting landing pages in an accessible format. 

You’ll find them in just about any kind of site, eCommerce product pages, Blog category pages, Gallery Pages, and more. 

With one tag, series of paginated pages were once treated as one consolidated piece. We’ll discuss what’s changed and how to properly manage the event.

The Pagination Issue

There is a bit of confusion that’s worth clearing up when it comes to web pagination.

The most pressing concern is the value of dividing content across multiple pages instead of keeping it all on one single page. 

Earlier, Webmasters overcame this issue by using tags like rel=“next” and rel=“prev”, but Google recently made an announcement that they no longer support the rel=“next” and rel=“prev” to as an indicator to consolidate indexing properties. 

Without proper SEO management, Google will regard each paginated page within a series as unique pages that merit a chance to compete for visibility. The problem is functionally, most markers would prefer to rank the first page of a series, allowing the others to be discovered on site.

How Google handles paginated pages?

On 22nd March 2019, John Mueller addressed Google’s new approach to handling paginated pages. 

“We don’t treat pagination differently. We treat them as normal pages.” – John Mueller, Google Webmaster Office-hours Hangout 22 March 2019

This clarified that the paginated content will be treated like new and separate pages. No natural SEO equity transfer. There is also a chance that not all paginated pages will be crawled.

2 SEO techniques to optimize paginated pages

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1. Prioritize Page Indexing

The most common solution to solving possible pagination issues is to index the critical paginated pages and de-index the others. This is used for reducing index bloat and has been found effective at improving the rankings. 

You can use the indexation coverage feature found on Google Search Console to understand which pages are indexed by Google and which aren’t. 

You may want to consider implementing canonicals to clear up potential conusidng on search results pages. 

2. Optimize Link Architecture

Your website’s navigation should be as simple as it can get. Your visitors should reach what they are looking for in a maximum of 3 clicks. 

The process of pagination increases the number of clicks as it breaks a piece of content into multiple pages. 

Site owners are recommended to use the internal linking method to improve click-depth and distribute SEO equity on the website. A well-optimized website is one that has a simple and crawlable link structure that helps both the visitors and the users. Create opportunities to link to deep content. 

Build content hubs for blog pages that might be linked too deep in their paginated categories page.

Break up categories into subcategories that are supported by useful content. This will make it easy for users and crawlers to navigate.

TRAM SEO Conclusion

Google no longer supports the rel=“next” and rel=“prev” to consolidate indexing properties. This has changed how SEOs treat a set of paginated pages. We must now manage pagination URLs just like other URLs. To help you get the best out of paginated pages, I’ll leave you with a few tips as a recap:

  • Allow priority paginated pages to be crawled 
  • Implement canonicals so they indicate preferred URLs
  • Optimize site architecture for fewer clicks
  • Create high-quality paginated pages

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