An SEO professional asked John Mueller the following question about paginated pages as a submitted question in a hangout:
Is linking paginated pages better sequentially (such as showing next/prev) when compared to showing more number of pages on a paginated page?
John explained that for pagination, it’s really more of a preference for people in terms of how they implement pagination.
He went further and said that because they are just links between pages, Google doesn’t differentiate between normal links and paginated links.
Instead, Google will just see links to pages.
However, if you implement sequential linking, what will happen here is that the first page of the site will have stronger signals in the sense that the main content links to the first page, and then it incrementally drops and drops as Google crawls through the pagination set.
If you link to a bunch of different pages almost immediately, then you’re spreading out all of the link equity much faster.
He also expounded that these are mostly SEO tweaks, and that Google will eventually find all of these links to these pages anyway.
This happens at approximately the 50:26 mark in the video.