‘Pagination’ is an element that will have confused many people over the years and knowing what’s best can be difficult. Well, Tom Williams is here to fill in the blanks and provide all the essential information needed when implementing pagination.
‘Pagination’ is the procedure of separating a document into separate pages, whether electronic or printed.
Many websites (mainly ecommerce) display a large variety of products and to promote them effectively, it is necessary to divide them into multiple pages. This is where pagination comes into play.
There are many different formats of pagination:
When implementing pagination, there are various issues to be taken into consideration. Here’s a breakdown of these.
Google will crawl all paginated pages if allowed. However, the crawler bandwidth can have its limitations. The crawler may get tied up in paginated pages rather than crawling the most important pages on a website, especially if the pagination pages don’t add any value over page one. Increasing the number of items per page can decrease the depth of pagination, an ideal solution here.
Page Rank Dilution
Incorrect implementation of the code has the potential to dilute page rank across the paginated pages which will also prevent link juice transferring to pages that they link to.
Paginated pages are susceptible to duplication. Placing the relevant code on the paginated pages correctly will ensure search engines know that they are pagination pages and will not be seen as duplicates.
Meta titles and descriptions on paginated pages can easily be forgotten and this can also cause duplication issues. It is recommended that meta data on each paginated version is unique. This could be achieved by simply adding something similar to ‘– Page 2’ on the end.
Paginated pages generally have a small amount of quality content on them. This opens them to scrutiny from the Panda algorithm. However, Google has provided ways that a webmaster can indicate that they are paginated pages.
Put simply, there are three options when deciding how to implement pagination:
Google will aim to detect a view all page and its associated pages regardless of how your site is structured but there is something that can be done to aid this process.
To make it clearer for Google, you can include rel=”canonical” tags on the paginated pages pointing to the view all page.
This option requires code to be added within the <head> section of the series of paginated pages. Let’s say your pagination is structured like this:
The first page only needs one tag which is the rel=”next”:
<link rel=”next” href=” http://www.example.com /home-and-furniture/bedding/bed-sheets?page=2” />
The second page and following pages need to include both a rel=”next” and rel=”prev” tag:
<link rel=”prev” href=” http://www.example.com /home-and-furniture/bedding/bed-sheets?page=1” />
<link rel=”next” href=” http://www.example.com /home-and-furniture/bedding/bed-sheets?page=3” />
And so on until you reach the last page which only needs a rel=”prev” tag.
Rel=”prev” and rel=”next” are only hints to Google and not directives but they will generally pick these up and follow them.