How does pagination impact SEO?

Pagination without a doubt helps create great user experiences. But does it positively or negatively impact SEO?

The effects your site’s crawling by search engine bots

When it comes to sites with a lots of pages, bot crawler have to determine what content on the site they need to crawl, how frequently they need to crawl the site, and the resources that the site’s server can allocate to the crawling process. In comes the [crawl budgetconcept.

When your site has large amounts of data, search engine bots need to use their crawl budget wisely. They need to choose what content to crawl, and how often. This means that there is a likelihood that some of your content will neither be crawled nor indexed. There is also a likelihood that the crawl budget will be spent on the pages that the pagination directs to, and other significant pages may never be crawled nor indexed.

What does this mean then?

After implementing pagination on your site, you need to prioritize the most important pages on your home page, or on the page where pagination begins. An example here would be a search engine like Google. The most relevant search results are on page one. This way, your crawl budget will be spent on your best content. Once users are on your site, then they have the opportunity to interact with other pages as structured by your pagination.

It may result in the creation of ‘thin’ content

There are cases where pagination can result in the creation of ‘thin’ content. This is when the content offers little value to the user, if any. [Thin contentcould also result from a page with little content, and scraped and spinner content too.

If you split content types as a single article spread across multiple pages, you may end up with pages with little content. Search engine bots simply will not rank thin content. They want content that is valuable to the user, and that answers a user’s intent.