The On-Page optimization represents one of the most important aspects of SEO, thus the optimization of every element should concern the specialists in order to give relevance both to the user and search engines.
Seeing as the Google algorithms are in a continuous state of change and improvement, the technical accuracy of the website and the advanced optimization of a lot of relevant factors for the user and search engines, are extremely vital.
Even though we can find a lot of articles on the internet with different recommendations regarding the pagination, recently I have read one of the most complex article so far, from which i’ll try to extract the essential information.
What is pagination and how does it affect SEO?
Pagination is, according to a simple and intuitive description, the tactic of segmenting the content on more pages. For example if we’re talking about an e-commerce website, the pagination is relevant for the list of products but we can also find errors of pagination on news websites or even blogs.
The concept of pagination is often seen as superficial, ignoring the problems that this aspect could cause, seen as from a SEO perspective.
Here are some of the problems that pagination will cause:
- Limited browsing of the website
When the website is browsed by googlebot, if it finds a lot of paged content, there are chances that the bot will not reach the final pages and the indexing of the website will drop significantly. Every site has a crawl budget determined by the pagerank. If the page ranking of the website is small, the chances that googlebot will leave the website increase.
- Duplicated content
It`s no longer a secret that Google thinks of duplicated content as a big problem. When the pagination is not implemented accordingly, the chance of confusing the googlebot will increase, this being a normal thing due to the fact that it will find a lot of pages with similar or identical content. As a result, it will be very difficult to determine what page he will send to SERPs for a certain search.
- Weak content
If we’re talking about a news website, for example, the articles or reviews for the products are segmented on multiple pages, this being very risky due to the fact that the original content provided in order to index every page separately is not enough, and even more, the chance of future penalties following the Panda algorithm will increase.
When do you need pagination?
A good question in understanding the concept of paging is: “When and under what circumstances is pagination required?��
The answer is: when we have a website that has more than ten pages of content in a single category. In a product category of an online store there can be listed hundreds of products. For example, listing all the links on a single page is quite demanding due to the fact that it will be difficult for the users because they will have to scroll very much. Another disadvantage is the high loading time in these situations. The loading time of a page should be somewhere between 2-4 seconds.
Apart from the disadvantages regarding the usability, you must consider the advice that Google gave in which they were insisting on limiting the number of links on a page to 100, in order to the entire browsing of the website.
Recommended tactics for pagination.
The best way to avoid pagination problems is to pay attention to the details in the early stages of the website when it’s being created. As in any other area, a lot of problems can be resolved from start if you bare in mind certain rules.
When we are not in the ideal situation to have a website since its design phase, there are a number of practices through which the pagination problems can be resolved.
- Excluding the paged content from the index
In case there are no great advantages for the content in the paging pages to be indexed, the most simple solution is implementingon every page except the first one. For example, in a blog with a lot of articles we will have blog.tld/page/2. This page doesn’t really have to be in Google index but we will need googlebot to run over the links in this page. In case that page will receive a natural link, it is necessary to obtain the authority of that link.
- View-all page and rel=”canonical”
Another recommended method for resolving the pagination problems is creating a separate View-All page that contains all the elements in the paging pages. After this page has been created, the rel=”canonical” tag is added on every paging page to the View-All page, highlighting the fact that Google has to treat these pages as being a segment of the View-All page.
As for the online stores , this method works really well if in that specific category are not listed a lot of products. If there are a lot of products then it is better to implement rel=”prev”, rel=”next”.
- Rel=”prev” and rel=”next”
This tactic is considered a little bit more complicated but it is preferred by a lot of consultants. The HTML attributes rel=”prev” and “next” are recognized by Google as indicators of a paging page sequence. The process requires a lot of attention because the tags must be implemented correctly.