Handle paginated content for SEO

Contributors

@andreea-macoveiciuc-content-expert


Business Benefits

Improve user experience and search engine optimization.


Identify pagination that does not follow today’s SEO guidelines.

Pagination can make your content difficult for users to navigate**.** Splitting your content over multiple pages with sparse content on each page makes your content hard for users to digest.

Pagination can also result in duplicate content. This error can result from having both paginated content and a View All page, or having a page=1 in addition to a root page. Meta content can be the same across pages as long as the page content differs.

Ensure you allow Googlebot to crawl your paginated pages. If you’ve set certain paginated pages to Do Not Crawl on Google Search Console, or set a robots.txt disallow, in the hopes of saving your crawl budget for more important pages.

Make your paginated content crawl-friendly by using crawlable anchor links.

Verify you have anchor links with href attributes to your paginated URLs by using <a href=“your-paginated-url-here”> for internal linking to paginated pages. Point out the relationship between component URLs in a paginated series by using rel="next" and rel="prev" attributes. Google did stop using rel="next" and rel="prev" as an indexing signal, however, it still is useful in indicating the relationship between URLs in a series.

Avoid common errors with creating anchor links.

Do not place link attributes in the <body> content of your HTML. Link attributes are only recognized within the <head> section. Do not add a rel="prev" link to the root page in the series, or a rel="next" link to the last page in the series. For all other pages, both should be added.

Prevent Google from ranking your deep paginated content and SEO warnings by optimizing your root page.

Place duplicate meta descriptions and duplicate title tags warnings and ensure Google only shows your root page by adjusting later pages’ titles and metadata. If that doesn’t work, de-optimize your paginated pages and optimize your root page. De-optimize the H1 tags on your paginated pages, add optimized on-page text to the root page but not to paginated content, and add images with search-engine-optimized file names and alt tags to the root page, but not to paginated content.

Avoid ineffective solutions for optimized paginated content.

Do not canonicalize to a View All page or the root page, using an infinite scroll or View More layout.