Why is pagination such an important component of modern SEO? The practice of segmenting links to content that is on multiple pages will actually affect the accessibility a search engine happens to have. Search engines are automatically engage is finding pages that are rich in content is as few clicks as possible to gauge the overall value a page has. Search engines are also engaged in finding duplicate content so that only a single URL is displayed to searchers of specific information.
If pagination is implemented improperly, then landing pages can disappear from search results. Individual articles that are deemed to be duplicated or invaluable won’t be included with the indexing results. All of this means that pagination becomes necessary if your niche site has more than a dozen or so pages. Here is what you’re going to need to start doing.
1. Limit the Amount of Links That Are Available on Any Given Page
There really isn’t a set number of links that you should be focused upon. If you cross the threshold of 100 links, for example, there’s no automatic cut-off that’s going to happen with your website. What matters more is the quality of the links and the value of the information that they contain. A website with 10 valuable links might rank equally to a site that has 60 links of average to above average quality.
What you will want to avoid is having thousands of links on a page. That many links makes it difficult for everyone to properly navigate to the information that they need. Problems equate to a lack of value and a lack of value equates to an overall lower search engine ranking.
2. Create More Subcategories
If someone is searching for items on your website, then the biggest problem that you face is having information that is too generic. Think about the last search term you put into Google. How many search results populated in total? It’s usually in the millions for the average keyword. Finding one result in that mess is like trying to find a dust mite in a haystack.
Even if you only get 1,000 results from an internal search, it can take several links for someone to be able to find the specific information that they need. By adding subcategories, search results can be refined so that people can quickly navigate to the type of listing that they really want. It’s a lot like setting up your SEO breadcrumbs, but instead of working in reverse, you’re encouraging visitors to begin moving forward.
3. Keep Your Newer Content on Top As Much As Possible
Even if your content is only relevant on a temporary basis, it is important to keep the most relevant information at or near the top of the listings that are generated so people will be able to click on what they need more often. This gives you a double benefit in the fact that search engines are going to find more equity in these links and that will get passed along throughout your site.
It’s all about the flow of information. Value is found not just in the information that can be found, but in how that information can be found by the average person. If relevant information is consistently received, then value will be consistently received and that’s a good thing for your site.
4. You Won’t Always Make it Happen on One Page
Small websites should be able to get their SEO pagination optimized to just one page of results for any given visitors. For larger websites, even when there are subcategories involved, this may not always be possible. In this instance, it is important to keep each set of relevant results near the top of any given results page. You’ll also want to make sure that a visitor can always reach a link to the most relevant results that exist so that they can always take advantage of the equity that is present.
5. Link to All of the Paginated Listings
It is pretty common to just link to the pages that are at the front and the end of the paginated listings that are on a site. This is nice in some ways because the link equity flows to the beginning and end of the results, but it’s bad in other ways because the entire middle section of your pagination efforts will become completely ignored. You’ll want to have consistent linking so that your equity is evenly distributed instead of having a beginning and end only.
6. Don’t Use the Canonical Tags for Your Paginated Results
Remember what the rules of canonical SEO happen to be: all of the link equity goes to just one page that is listed as the canon for the site only. Anything with the canonical tags is going to be automatically referenced toward the one main page. This is great for results that are duplicated. Paginated results are not going to be duplicate.
Avoid using the nofollow tags as well to the paginated links because this will restrict link equity from flowing where it will naturally want to go. You want clicks on those links because it will help to get those pages indexed. That’s also why a 301 redirect shouldn’t be used to refresh results or make the user experience a little more direct.
7. Let Users Set the Amount of Results That They Want to See
You’ll see this especially with e-commerce results. There might be 75 results for a specific search term. The default pagination settings might show just 10 top results for the user. If you allow them to see the total amount of results on one page that they want to see, then you won’t have to deal with as many multiple clicks to get to the needed information. In this example, if visitors could view 100 results at a time, then they’d be two clicks away from the data that they want.
SEO pagination can help make a website become more organized and allow the link juice to flow more accurately. In doing so, you just might see that search engines are finding it to be more valuable as well.