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I'm using the popular Wordpress SEO by Yoast plugin. I can use a wildcard (%%page%%) for the title of paginated posts, so that the title becomes:

1st post page: The Title
2nd post page: The Title - Page 2 of 3
3rd post page: The Title - Page 3 of 3

I thought I could do the same with meta description, but no. I could use a filter to change the meta description to show on these pages, as the title does, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea, since this plugin doesn't seem to care about this.

This plugin has an option to "noindex" the "next pages", but only works with archive pages (categories, tags, lasts posts), so all pages with a slug like /page/{num} will be "noindex", but not the slug for paginated single posts /a-post-URL/{num}.

The question is how should the paginated single post's meta description be treated. "noindex"? Like the example above for titles? Any ideas?

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I would leave everything as is and let SEO by Yoast do the work for you.

You should use rel="canonical" on your subsequent pages or rel="prev" and rel="next". Or you can use both.

Here is what Google recommends:

In cases of paginated content, we recommend either a rel=canonical from component pages to a single-page version of the article, or to use rel=”prev” and rel=”next” pagination markup.

Here is an example:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://domain.com/article/">

OR (if you are on /article/2/ and etc.)

<link rel="prev" href="http://domain.com/article/">

<link rel="next" href="http://domain.com/article/3/">

I would check out this article as well. Indicate paginated content. You can actually use both. Which is what SEO by Yoast is using. From the above mentioned article:

rel="next" and rel="prev" are orthogonal concepts to rel="canonical". You can include both declarations.

Here is an example (if you were on page 2):

<link rel="canonical" href="http://domain.com/article/2/">

<link rel="prev" href="http://domain.com/article/">

<link rel="next" href="http://domain.com/article/3/">
  • Actually, Yoast plugin is doing this (rel="next" and rel="prev"), but Webmasters Tools (Html suggestions) says that meta descriptions are duplicated on those paginated posts (postUrl/{num}). – Manolo Dec 11 '14 at 14:50
  • Sometimes it takes time for GWT to refresh everything. How long has it been since the errors been since you installed Yoast? And are you sure that there is no rel="canonical"? It should be up top before "prev/next" on every page but the first one. – dasickle Dec 11 '14 at 14:56
  • Long time ago. Yes, there is canonical tag. You can check at nosabesnada.com/fotorreportajes/67245/… and next pages. – Manolo Dec 11 '14 at 15:38
  • That is very strange. I looked at the site and everything looks good. Have to tried to "Fetch as Google"? GWT sometimes takes forever and not always accurate. Good news is that everything on your site looks fine in terms of pagination so you have nothing to worry about – dasickle Dec 11 '14 at 15:48
  • I've tried right now, and I get a "redirected" status for the second page. Don't know what this really means. Do I have to send it to the index? – Manolo Dec 11 '14 at 15:54
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For best SEO you shouldn't paginate your articles.

  • A page can contain about a book's worth of content before it becomes to slow to download. Images, CSS, and JavaScript typically dwarf the amount of text on the page in terms of bandwidth. Putting tons of text on a page doesn't slow your server down.
  • Users get turned off by having to keep clicking to the next page of an article. Many users will stop reading rather than click to page 2. When your users are more engaged, you get better rankings.
  • Having multiple pages can reduce the bounce rate of your website according to Google Analytics. However another way of doing that is implementing events for scrolling that tell Google Analytics not to count the user as a bounce if they have scrolled down to read the rest of the article.

I can't find the reference to it right now, but Google prefers to index the "full article in one page" version instead of pagination. If I recall correctly, there is some URL parameter that they attempt to append to the page to get the full article when Googlebot encounters pagination.

  • You might have misread the article. rel="canonical" should be used. The common mistake is that people use it on the first page of the sequence. – dasickle Dec 11 '14 at 14:09
  • Thanks for the correction, dasickle. I'll remove that piece from my answer since your answer covers that aspect very well. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 11 '14 at 14:25
  • Thanks for your suggestion, but I knew that. I'm doing this just for posts with many images, and the goal of this is to get more impressions. :) – Manolo Dec 11 '14 at 14:52

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