It’s week 16 of the A to Z of #seo – which means P for…
In the world of SEO, Pagination is about how content is split over several pages & (importantly) how we handle that content with regards to Search Engines, Indexing and Crawling.
For ages, search engines used a couple of parameters that were added at the top of each page in a series called rel=”next” & rel=”prev” which helped them understand this series of pages. (i.e. the content might change but the bulk of the page doesn’t – think of a 3 pages series of 27 t-shirts with 9 on each).
However, just over a year ago, Google dropped the bombshell of saying we haven’t bothered with these tags for a while (with regards to Duplicate Content), so don’t bother with them. In other words, they are smart enough to know where & when content/products are split over multiple pages.
So, if you are trying to implement rel=next & so on, you’re probably better off not bothering. Good use of our old pal the ‘canonical tag’ is best practice.
The thing most people get wrong with regards to pagination is canonicalising our mythical series of 3 pages to the main/first one. This will prevent content/products on pages 2 and 3 being found. Don’t do it.
Much more as ever to this, further reading below. Enjoy!