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The impact of website pagination on SEO services

7 minutes of reading
The impact of website pagination on SEO services
Category SEO

Pagination has been used on websites since the beginning of time (or at least, since the first website), but not much thought has gone into its impact on SEO services. But now that Google’s page indexing has gotten better, pagination can really have an impact on your site and your search engine ranking abilities. Here’s everything you need to know about how pagination impacts your search engine rankings and what you can do to stop it from hurting you.


What is pagination?

Page pagination is otherwise known as pagination. It consists in dividing the content on the website and placing it on separate subpages. This content can be an article, blog entries, and in the case of an online store, a list of products. Each page has its own URL and is treated as another subpage of the website.

Why is it important?

Pagination can be an effective technique to help users find what they’re looking for, which can lead to increased conversion rates and higher rankings in search engine results pages. Visitors are more likely to click through a series of pages than search for something in the middle of a long page, and so paginated content will rank higher with Google.

Relationship between pagination and search engine optimization

Implementing pagination has one basic function – improving the speed of page loading. This greatly impacts usability for users and conversions as well. As the next product photo loads on the website, potential customers “run away” and abandon the site.

Using pagination, the user can see the number of articles that are similar to a selected category within a moment of entering the website. The solution may encourage him to scroll down further on our website rather than take too long to load all photos for a given category. A page should not have too many products.

Indexing and pagination

Indexing, in the context of search engine optimization, is the process of having a website’s content indexed by search engines. This means that your website has a chance to be included in Google’s index and ranked for relevant search terms. Without proper indexing, you’ll miss out on potential traffic from people who are looking for something you provide but can’t find it because they don’t know what page it’s on.

Pagination impacts indexing, and will make your site seem like it has more content. The downside is that, when if it is entered incorrectly, it can take a while for the search engine to index your paginated pages, so visitors might not find the content they are looking for right away.

Paging problems and ideas how to fix them

Now let’s take a closer look at the problems caused by poorly implemented pagination. You may already know many of these elements, but they will look different in this context.

Crawl budget

Crawl budget is the total amount of time and resources that a search engine can spend crawling, indexing and ranking your site. This means that if you have many pages, each page will get less crawl budget than it would if you only had a few. Generally speaking, this is not something to worry about because most websites don’t have enough pages for this to be a problem.

The downside of not correctly implemented pagination is wasting the indexing budget for the site. For instance, if a store has a very large assortment, the page of their site will still be indexed. This means that Google robots will visit and evaluate each page, even if that page was not meant to be indexed. There are limitations with this process. Robots on our site will waste time on the subsite when there is no valuable content or, even worse, duplicate content. This significantly delays the process of locating relevant information in the main content on the site, specifically in the following categories.

Duplicate content

Duplicated content is any content that appears in more than one place on the same website. If a page has two versions, and both versions are indexed by search engines, Google will display only one version in its index and choose which to show at random each time it crawls the page. What’s worse, if a site has many duplicate pages with little or no content variation between them, search engines may de-index all of these pages altogether. Paging problems are a common issue that can lead to duplicate content. You’ll want to make sure your pagination is set up correctly so you’re not accidentally including the same content twice in different parts of your site.

First page of pagination

The category page may be duplicated with the first page of the pagination, because the same content appears on both pages. A CMS generates this situation by automatically copying the base page for the first pagination page. Removing the first paging page will resolve the problem. If that’s not possible, you can redirect to the category page with a 301 redirect.


Canonical links (otherwise tag rel canonical or rel = canonical) can be used to eliminate internal duplicate content on several subpages of our store. A meta tag’s main purpose is to inform search engines which URL is the canonical one. The implementation of their method will allow us to indicate to Google robots which subpages should not be indexed.

Noindex Tag

Paging problems can be avoided by adding a noindex tag to pages that are not being indexed. This will also help avoid duplicate content issues. Adding the noindex tag will take the page out of the search engine index, and create the effect that Googlebot is no longer accessing the page. The result is less work for your webmaster, as well as fewer errors for your visitors. Adding this line of code: noindex to your page’s head tags, or equivalent meta tags, is another way to prevent paging problems from occurring in Google search results.

The rel = “prev” and rel = “next” attributes

Paging problems are a common occurrence in websites that use pagination to provide users with different pages. The rel = prev and rel = next attributes can help resolve this problem. If a user wants to go back to the previous page, the link for the current page should have a link for prev or previous on it, depending on how far back the user wants to go. If a user wants to move forward in their browsing history, there should be links for next or next page depending on how many times they want to go forward.


A sitemap.xml is a file that lists all the pages in your website and the language they are written in. When you create one, it can help search engines crawl your website more effectively. Search engine crawlers will also use this information to prioritize which pages to index when crawling your site.

Infinite Scroll

It is becoming increasingly common to encounter infinite scroll paging on websites, which loads the content of the next subpage as the user scrolls the listing or article content. All that changes while browsing is the URL in the address bar. A downside to this solution is that if the user leaves the site, it will be hard to return to the same page as with standard pagination (a bar with sequential page numbers).

Load More

This is the same solution as Infinite Scrolling, but the event that triggers the process of downloading and displaying new data is clicking the “load more” button or its equivalent. Load more is a good solution from the user’s point of view, because the Internet user then has some control over what is happening on the website. The layout does not change without user interaction with the website, and in the event that we want to quickly check what information is in the footer.

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Last thoughts

These are just a few of the many factors to consider when deciding if pagination is right for your site. When it comes to search engine optimization, pagination can be a great tool to give your content exposure and increase your readership. However, if you don’t take the time to optimize your pages and posts, the benefits of pagination could be hindered. Ultimately, it all depends on what you want from your website – more exposure or more clicks?

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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