Why Paginated archive should be noindex for search engines

Just as with reading books, search engines look for the most appropriate manner to get searchers to what they seek.

Paginated archive pages are pages that display a list of posts from a website’s archives broken up into multiple pages. These multiple pages are of categorised nature that looks at relisting the actual content as a member of a specific listing category. This categorised index becomes another way of reaching the actual content, creating a scenario often refereed to as canonical. To prevent these pages from being indexed in search engines, it is recommended to use the “noindex” meta tag or HTTP header to instruct the search engine crawlers not to index these pages.

Paginated archives are essentially a way to split up content into multiple pages, such as for blog posts or search results. By default, search engines will index each page of the paginated archive separately, which can result in duplicate content issues and diminish the overall quality of the search results. To avoid these issues, you may wish to consider using a noindex tag to prevent search engines from indexing your paginated archive.

There are several reasons for this recommendation:

  1. Duplicate content: Paginated archive pages often have a lot of duplicated content, such as the header, footer, and sidebar, which can confuse search engines and result in lower rankings.
  2. Thin content: Due to the limited space on each page, the text on paginated archive pages is often very limited, which can be seen as “thin content” by search engines and result in lower rankings.
  3. Cannibalization: Paginated archive pages can compete with other important pages on the site for search rankings, which can lead to cannibalization of search traffic.
  4. Crawling budget waste: Paginated archive pages can consume a significant portion of a site’s “crawling budget” (the number of pages search engines crawl on a site), which could be better spent on more important pages.
  5. Can help to keep the focus on the main content on your site, rather than on less important pages like paginated archives.

For these reasons, it is generally recommended to noindex paginated archive pages to avoid potential negative impacts on SEO performance. However, it’s important to note that some arguments can be made against noindexing paginated archives, as they limit the amount of your content that search engines can crawl and potentially rank. So, it ultimately depends on your specific website and SEO goals as to whether noindexing your paginated archives makes sense for you. In most cases, No Indexing is the most beneficial.

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Last updated on October 2nd, 2023


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