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What is Pagination? Everything that you need to know

If are the owner of a website, chances are high that there is pagination on there somewhere. Yet, truth be told, pagination is not something that many of us ever stop to think about.  Indeed, there is usually no reason for you to worry about it on your website, till you begin to encounter problems. But what is pagination and why is it so important?

What is Pagination?

what is pagination

The term pagination refers to the way in which content in your articles is arranged in such a way that some spills over onto the next page. Most people prefer that their articles appear as one page, so pagination is never an issue. However, there are instances where pagination becomes inevitable.

If your website has a large number of articles in the blog section, only a few of them are ever going to be shown at once. People who visit the section therefore need to click on “Previous,” and “Next” buttons to view the rest of your content.

Where is it used?

This is something that we have already alluded to above. To recap, pagination is used in the following instances;

  • In posts and articles. This breaks long articles into various sections.
  • In pages
  • In archive pages
Why use pagination?

So, why would you use pagination on your blog? Again, this is something to which we have already alluded;

  • To inform search engines that content should be looked at as part of a series. In other words, proper pagination tells search engines not to consider a paginated article as two separate articles.
  • It allows you to break up large articles into more manageable sizes. This is probably something that most bloggers will ever have to worry about, however.

Pagination and SEO

Pagination is usually taken for granted, yet it is very important to get it right when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Improperly implemented pagination can negatively affect the SEO of a site. But how would this happens?

  • Search engines could mistake a paginated article as a completely separate article. This would have adverse effects for your SEO by having an article that is devoid of backlinks and other SEO tools.
  • If you have written an article of 3000 words, as an example, and have paginated it into sections of 500 words, improperly implemented pagination would make Search Engines, such as Google and Yahoo, believe that the article is actually 6 posts. This obviously would negate any benefits that you may have had from having a longer article.
  • Should you improperly implement pagination on your site, you will end up having articles that compete for the same keywords, which is also detrimental to your SEO efforts.
Properly implementing Pagination on your Site

The average blogger never actually needs to take care of pagination issues on their sites. However, once in a while, you should check to see that everything is set up properly. The following will help you properly implement pagination;

  • Whenever you paginate your content, take care to include rel=”prev” and rel= “next” tags. This informs Search engines that the content that you are breaking up actually belongs to one article.
  • Make sure that the first page in your paginated article has rel=”next”. The pages in the middle should have both the rel=”prev” and rel= “next” tags.
  • The final page should have the rel=”prev” tag.

What does this do?

Implementing the above tags tells Search Engines that the paginated content belongs in one article and should, therefore, be considered as such. We have already noted that this is an important way through which you can avoid confusing Search Engines as they crawl through your site. Again, the average user does not need to worry about pagination since it is taken care of at the level of the theme.

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