Indexability Hints

Low This Hint is of the lowest significance, and should only be addressed if there are not more serious issues which have not been handled. Opportunity This Hint represents an opportunity for optimization.

Paginated URL missing next/prev canonicals

This means that the URL in question is a pagination URL, yet is missing rel="next" and rel="prev" link elements.

Why is this important?

Sometimes referred to as 'pagination canonicals', you can add rel="next" and rel="prev" link elements to pages to indicate that they are part of paginated series. In fact, this is one of the most effective ways to handle paginated content, and comes recommended by Google.

What does the Hint check?

This Hint will trigger for any internal URL which appears to be paginated, but is missing the next/prev elements.

Examples that trigger this Hint:

Consider the URL: https://example.com/page-a?p=2

The Hint would trigger for this URL if it contained some pagination elements in the HTML, such as 'next' and 'previous' links;

<div class="previous"><a href="https://example.com/page-a?p=1">Previous</a></div>
<div class="next"><a href="https://example.com/page-a?p=3">Next></a></div>

AND was also missing both of the following;

Rel next/prev link elements in the <head>:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>example</title>
<link rel="next" href="https://example.com/page-a?p=3" />
<link rel="prev" href="https://example.com/page-a?p=1" />
...
</head>
<body>...</body>
</html>

AND rel next/prev link elements in the HTTP Header:

HTTP/... 200 OK

...
Link: <https://example.com/page-a?p=3>; rel="next"
Link: <https://example.com/page-a?p=1>; rel="prev"

Why is this Hint marked 'Opportunity'?

In Sitebulb, this Hint is an Opportunity, as it represents a situation where you could optimize the site to potentially gain more search traffic.

Next/prev is not technically required; an alternative solution, for example, is to use a canonical on all paginated pages which points at a 'View All' page. This article by Google lays out the different options for handling pagination, which includes 'Do nothing and let us figure it out'!

However, the prudent option might be to take the guesswork out of it, and use rel next/prev to unambiguously signal to search engines that these pages should be considered part of a paginated series, which may help them handle the pages better in terms of rankings.

Please also note that Sitebulb is trying to figure out that a page might be paginated based on the HTML elements it finds - which means that false positives could occur, for instance if you happen to call a certain <div> 'next' and put an <a> tag inside it, but the page isn't in fact part of a paginated series. So please use your discretion with this Hint and don't just take Sitebulb's word for it!

Further Reading

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