Here's How We Craft Our SEO Pagination Strategy

Learn the ins and outs of pagination for SEO, including tips on URL structure, page speed, and internal linking.

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Helpful Summary
  • Overview: We give you a comprehensive overview of pagination—what it is, why you should care, and best practices for doing it well.
  • Why you can trust us: We leverage our expertise to offer actionable insights and proven strategies for managing paginated content effectively.
  • Why this is important: Pagination can have a significant impact on your website's search engine ranking and overall SEO efforts.
  • Action points: Consider technical SEO aspects such as URL structure, page speed, and structured data.
  • Further research: Check out the LinkActions blog for more expert tips on improving your SEO strategy.
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Looking for the Best Pagination SEO Tips?

Pagination is less discussed than a lot of SEO topics—but it can be absolutely essential for sites with large bodies of content they need to organize and optimize.
In this LinkActions guide, we explore how to harness pagination's SEO potential without falling into common pitfalls. Read on for best practices, technical considerations, and internal link strategies to help bring your paginated content to the top of search results.
But first…

Why Listen to Us?

At LinkActions, we believe technical SEO doesn’t need to be complex. We’ve helped hundreds of sites automatically implement 1.21 million (and counting!) internal links without lifting a finger. And the results are often incredible.
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The bottom line? We love simplifying SEO so you can focus on creating quality content. And in this guide, we’re setting our sites on pagination.

What Is Pagination in SEO?

Pagination is when a website’s content is split across multiple pages.
Here’s LinkAction’s blog, for example. We consistently publish new content on SEO and internal linking, so our archive is getting too big to fit comfortably on one page. Instead, we’ve spread the posts over three pages.
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Blogs are a common example of pagination in action, but they’re far from the only. Other common use cases include:
  • Product listings on e-commerce sites
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  • Image galleries
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  • Forums and message boards
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Pagination and SEO: Benefits and Risks

When implemented well, pagination is great for SEO. But poorly implemented pagination can sometimes do more harm than good.
Here’s a summary of the main benefits and risks:

SEO Benefits of Pagination

  • Improved UX: Pagination lets users see how much content is available and navigate to specific pages quickly. Both of these boost your site’s UX.
  • Better Internal Linking: Pagination breaks your site’s content into manageable chunks, and internal links give users (and search engines) a way to make sense of this structure. In other words, they’re symbiotic.
  • Fast Load Times: Smaller chunks of content help boost page load speeds, especially if you’ve implemented lazy loading or infinite scroll. This is a major selling point for users and search engines.

SEO Risks of Pagination

  • Duplicate Content: Pagination can easily lead to duplicate content (which can harm your SEO efforts), especially if each page has a unique URL. A simple example is if you have a “View All” page which combines the content from your paginated pages. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this issue.
  • Crawl Budget Waste: If search engines can’t efficiently crawl all of the pages in your paginated series, they may not index as much of your content as you’d like. This can also negatively impact your SEO efforts.
  • Page Authority Dilution: In cases where links and content are spread across multiple pages, link equity's authority and relevance can be weakened. This dilution can push individual paginated pages lower in search rankings, where they are less likely to be discovered by users.

Best Practices for Pagination SEO (That Doesn’t Harm Your Site)

1. Use Clear URLs

Ensure that each paginated page has a unique URL and that these URLs are accessible through crawlable anchor links. Also, make sure that you include “clues” that help both users and search engines determine where in the series each paginated pages falls.
To illustrate, let’s look at the URL structure of the LinkActions blog.
  • Blog Homepage:
  • Blog Page #1:
  • Blog Page #2:
It’s that simple. Just make sure that you include a clear indication of the page number (e.g., '?page=1') in your URLs so that search engines can easily navigate through your paginated content.
Pro Tip: You may see references to ‘prev/next’ in older pagination content. This structure has been officially retired by Google (much to the relief of SEOs). So, stick with the simple ‘?page=’ structure for optimal results.

2. Implement Self-Referencing Canonical Tags

This is crucial for avoiding duplicate content.
Basically, you want to make sure that each paginated page has a self-referencing canonical tag pointing to itself. This tells search engines that each paginated page is the primary version of the content and should be indexed accordingly.
A simple example?
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Say a user sorts the third paginated product page in a series by price. The URL might look something like In this case, the canonical tag would tell Google that this isn’t the main version of the page— is.
So, how do you implement these self-referencing canonical tags? If you’re using a content management system, there may be plugins or built-in features that allow you to add canonical tags easily. Otherwise, you can manually add the tag in the head section of your HTML code.
For example, we can add this tag to the HTML head of a paginated webpage:
  • <link rel="canonical" href="">
The “href” attribute specifies the page's preferred URL, which, in the case of a self-referencing canonical, is the URL of the page itself.

3. Optimize Meta Tags and Titles

To avoid duplicate title tag issues, modify title tags to include unique identifiers for each page (e.g., “Page 2,” “Page 3,” etc.). Similarly, consider applying unique rules to meta descriptions to differentiate pages in the series.

4. Provide Clear Navigation for Users and Search Engines

Pagination is also supposed to be user-centric (like almost everything in SEO). That means you need to make it easy for users to:
  1. Understand the pagination structure, and
  1. Navigate through the pages.
One way to do this is by including clear navigation elements, such as “Next” and “Previous” buttons, or a drop-down menu with page numbers.
Treat pagination pages like internal links, focusing on context and relevance. Make sure that each internal link gives the reader more context, and definitely avoid using generic phrases like “click here” or “learn more.”
This advice holds for your overall internal linking strategy, too. Want to automate the process of finding and implementing internal links without worrying about details like anchor text density and link relevance?
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With LinkActions, you can install a simple code snippet on your website and let our tool handle the rest. We'll analyze your content, find relevant internal link opportunities, add them to your pages, and help you monitor their health.

6. Monitor and Test Pagination

Finally, make sure you monitor your pagination—especially in the following scenarios:
  • For the first few months after implementing pagination.
  • Immediately following search engine algorithm updates.
  • When making significant changes to your website's structure or content.
Monitoring is always important, but these tend to be the times when things go haywire. Use tools like Google Search Console to make sure that paginated pages aren’t showing up in search results, and regularly check your website analytics to see how users are interacting with your pagination.

Technical SEO Considerations for Pagination

Pagination is rooted in technical SEO, where meticulous attention to detail is paramount.
Here are technical aspects to focus on to improve pagination SEO:

URL Structure and Parameters

Create a clear and logical URL structure for your paginated pages. Use descriptive parameters that can help search engines understand the content and context of the pagination.

Page Speed Optimization

Paginated pages, especially when loaded with images and other media, can lead to slower load times. Compress images, implement lazy loading, and leverage browser caching to improve page speed, which can directly affect SEO rankings.

Structured Data Markup

Use structured data to mark up paginated content properly. This provides additional context to search engines about the relationships between paginated pages and can enhance visibility in search results through rich snippets.

Noindex for Non-Essential Pages

Apply the “noindex” tag to pages containing thin or duplicate content, such as empty search result pages, to prevent them from being crawled and indexed. This preserves your site’s authority and prevents search engines from considering these pages as low-quality content.


Pagination may seem like a scary, advanced SEO maneuver. But the reality is that it’s a fairly simple process with a lot of benefits (when done correctly). By following these best practices for pagination, you can improve your site’s user experience and search engine visibility.
Want to automate SEO admin work like internal linking to free up time for bigger projects? Let LinkActions take the reigns and handle all your site's internal linking. Our tool can scan thousands of pages to find ideal anchor text and target pages—and implement them for you.
Sign up for a free trial to get started.

Written by

Glenn Espinosa

Founder of Linkactions