Pagination is a topic that is widely covered by many people and agencies offering SEO Consulting services. This post will serve to summarize how to handle pagination, by adhering to SEO best practices to ensure that all the content on your paginated pages gets crawled & indexed.
Typically, small websites and blogs don’t often need to worry about SEO pagination problems, because they just don’t have enough content that paginates. It is the more complex sites such as e-commerce sites, websites using AJAX and large scale publishers that often need to worry about the problems surrounding paginated content.
Paginated content in layman’s terms is when a website chooses to break up content into several pages to:
A) Better organize content and improve usability
B) Serve more advertisements to their viewers
The problem webmasters face when using paginated content is that, if not done correctly, there are multiple potential pitfalls that will make their content not search engine friendly.
Problems with Paginated content:
- Search engines will have trouble crawling all the pages of the paginated content
- search engines will have problems understanding which page in the series is the most relevant
- there may be a problem with duplicate content
Using the Show All Page
The simplest and easiest way to solve the problem is the make a “View all Results” that allows the search engines and your visitor to view all the content on one single page. Then put a rel=”canonical” on all of your component pages to signal the configuration of your site to Google and avoid issues of duplicate content. However, if you have so much content that the page load time of your “view all” page is over 5 seconds then I would suggest breaking up your content so that latency doesn’t ruin your users’ experience.
Using Rel=”Prev” &Rel=”next”
If you choose to break up your content simply place the Rel=”Prev” and Rel=”next” in the header of each page one of your component pages.
<link rel=”prev” href=”http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=1/>
<link rel=”next” href=”http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=2/>
To avoid Duplicate Title Tags, all you need to do is append each paginated page with the page number, starting with Page 2. For example, just add this as a suffix to the Title tag: “- Page 2″
Google’s Thoughts on Paginated Content
What if your content is coded in AJAX?
Many web developers forget that search engines cannot crawl past the “#” in any given URL. This means that if page 2 in your paginated contented link is like this:
Using a feed
Feedforall.com is a great resource for parsing RSS to HTML using PHP.