Pagination is a process used to divide content across a series of pages. Implemented as the link elements rel=next and rel=prev, these help search engine crawlers understand the relationship between the pages. With recent updates to the way Google handles pagination, our Hangout Notes cover these advancements along with recommendations for implementing pagination.

Excessively Flat Site Hierarchy May Confuse Google

March 6, 2020 Source

An excessively flat site architecture, such as having a very large sitewide navigation or linking to all pages in a paginated set from page 1, may confuse Google about the site hierarchy, which page to rank, and what to show as Sitelinks.

Headings and Titles on Paginated Pages Helps Google to Identify the Set

March 6, 2020 Source

Headings and page titles with a number help Google to identify a set of paginated series of pages which belong together, but they can usually figure it out based on links between the pages.

Ensure Google is Able to Crawl All Pages Involved Within Infinite Scroll

September 27, 2019 Source

When implementing infinite scroll, ensure Google is able to reach all of the pages involved. John recommends the best way to do this is by linking to all the pages individually through a pagination set up, to ensure each page can be crawled.

Be Cautious Implementing Infinite Scroll on Publishing Sites

May 1, 2019 Source

John recommends being cautious implementing infinite scroll on publishing sites because having multiple pieces of content in the same HTML might be confusing for Google if they are individual pieces of content.

Viewport is Expanded During Rendering & Likely to Trigger Infinite Scroll Once or Twice

May 1, 2019 Source

When a page is rendered, Google expands the viewport and then contracts it to try to fit the primary content on the page. Expanding the viewport could trigger one or two infinite scrolls on pages with this functionality, but would not cause Googlebot to keep triggering this and infinitely crawling pages.

Cross-link Pages to Help Ensure Google Can Discover Them to Decrease Reliance on Pagination

April 18, 2019 Source

Focusing on improving internal linking across product and blog post pages is a good strategy for ensuring Google is able to find these pages on your site rather than relying on pagination.

Google Doesn’t Treat Paginated Pages Differently From Any Other Pages

March 22, 2019 Source

John explained that Google treats paginated pages in the same way as any other page on a website. While Google does try to understand how pages fit into the context of a website as a whole, they do not apply an attribute to pages to indicate it is a paginated page.

Rel=next/prev May Still Be Useful Even Though No Longer Used by Google

March 22, 2019 Source

Although rel=next/prev is no longer used by Google, John doesn’t recommend removing it from a site as it is still used by some browsers for prefetching and by other search engines.

Google No Longer Uses Rel=Next/Prev to Understand Pagination

March 22, 2019 Source

Google no longer uses rel=next/prev to understand pagination. John stated that there are no changes that SEOs need to make if pagination is working properly in search, as long as internal linking is in place.

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