• Anthony D. Nelson

    Great article Adam. I also recommend (when possible) having the client create more categories or subcategories, lessening the overall amount of products and pages in each category.

  • http://www.raisemyrank.com/ Bob Gladstein

    I’m not clear on why you’d choose to put a “noindex, follow” on the paginated pages and go to the trouble of giving them unique URLs, titles and meta descriptions. Are you suggesting that if they’re too similar they won’t even be crawled, keeping their links from being followed?

  • http://gplus.to/clarktaylor Clark Taylor

    Hmmm. Before the rel=next/prev announcement, I was going to implement a noindex,follow on all paginated pages. After hearing the discussion about this at SMX, I thought rel=prev/next was a better solution. Doesn’t rel=prev/next really accomplish the same thing…tells the SEs that paginated pages are part of a series? I think I remember the speaker from Google saying that they will most likely display the page with only a rel=next (the first page in a series) in the SERPS.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Bob, great question. The thinking is that unique pages will be more likely to get scored favorably, rather than just counted as dupes and rolled up to a canonical selection (Google makes canonical decisions when pages appear duplicated). As such, the links on said pages should get crawled more frequently and/or be counted more heavily if the pages are made more unique.

    Quite possibly overkill, but you can’t be too cautious in my opinion, as long as the resources to do this are not excessive.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Clark, I treated rel nex/pre in this article. Still testing, but yes, that likely changes things.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Anthony – great point to increase the number of category types. Just need to a little careful with too much cross-categorization.

  • http://www.30go30.com/dr-pete Dr. Peter J. Meyers

    I have mixed feelings about this post. On the one hand, this a great, comprehensive overview. On the other hand, I was mid-way through an updated SEOmoz post about pagination that I’ve now decided to scrap. So, great post, but I hate you, Adam ;)

    Google’s mixed messages haven’t helped. They’ve been contradictory about using rel-canonical for pagination, and often what they say doesn’t seem to match how the algo actually works. Recently, they finally said that a canonical to “View All” was ok.

    One note. I asked some of the Bing crew about rel=prev and rel=next yesterday, and Duane Forrester said that they don’t support it yet. He implied they’re taking a wait-and-see approach.

  • http://www.seoinc.com/ Kevin Graves

    To clarify on step 3, when you say “add rel=”canonical” annotations to these URLs”, do you mean to self-reference the component pages itself for any possible duplicate content, or to reference the first page in the series?

    Should the view all pages be showing all of the ‘products’ from a particular ‘category’ rather than all products from all categories?

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Thanks, Dr Pete! Great compliment coming from you. I agree that Google’s mixed messaging has been a problem here, and also that some of their (now dated) advice didn’t seem to play out the way the intended out in the wild, at least in our experience.

    I wouldn’t expect Bing to adopt rel nex/pre anytime soon. They’re still not supporting rel canonical very well, from what we’ve seen, and have yet to support cross-domain canonicals at all. Keeping up with Google’s innovations is not an easy thing to do. But I like Bing’s approach to efficient crawls and important URLs rather than trying to index the entire web like Google.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Kevin, in step 3 the rel canonicals are self-referencing, to avoid any duplication through permutations in the URL structures. Always a case by case call, but this solves problems with tracking parameters on URLs causing dupes, for example. Never add rel canonical targets back to the first page from deeper pages in the series.

  • http://www.seoinc.com/ Kevin Graves

    Hey Adam,

    I agree, and i’ve taken the same approach for the most part with my own personal websites. What separates your steps from mine is the introduction of the “view-all” page.

    Would you mind clarifying the purpose of having the “view-all” page in this set of steps for SEO? Why create a “view-all” page if the intent is not to have the page indexed or associate rankings with that page? I have read the google announcement about the preferred “view-all” page, and i agree in most cases it returns the most relavent result on there for users.

    Is there something besides simply having a “view-all” page that is contributing to your set steps for implementing the next/prev tags for users? I believe from Googles standpoint, if you dont have a “view-all” page is where you should then introduce the next/prev tags, otherwise those component or paginated pages should canonical to the “view-all” page.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    Kevin, the view all page simply creates a single crawl point for all the products/items/whatever listed in that category. The same products are listed on pages in a series, of course, but the view all is an additional step to ensure all the products get sufficient internal link weight and are crawled as equally as possible.

  • http://www.seoinc.com/ Kevin Graves

    Thanks for the reply,

    I agree mostly with your steps except creating the “view all” page if one doesnt exist.

    In the event that a “view all” page is created or exists, that is when the canonical tag should be used on the component pages to reference the “view all” page to consolidate the rankings to one page. Otherwise In the event that a “view all” page doesn’t exist, one doesn’t need to be created, and the webmaster should use the rel next and previous tags.

    In the cases that you want to ensure that all the products get sufficient internal weight and are crawled, then its okay to create that “view all” page, but then the canonical tag should just take precedence to reference that main page

  • Rahul Srivastav

    Great annotation on Pagination page, this would help to large website which is facing duplicate content, duplicate pages. But, it should be implemented properly, because paginated pages does matter in ranking. I liked this. Keep posting these kind of information.
    Thanks.