Google To Solve Pagination SEO Issue

Sep 16, 2011 • 9:06 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

At SMX yesterday, during the Pagination & SEO session, Google revealed their solution for one of the biggest issues in SEO, dealing with pagination.

The issue overall is when you have pages that need to be split up, either one article split into three different pages, a set of product category pages with 20 results per page and a set of 20 additional pages or similar situations. Now the issue with this is, which page does Google rank? You are splitting your link juice and other Google factors for the main page to the paginated pages. It is a complex issue people dealt with by either just leaving it as is, using a view all page and not letting search engines get to paginated results or noindexing it all.

Google has come up with two solutions, in basic terms:

(1) View all in search results - in short, if you have a "view all" option in your pagination, Google will do the work for you. They will take all the link and variables associated with those paginated pages and move it to the view all page and try to just rank the view all page.

Google feels that most of the time, depending on how long the view all page takes to load, that it is the best experience for the user. Here is why:

View All Google Time Load

If you really want Google to make sure to do this, then use the rel=”canonical” from the paginated results to the view all page.

View All Canonical Option

What if you have different page titles and or you don't have a view all page? That is where option two comes in:

(2) Pagination with rel="next" and rel="prev".

In short, it lets you tell Google that all these paginated results are part of a larger set and treat the page as one. Google still wants you to differentiate the pages with unique page titles but this way they know all the ranking juices flow to the same pages, typically the first page.

Google Rel Next Previous

If you do have a view all, but want to override this and use the rel next/previous then you can.

Anyway, Google lays out the options as follows:

  • Leave whatever you have exactly as-is. Paginated content exists throughout the web and Google continue to strive to give searchers the best result, regardless of the page's rel="next"/rel="prev" HTML markup-or lack thereof.
  • If you have a view-all page, or are considering a view-all page, see the post on View-all in search results.
  • Hint to Google the relationship between the component URLs of your series with rel="next" and rel="prev". This helps us more accurately index your content and serve to users the most relevant page (commonly the first page). Implementation details below.

There is also a ton of confusion on how to implement the rel next and previous. It does not go in the link element, it goes in the head. For more on that, see Google's blog post.

Anyway, Google is taking questions on this at Google Webmaster Help. So don't be shy to ask.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help and WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Is Google Improving Webmaster Tools Notifications Or They Did Already?
 

Comments:

Dan Whitehouse

09/16/2011 01:54 pm

What happens if you have up to 100 pages in a series that all hold different information but are 99% the same?

Barry Schwartz

09/16/2011 01:56 pm

Ask in the google forums :)

A Patel

09/16/2011 02:46 pm

Instead of solving non-existant probs Google shuld stop cheating serps for big brand site and no put more ads on page. All ad now http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4362857.htm

jeffyablon

09/16/2011 05:13 pm

Interesting, and likely accurate technical analysis. But when I read this line I realized how meaningless the issue really is: Now the issue with this is, which page does Google rank? You are splitting your link juice and other Google factors for the main page to the paginated pages From an SEO's perspective, this rank-modeling information might matter a little—although, let's be honest; we don't really know how much. In real and practical terms the extra pages equal extra hits and most real businesses are far more concerned with that metric than with the so-called "performance" of any given page. I have to agree with A Patel on this; Google is solving a non-existent problem ... unless the problem is their modeling the behavior of business-ignorant SEO practitioners

Caleb

09/17/2011 08:10 pm

Google is for sure about always providing a great user experience and in my eyes that would be the best way to do it with a view all option.  The only thing I wouldn't like about that is that it would just take up so much room.  Maybe they could consider putting the number of additional results that will show up when you click view all in parentheses after the view all option.

John Anthony

09/19/2011 09:51 am

One reckons it is high time Google sorted out this pagination issue. It has been bugging publishers for a long time for they are still uncertain over the number of advertisements they should be putting up for their readers!

John Anthony

09/19/2011 09:51 am

One reckons it is high time Google sorted out this pagination issue. It has been bugging publishers for a long time for they are still uncertain over the number of advertisements they should be putting up for their readers!  

Wake Up

09/19/2011 12:33 pm

Kool Aid drinker wrote: "Google is for sure about always providing a great user experience" Yeah, that's why the ads are very relevant and then they fill the page with Youtube, News, Local ad other Google crap. For the user experience.

Zena

09/20/2011 02:43 am

Its really a good news. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us.I like this .Keep sharing with us in future too.

mobile crusher

09/20/2011 08:52 am

The canonical tag is usefully

sandeep kumar

09/24/2011 06:18 pm

What happen if a page have pagination and each pagination have content belongs to different topic. e.g. in blogs http://www.firstdestination.co.in

plus 1 buy

10/08/2011 05:48 am

 Its great to see that how google resolved this problem.I really appreciate this work a lot man.Well thanks a lot for sharing.Keep updating your blog as always.

Shahrul Hasanal

11/10/2011 03:29 am

whoww good article. Something new for me. I will try put this atribute in my blog.

Mbell

01/09/2012 09:37 pm

Hi, We are an ecommerce site. I just noticed recently that Google will send traffic to different pages witin our pagination. So for some keywords that would go to blue-widgets/page-1 while for other keywords they would land on  blue-widgets/page-2

Jayapal Chandran

01/27/2013 06:42 pm

what if i have a product listing 10 per page with pagination ... each item will show link to the actual component page (full details page) and a description below the link... ?

blog comments powered by Disqus