How To Implement SEO Friendly Pagination Strategies For Your Site?

Pagination is a web design technique that divides long content into multiple pages to make SEO Friendly Pagination Strategies For Your Site easier for users to navigate and browse. We mostly use pagination to divide long lists of articles or products into manageable chunks. Pagination plays a important role while managing larger product list or content list but poor pagination handling can hurts your SEO. If you are looking for professional SEO Dallas specialist then you can connect with iBoost Web right away to help you out.

When Is Pagination Necessary?

Pagination is required when a site has multiple pages of content in a single category or subcategory. For instance, your blog’s archive pages. Users would not have a positive experience if you listed all of your blog posts on a single page. Depending on the size of your blog, your visitors would have to scroll indefinitely. Access to more in-depth content would be nearly impossible.

Another example would be an eCommerce website with a catalogue of several hundred products from various categories displayed on a single page. Simply scrolling that page would tire you out, and it would be “mission impossible” to view all sneakers to ensure you’ve found the best pair. So for better user experience pagination is necessary.

How Google Handles Pagination

Google introduced the rel=prev and rel=next tags in 2011 as a way to handle pagination for SEO. The purpose of these tags is to instruct Google to consolidate the paginated series signals to the root page, which would then be ranked in search results, but this does not work for the same way. So, on March 21st, 2019, Google announced that pagination (rel=prev and rel=next) tags would no longer be supported.

Google now does not recognize paginated pages as a series of pages consolidated into one piece of content, as they previously advised. As a result, every paginated page is eligible to compete for ranking with the root page. But there is no need to remove the rel=prev and rel=next tags if you have already implemented them. Bing and other search engines continue to use the tags, which are used for web accessibility as well as W3C compliance.

Best SEO Friendly Pagination Strategies For Your Site

Give Each Page Its Own URL

As Google treats each URLs in a paginated sequence as separate pages. So you should include a query parameter (a?page=n) in each paginated page’s URL to make it unique from other pages. For page numbers, do not use URL fragment identifiers (the text after a # in a URL). Google disregards fragment identifiers. It may not follow the link because it believes it has already retrieved the page if you use any text after a # in a URL.

Make Use Of Crawlable Anchor Links

To allow search engines to crawl paginated pages efficiently, the site must include anchor links with href attributes (<a href=”your-paginated-url-here”>) to these paginated URLs. JavaScript should not be used to load paginated anchor links.

Use Self-Referencing Canonical Tags For Each Page

To get all of that lovely link equity for the deeper pages, you must make your entire paginated series self-canonicalizing and indexable.

Modify The On-Page Elements Of Paginated Pages

The challenge now is that every paginated page can compete for rankings with the root page as Google treats them the same as any other page on your website. So, many times you can see paginated pages outranking the root page and capturing organic traffic.

To discourage Google from ranking the paginated page in the search, you can purposefully modify the on-page elements to be suboptimal, such as communicating that it is a paginated page at the start of the page title, meta description, and h1.

On the root page, add useful on-page text, but not on paginated pages. Add a category image to the root page with an optimised file name and alt tag, but not to paginated pages.

Don’t Include Paginated Pages In XML Sitemaps

While paginated URLs are technically indexable but they are not an SEO priority for which crawl budget should be allocated. So, do not include paginated URLs in your XML sitemap. This prevents the search engine from crawling and indexing those pages on a regular basis, wasting the crawl budget. 

Conclusion

Pagination is an excellent way to help visitors and search engines in finding all of your content in a best possible way. So use the above mentioned SEO friendly pagination strategies to get the most out of it.

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