getcooking - 9:27 pm on May 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
I have category pages in the sitemap(s) I submit to Google's Webmaster Tools. Some of these categories span multiple pages. I've only been including the first page of each category in my sitemap but I'm wondering if I should also be including the paginated pages?
I use Google's recommendation of the rel/prev tags to let Google know it's a series - so it's ok for Google to be spidering these pages. Some categories have quite a few pages (100) and while I'm sure Google can find the pages (the site architecture makes sure the pages are crawlable) I'm just wondering if I should be helping by pointing them out. Now, I don't see those paginated pages in the index - but if I'm using the rel/prev tags, would I necessarily find them or would Google only return the main page of the category?
This is a site that's been hit by Panda (1.0 and every iteration since) primarily on the category pages (I'm working on that whole thin content issue) so I'm also open to suggestions about using rel/prev for pagination vs noindexing those pages. I don't want to use the "view all" option that Google also suggests because some of the categories are just too big to make that feasible (and it's that much easier for scrapers to get at the content).