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I had always assumed that when it comes to Google, the more pages the better. Rationale being:
- more pages = more PageRank generated
- more internal backlnks to first page with KW in link text
- Google likes bigger sites
Now I'm not so sure...WMT tells me that we have many pages with duplicate titles/metas, and rankings have been suffering for awhile :-(
Pagination is needed due to the size of the results sets. Also, I get long-tail searches thanks to some of the content on paginated pages.
So...what's the best strategy here? Options I've considered so far:
- Somehow make metas distinct (add "page 2" into each meta? add something unique to generated content?)
- "no index, follow" the pages - this wd prevent duplicate metas as well as keep the PR going, but I'd lose the long-tail searches.
Any thoughts on the best option to pursue when you have paginated results to display?
Pagination is a major issue for me as 70 percent of my traffic comes to forum content, much of which is paginated (obviously). I've spent time thinking up ways to vary the title somehow but I don't think a single digit (page 1/2/3) is sufficient variation.
I'm now wondering if I should either block everything but the first page, or perhaps change the forum display settings so that every post is on the first page i.e. one very long page in some case.
Both of these options seem very extreme. I have to say that some of the most useful information I've found over the years when looking for stuff has been on deep forum pages.
[edited by: Asia_Expat at 3:28 pm (utc) on July 27, 2008]
With forums, I think there's a greater chance of people looking for very specific - often unique - strings.
"Did someone really say that before me?!" - that kind of thing!
So you want the pages in Google even if they do not have a unique title or descr.
And, in most cases, the *worst* that can happen is a poorer listing than unique identifiers offer - but no reason why the pages should not be indexed, and therefore findable for unique strings.
With product pages, you need to decide whether you want people to go to page one - or the page that contains their exact search terms.
For me, despite the changes in Google's 'supplementary' entries, I'd usually go for letting the punters have what they want - and letting good local links help those who wanted something slightly different.
It would keep all those deep pages out of the index, but link juice of all kinds would still flow through to them and their link targets. That might help keep confusing duplicate titles and meta descriptions out of the index, so page 1 would not get filtered out. So this choice would require that the most important items were listed on page 1, or that there was another click path to reach the deeper items.
[edited by: tedster at 6:33 am (utc) on Oct. 12, 2008]