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I have an eCommerce website and most of the categories have multiple pages.

I have ran an SEO check on seobility which mentioned duplicate content and pages fighting with each other for the same keywords. When checked, the duplicate content and pages weighting where of the same category just different pages. ie...

  • example.com/category/
  • example.com/category/page2/
  • example.com/category/page3/

I have the option to noindex extra pages but was wondering if this was worth doing?

My concern is that it may limit exposure of certain products which may appear on deeper pages.

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Simply use these to solve the issue and always prefer performing manual brain-ful checks over automatic audits and softwares.

  1. Use <link rel="next" href="..."> on each page that has a page after it (all pages but the last page. The href attribute comes with the absolute URL of the next page.
  2. Use <link rel="prev" href="..."> on each page that has a page before it (all pages but the first page. The href attribute comes with the absolute URL of the previous page.
  3. Use <link rel="canonical" href="..."> on all the pages. The href attribute's content will be the absolute URL of the first page of each list.
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    Thanks for your reply, although im not sure that can be done on wordpress since the pages are automatically generated. The only viable option I can see is to noindex? Aug 5 '18 at 10:32
  • Noindex tag isn't appropriate. You can modify your theme's files to generate the code I mentioned above. Please check other WP themes in order to use the code that they are using. You need to find a there that does it first. You can also use wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/47638/… Aug 5 '18 at 10:53
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Pagination makes it harder to index your deeper products. you can consider extending number of products visible on each pagination page. You can go for about 100-150 links per page, so perhaps on your page there is still area to improve. In this case you will decrease the duplicates and make it easier for bots to index your website.

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There is a question here, why different page must have same content? Maybe you have problem in your web design. cat/page1 vs cat/page2 should not have more than 30% same content when pages contain different products.

However in most cases it's better to mark no-index category/tags/author and some index pages like them.

Here we have something named sitemap (xml mode). Google bots can index deeper pages (your products) from your sitemap and don't need to surf your category pages links. Also in SERP you point visitor on true page.

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  • The duplicate content appears on be <h1> tags predominantly which I have been lead to understand that this can lead search engines to assume duplicate content based on pages with the same heading?
    – SupGen
    Jul 6 '18 at 13:36
  • @SupGen you must contain the page number on the h1 too (except first page) also it's better to index from new to old (like blogs). but as I recommended don't focus on indexing page of category pagination. for example only index first page of any category . however I always only allow google to index my posts / products pages and from my experience, this is give me better result. Jul 7 '18 at 6:12

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