How does Google understand what pages are in a set of pagination? Well, with the rel prev and next no longer being supported, Google has given other advice. Google’s John Mueller was asked about this in a video hangout last week, and while he said having page numbers in your titles and headers help a little, your internal navigation links matter more.
At the 17:36 mark into the video, John addressed the question by saying that while headers and page titles with the number of the page set helps Google a little bit. He said what Google really seems to do is see the next and previous buttons in your paginated content navigation, to determine what is part of the set.
Listen to the video, click play and it should start in the right position:
Here is the transcript:
Headings and page titles kind of help us with paginate series to understand that these series belong together. So if if they’re the the same or if you have something like a number in the headings and titles, then that helps us a little bit.
But we can also generally figure this out through the links on the page. Where we see well this one has like a link to the next page and it has a link to the previous page, then maybe that’s like a part of a series that we can hold together.
With regards to duplicate content, with regards to the kind of the header on a page the the general layout of a page like this that’s something you generally don’t need to worry about.
So we would recognize this as duplicate content but it’s not that we would demote the website because of that. It’s more that we recognize there’s some blocks of text on this page that are the same as other pages on your website. So if anyone is looking specifically for something within that block of text then that’s something where we try to find the most appropriate version of that piece of content on your website. But it’s not the case that we would say well this piece of text is duplicated multiple times so we will treat this website as being bad.
So from from that point of view usually this kind of pagination where you have blocks of text or images that are shared across different versions, that’s perfectly fine.
That is, it helps until Google gets it wrong? But that is your job, SEOs, make sure Google doesn’t get it wrong.
Forum discussion at YouTube Community.