mark_roach - 2:00 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have just implemented this on the category pages on my site and am hopeful it will work well for me.
Page 1 is typically the strongest page with respect to internal and external links and in contrast Page 20 is typically not externally linked nor well linked internally.
Because of this even though the search term (typically location in my case) the searcher is looking for is on page 20 that page may not might have the power to rank. If the same search term appeared on page 1 then the page would be returned in the search results.
Consolidate indexing properties, such as links, from the component pages/URLs to the series as a whole (i.e., links should not remain dispersed between page-1.html, page-2.html, etc., but be grouped with the sequence).
I am hopefull that the above means that each page in the sequence will carry the same weight with respect to links. This would then mean that whether the data is contained on Page 1 or Page 20 your site (sequence) is equally likely to be returned.
Send users to the most relevant page/URL—typically the first page of the series.
So your sequence is chosen because of the contents of page 20, however page 1 may be returned in the results.
If this is how it works I am sure google will test by sometimes returning page 1 and at others page 20 and monitoring bounce rates etc. before deciding which page is the most appropriate for a sequence.
Interestingly, or perhaps unfortunately because it muddies the water, the day (saturday) I added this to the site (so before the majority of my pages had been re-spidered) I saw a five-fold increase from Google to my "view all" pages and the next day the "view all" visits were 10x normal levels. Yesterday they were at 3x normal, so it will be interesting to see if they return to normal tomorrow.