According to my research, old methods of consolidating paginated URLs into one are not recommended anymore.
"Rel=prev/next is not an indexing signal anymore" (Google WebmasterBlog)
noindex,follow on paginated pages, but:
"If we see the noindex there for longer than we think this this page really doesn’t want to be used in search so we will remove it completely. And then we won’t follow the links anyway. So, in noindex and follow is essentially kind of the same as a noindex, nofollow." – John Mueller
Meaning that these pages will not distribute PageRank and will maybe even excluded from crawling which will cause that new links on these pages won't be discovered.
Using rel=canonical to first page, but:
"Googlebot then won’t index pages that appear further along the chain, nor acknowledge the signals to the content linked from those pages" SearchEngineJournal
This sounds like the
noindex,nofollow problem, see above.
Using a "View-All" page, but:
That is not an applicable solution for bigger pages, which would have let's say thousands of links to display, due to performance reasons.
So it seems that the only method for big result sets is to do nothing, except giving the GoogleBot some hints, e.g.
rel=prev/next, because it won't hurt.
- Use standard URL parameters like
page=2for easy recognition.
- Use hints in the title to signal pagination, e.g.
Shoes - Page 2
- Pray that everything goes well.
If a domain has 1000 categories of which each has 20 pages, then this results in 20000 indexed URLs, instead of 1000 if we would use the old methods. In the old days this was considered as bad.
Is there a consensus on how to do it nowadays? Because I've seen very well performing domains not adapting these new developments and sticking to the old ways.