Site pagination and its role in SEO
8 minute(s) read
Published on: Feb 14, 2021
Updated on: Dec 14, 2021
Optimizing a website and gaining high rankings in search engines is so important, and there are lots of different techniques to achieve it; in addition to these techniques, there are points such as site pagination that you should follow to optimize the site. Also, users have the ability to access topics as easily as possible after entering your site, which will ultimately help you with creating a positive user experience.
What is site pagination?
Site pagination is the division of a document into separate pages, which helps search engines to realize the relationship between a set of paginated pages better and prevents duplicate content production due to the similarity of their topics.
The pagination of a site has different effects on the website SEO, which we will discuss in the rest of this article.
Impact of site pagination on SEO:
When you come across different topics on a site or in online stores we intend to separate different items from each other or in other words; site pagination is used. Pagination has a great impact on SEO because, if we implement site pagination too much in a site, the user will be confused when the user enters your site and is looking for the page she/he wants because They have to open a lot of links and pages to be able to reach their goal. As a result, the user will definitely give up and leave your site and look for the one with less pagination to reach the desired result more quickly.
In other words, by doing a lot of pagination for a site, you will move away from the user's desired page from the main page, so that it will have negative effects on the website SEO. One of these negative effects is that it reduces the credibility of direct links to your home page because pages that have a lot of direct links are considered as valid and source pages, and as a result, search engines get confused in reaching the main page and its analysis which will be the cause of a decrease in ranking as well as website traffic over time.
In fact, the crawl depth of Google bots is related to the credibility of a site, and if your site contains a lot of content with a lot of pagination, Google bots won't be able to analyze all the content of the site and ignore a number of pages and contents. When similar topics are brought together on a page, it sends negative signals to Google that the content is duplicated due to the duplication of the title and meta descriptions.
Duplicate content prevents search engines from selecting your target page to display on the search results page.
On the other hand, due to the fact that Google uses different algorithms, there is a possibility that the site will be penalized due to short and poor quality content. One of these algorithms that we are going to mention is the Panda algorithm, which due to the fact that useless and worthless content was abundantly seen in search results for a while, Google introduced the Panda algorithm in order to solve this problem as soon as possible.
It has been created in order to fight against short, low-quality, and low-value content so that the user can achieve attractive and rich content in search results. According to the points we have mentioned, in order to optimize a site through pagination, we must observe the following points.
Things that should be considered while paging a site:
1- Use absolute URL instead of relative URL:
In fact, absolute URLs have more complete information than relative URLs, so for doing proper pagination, it is recommended to use absolute URLs, especially when URLs are randomly duplicated in directories or subdomains.
On the other hand, we should note that the use of relative URLs is likely to be misinterpreted by search engines and cannot have a positive effect on site optimization.
2- The chain can't be broken:
If you do this, search engines will often ignore the pagination and only index and return all the pages, which leads to problems such as duplicate content that will ultimately have a negative impact on the site.
3- Do not use noindex:
If the pages are noindex for a long time, after a while, Google will stop searching for them and following the relevant links.
4- Do not use no-follow links:
Nofollow links allow search engine bots not to follow the link; using these types of links will prevent search engines from crawling those pages and finding new content, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the SEO site.
5- Do not include these types of pages in the XML sitemap:
You should choose pages in the XML sitemap which you want to use to get high rankings in search engines, but usually, paginated pages are not in this category, and even if these pages are indexed, they should not be chosen in the XML sitemap.
6- References URLs that in turn redirect to other pages:
Doing so is confusing for search engines.
7- The content of the page should not be too short:
Today, users are accustomed to scrolling through sites; when the content of the site is too short, the user cannot scroll through the website, so he/she won't get a positive user experience, so it is recommended to give them a scrolling space according to the categorized topics.
8- Specify the page that the user is visiting:
When a user enters your site and encounters lots of pages, he/she may be a little confused, so it is better to specify the page that the user is visiting for him/her.
9- Different designs for mobile version:
As you know, nowadays mobile devices are widely being used, and users spend many hours a day using them, the screens of mobile phones are different compared to computers. As a result, you have to consider a different design for each device while doing pagination so that your pagination performance will not decrease in this situation.
In such cases, the numbers are replaced with icons, and only the main elements such as the current page number, the next page button, and the previous page button are displayed to the user so that the user doesn't face any problem after accessing your site via mobile.
Note the following points when you are doing pagination:
- Refer to Links to the first page.
- Don't do pagination for pages that do not require it, such as blogs and etc.
- Create a relationship among the existing links.
- Use simple pagination techniques at the beginning and gradually add to the complexity of your techniques.
- In designing the site pagination, only show useful and practical links to users and remove any additional access.
- As mentioned before, do not apply the noindex instruction to paginated pages.
If you have access to a log server, you can realize whether you were successful or not. First, you can analyze the extent of Google bots crawling on pagination pages and determine the amount of Google bots' activity on your site; then, you can search for phrases to determine how many of these pages are in the Google index. After doing all this, compare the final results with previous ones to see how successful you were in this field.
The following tools can help you analyze the site:
1- Log server files:
By using these files, you can find out the number of crawls that have been done on a page.
2- search operator command:
This command can be used to determine how many paginated pages Google has indexed.
3- Google Analytics:
Google Analytics gives you a full report of the landing page, and you can also realize the behavior of users more accurately through the information you get from this tool.
4- Google Search Console:
The reports of this tool help you to understand how many times your pages are displayed on the search results page.
In general, if the pagination of a site is not done properly, it will have negative effects on the SEO of the website. We tried our best in this article to help you by mentioning the necessary points of pagination so that you can paginate a site to create a positive user experience and take steps to optimize your site and get high rankings in search engine results.Website SEO analysis services