How Site Pagination Affect SEO

Do you remember the news snippet we did on how site structure can impact SEO? It seems like the spotlight is once again on pagination. John Mueller has shared some tips for the kind of pagination that adds to user experience and makes the content easily findable. 

Whether you are a blog owner or, run an online store with multiple categories and products here is an update to help you use pagination to your advantage.

What is Pagination?

Simply put, pagination is the practice of breaking down the digital content into discreet pages and clubbing together pages that belong to a class/category.

Is Pagination Important?

Yes. If you have an online store with a wide range of products or, own a blog that has reached a large number of posts, pagination will add the much-needed brevity to the site making it easier for site users to locate what they are looking for.

In short, pagination contributes to

  1. Easier Navigation: Colossal sites like Amazon with hundreds of products listed in there need to divide them into categories to allow users to find them. 
  2. Enhanced User Experience: Having a large content set broken into smaller chunks helps users find it easily and thus makes for a great user experience.

But does Pagination Impact SEO?

Yes!

If handled correctly, pagination can positively impact SEO.

However, there are some snares you must avoid at all costs.

The Snares

Excessive Pagination

On one hand, while pagination makes it easier for users to find the relevant content, on the other, excessive pagination or, what John Mueller refers to as a deep hierarchy of pages, can make it difficult not only for users but also for search engines to crawl and index pages.

Needless to say, anything that poses a roadblock for crawlers will negatively impact rankings and gradually result in loss of traffic.

But hold on! Don’t run to make changes in your pagination and start linking every page to the Home Page. There’s yet another catch! 

Flat Site Structure

As detrimental as a deep hierarchy or, excessive pagination, is a flat site structure, where every article is linked to the home page. While this may make them easily accessible, there is no way for a crawler to know which category they belong to.

As a result, this adversely impacts SEO in a way very different from excessive pagination.

The Way Out

The solution to this conundrum was best provided by Mueller in his tweets. You will find the exact details of the tweet on importance of site structure here while that on pagination says, 

“Use categories or tags to cross link so that you have a handful paginated pages per type, from where you link to the blog posts. Keep a good & balanced hierarchy, not too flat, not too deep.”

To create optimum pagination, strike the right balance between pagination which is not too elaborate to bury articles and content deep and makes them difficult to locate, and a structure that links every piece of information to the home page making the site flat.

As a last word, we would add, if you see a drop in rankings and traffic to your site despite great content and inbound links, pagination is something you should look at and make changes, if necessary.

 

Selina

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