Pagination SEO Issues and How to Resolve Them

What is Pagination?

Pagination is an ordinal numbering of pages, which show at the bottom or top of the website pages. Most often, we used it for main pages and partitions. It often looks like this:


Pagination makes life easy and convenient for users when it arrives in distributing items on the site in a measured manner. Suppose an eCommerce site with a catalog consists of several hundred items of various categories put on one single page. Will that confuse the user? Definitely

Here we will discuss some of the possible issues that occur when applying pagination :

Pagination SEO Issues and How to Resolve Them

Many problems can come from pagination handling badly but not necessarily from the pagination element itself.

Google is clever sufficient to understand the connection between pages. So for most cases, it is presumably good as long as you maintain your user experience at the root of your pagination design.

So, let us explore some of the most common problems and fables of pagination, and we can make sure that search engines can employ them to locate and index website data accurately.

1. Canonical and NoIndex Tags Issues

To create a category page for items or data, you desire your root page (page 1) to be the first ranking on the SERPs and not page 5 of the pagination sequence.

Yet, Google indexes each page in the series as a unique page. It is a method that you might experience on your site rankings.

For this basis, many misinformed SEOs have urged adding a canonical link targeting the core page.

In view, it does display like a reliable solution. However, with a long-term canonical two things can occur:

Google prevents crawling the pages with the canonical set to the core page because we are pretty much informing them to do so. If you canonicalize per paginated page means that relevant content is just on the first page and stopping Google from locating deep pages.

Google will start ignoring your messages because they appear to make no sense. Google is discovering unique data in those paginated pages, so it will consider your notes are an error. It can cause sending transparent signals to Google considerably harder to do.

Another answer is adding a NoIndex tag to all paginated pages after the core page to control Google from deciding these pages over the core page for outcomes.

How should we handle canonicals and robot tag directives?

The canonical tag for the individually paginated page should indicate itself, as for any individual page. Remember that your pagination is a collection of content. So every page will show different features.

Let Google index paginated pages. These pages are crucial for Google to find pages deep in your website architecture organically.

Apply the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console (GSC) to confirm Google uses the proper canonical URL.

Here is an anomaly to have in mind: If you are allowing users to purify the results in your category pages to show different data based on ratings, size, colors, etc. (sorting), then you might like to add a canonical from these latest filter URLs to the core page — that is the actual paginated page.

A more suitable solution would be to create this functionality utilizing JavaScript and dynamic URLs.

Also Read: Can Expired Landing Pages Ruin Site Ranking in Search Engines?

2. Duplicate Content:

There are numerous methods to optimize paginated pages to bypass fetching duplicate content warnings. Like most on-page best techniques is the user experience that drives this conversation.

If you break down the listings, all paginated pages can not show the same content. At the same time, unless you are intentionally adding paginated pages to influence page views, there would not be thin content either.

The idea behind pagination is there are too many components to be indicated inside one page, so we split them into many pages.

If we obey this sense, then here is how to manage duplicate content when making paginated pages:

Add as numerous elements into a single page as likely without impacting loading speed and usability. You will need to experiment with your site to discover the proper balance between speed and the number of products you can show. If you can add 30 or 35 products into a single page without compromising speed, then use it.

If there is no necessity for pagination, you should not use it. Change some page components for paginated pages. A procedure is to unoptimized paginated pages. For example, if the root page meta title: Best SEO Service, then the fourth Page title could be Page 4/10 of Sheets for SEO Service. This type of deoptimization can prevent Google from selecting the root page as the most suitable fit for your target keywords.

Do not overlap content outcomes in various paginated pages. If you have products 1 to 20 on Page first, then Page second should have products 21 to 40 and so on.

You need to add additional information to the main category page. Adding an FAQ at the bottom and some other informational data to the root page means you are again informing Google that this is the top page of the series and, thus, it should employ it for ranking intents. These approaches will also prevent keyword cannibalization.

3. Ranking Signal Dilution

Pagination is adding more clicks to pages from the homepage. So, there is a loss of authority to deeper pages within the website architecture.

There is slightly less authority with each layer fetching passed. So, what is the solution?

Be Creative With Your Pagination Technique and Link Scheme

An analysis conducted by Portent discovered that the pagination design done well can decrease the depth of the website and thus minimize the effect of pagination on ranking indications.

There are many ideas to consider. Of course, there is no adequate answer. It is all regarding how long your paginated series is, what type of experience your users expect, and what additional functionalities and techniques you keep in place.

For most eCommerce websites with 200 to 300 items, a two-step skip pagination should be sufficient to enhance click depth.

Consider the main problem is that pages in-depth into the pagination are way too far from the main pages, like the homepage and root category pages. In that circumstance, the answer is in how we are structuring our site wholly.

There are some techniques we can apply to enhance link equity:

1. Use subcategories to split down category pages 

It is better to have subcategories to organize data rather-than hundreds of paginated pages. It will reduce the depth of pages and keep most unique components nearer to the core category/subcategory.

2. Discover pages that can only be found within pagination and make internal links with them. After spotting them, discover an appropriate piece of content to apply a link to or add a link from the core category page.

3. Display the most popular products or priority content on the first page. It will help rank better in search results, and you are assisting your user find the most informative data for what they need. Both UX and SEO are win-win.

4. Add deep pages to sitemaps to allow Google to discover them.

4. Uncrawlable Pagination Links

Links are some of the components that we have noticed mishandled the most. Unlike most individuals think, Google can catch dynamic content. It is gratitude to the addition of a renderer in the indexation procedure. This feature runs JavaScript files to receive the content.

Yet, it is not a headless browser. In other words, Google would not hold a permit to any data that loads until after user interaction.

Do you notice where we are heading?

Google bot can not track any link that is behind an event.

All pagination links include a <a> tag with an “href” attribute. These are the two things Google will examine when tracking links.

Last Considerations

SEO-friendly paginations are all about making the best user experience for users and not about complex executions or explanations.

Although, we have discussed deoptimizing paginated pages in terms of SEO content like meta descriptions and meta titles and not by adding optimizations like FAQs to these pages.

However, these are still unique pages that must optimize for user experience. You require to help these pages gain their objective of producing it easier for users to access data from your site.

A few things to remember when building these pages include: Mobile-friendliness, Page speed, UX design, Page layout, Filters. If you focus on these outlined principles, then your pagination will benefit your website – and your SEO efforts – instead of hurting it.

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