Most SEOs I know are still grumbling a little about the rel=next and rel=prev is no longer supported, as of two years ago. Google did give us pagination SEO advice in an unstructured format a while ago but really has not put together a document SEOs can reference to deal with pagination (hey Lizzi can you work on this?).
John Mueller of Google had someone look at this pagination and SEO issue a different way. John said on Twitter to ask yourself “if someone only saw this page from my site, would that be ok?” If the answer is yes, that would be okay, then “just noindex” the page he said.
Here are those tweets:
I wouldn’t assume there’s any special SEO element regarding paginated pages — it’s often more a matter of “if someone only saw this page from my site, would that be ok?” If not, just noindex. Sometimes these are more for UI/UX than for indexing, sometimes they’re both.
— ???? John ???? (@JohnMu) March 2, 2021
Here is the advice John gave after we learned rel=prev/next no longer was supported about two years ago:
- Just keep doing what you are doing with pagination.
- If you haven’t had issues up until now, then whatever you were doing has been working.
- Google hasn’t supported them in years
- Google just realized they haven’t supported them in years.
- Google immediately wanted to let the community know they found this out.
- This way Google won’t tell people to do things that are “kind of unnecessary.” I believe John here is referring to it being unnecessary for communicating to Google about combing pages into a set.
- Nothing you need to change.
- It’s definitely not the case that you need to remove all pagination
- Same, not the case that you need to and make one giant page.
- But you need to make sure the pagination pages can kind of stand on their own.
- Use third party tools to see if there are crawling issues to get to deep product pages.
I am not sure everyone would use the “if someone only saw this page from my site, would that be ok?” check as their solution for pagination and SEO?
Forum discussion at Twitter.