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Pagination is a process used to divide content across a series of pages. Implemented as the link elements rel=next and rel=prev, these help search engine crawlers understand the relationship between the pages. With recent updates to the way Google handles pagination, our Hangout Notes cover these advancements along with recommendations for implementing pagination.

How does Google handle infinite scrolling? Well, it depends…

One user asked whether Googlebot is advanced enough yet to handle infinite scrolling. John explains that pages are rendered by Google using a fairly high viewport. Usually, this means that some amount of infinite scrolling is triggered. However, it all depends on the implementation. The best way to check is to run the page through the Inspection tool to get a clear view of what Google is actually picking up.

17 Mar 2022

Best practices for canonicals on paginated pages can depend on your wider internal linking structure

John tackled one of the most common questions asked of SEOs; how should we be handling canonical attributes on paginated pages? Ultimately, it depends on the site architecture. If internal linking is strong enough across the wider site, it’s feasible to canonicalize all paginated URLs to page 1 without content dropping from the index. However, if you rely on Google crawling pages 2, 3… and so on to find all of the content you want to be crawled, make sure that paginated URLs self-canonicalize.

6 Dec 2021

Excessively Flat Site Hierarchy May Confuse Google

An excessively flat site architecture, such as having a very large sitewide navigation or linking to all pages in a paginated set from page 1, may confuse Google about the site hierarchy, which page to rank, and what to show as Sitelinks.

6 Mar 2020

Headings and Titles on Paginated Pages Helps Google to Identify the Set

Headings and page titles with a number help Google to identify a set of paginated series of pages which belong together, but they can usually figure it out based on links between the pages.

6 Mar 2020

Ensure Google is Able to Crawl All Pages Involved Within Infinite Scroll

When implementing infinite scroll, ensure Google is able to reach all of the pages involved. John recommends the best way to do this is by linking to all the pages individually through a pagination set up, to ensure each page can be crawled.

27 Sep 2019

Be Cautious Implementing Infinite Scroll on Publishing Sites

John recommends being cautious implementing infinite scroll on publishing sites because having multiple pieces of content in the same HTML might be confusing for Google if they are individual pieces of content.

1 May 2019

Viewport is Expanded During Rendering & Likely to Trigger Infinite Scroll Once or Twice

When a page is rendered, Google expands the viewport and then contracts it to try to fit the primary content on the page. Expanding the viewport could trigger one or two infinite scrolls on pages with this functionality, but would not cause Googlebot to keep triggering this and infinitely crawling pages.

1 May 2019

Cross-link Pages to Help Ensure Google Can Discover Them to Decrease Reliance on Pagination

Focusing on improving internal linking across product and blog post pages is a good strategy for ensuring Google is able to find these pages on your site rather than relying on pagination.

18 Apr 2019

Google Doesn’t Treat Paginated Pages Differently From Any Other Pages

John explained that Google treats paginated pages in the same way as any other page on a website. While Google does try to understand how pages fit into the context of a website as a whole, they do not apply an attribute to pages to indicate it is a paginated page.

22 Mar 2019

Rel=next/prev May Still Be Useful Even Though No Longer Used by Google

Although rel=next/prev is no longer used by Google, John doesn’t recommend removing it from a site as it is still used by some browsers for prefetching and by other search engines.

22 Mar 2019

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