Any help that an SEO can get from Google is welcome help. Sure, many will say that the information is limited and it might not tell the whole story but Google does seem to be making more efforts to appear more transparent about search and techniques related. It was just this Monday that we shared the Google video that takes you inside a search engineer meeting.
Now Google is giving SEO’s guidance on pagination. This latest advice was posted to the Webmaster Central blog and is introduced with the following:
Paginated content includes things like an article that spans several URLs/pages, or an e-commerce product category that spans multiple pages. With rel=”next” and rel=”prev” markup, you can provide a strong hint to Google that you would like us to treat these pages as a logical sequence, thus consolidating their linking properties and usually sending searchers to the first page.
Now the video.
If you would like more details on pagination you may want to consider checking out Vanessa Fox’s post that will take you on a deep dive from another perspective apart from Google. As always there is more behind the curtain and its good to have experts pull that curtain a little more for the rest of us.
What’s fascinating about all of this is the final paragraph of the Google blog post which serves as quick relief then a veiled warning.
Remember that if you have paginated content, it’s fine to leave it as-is and not add rel=”next” and rel=”prev” markup at all. But if you’re interested in pagination markup as a strong hint for us to better understand your site, we hope these resources help answer your questions!
It’s Google’s subtle way of saying ” While you can do nothing and it will be OK, we STRONGLY suggest you follow this advice because we REALLY like strong hints from web sites about how to best index content.” Honestly, that only makes sense. Happy paginating!