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Improving rank by removing pagination - will this work?



3:08 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been doing a bit of quarterly competitor analysis on some of my keywords that rank my top category pages and I've found that one of the things that seems to keep our competitors ahead of us is pretty simple: more products per page.

Now, we've recently upgraded from a cloud server to a dedicated server and our site speed has greatly improved, although we haven't seen ANY change in rank due to site speed increase i thought this might be a good time to change the structure of our top category landing pages.

We currently have 12 products per page and anywhere from 1-8 pages per category. the problem with the organization of this is that our best selling products are often on the last few pages due to alphapetization. And we are not showing up for the keywords of our most sought after pruducts (we mostly sell those through google shopping results).

My question is, has anyone ever made a change like this where they remove pagination because of an increase in site speed? and could anyone speak to wether or not you believe this might have any effect on rank whatsoever.

My hypethoses (and hopeful thinking in these tough times) is that increasing will help because all of a sudden my keyword saturation goes up, content goes up and honestly,i think the overall user experience goes up. BUT we will loose a lot of pages due to turning 2-8 pages x about 350 into 1 page each.

any thoughts?


5:54 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

My first question is whether you can narrow yoiur categories down even further, so that there is really only less than 12 products per category (and hence, less than 12 products per page and NO pagination required).

I think this is more helpful as a shopper; I simply HATE pagination as a user.

I would personally like a better category tree navigation so I can drill down to the exact category more quickly.

I know it is harder and harder to rank for longtail nowadays, but I still think it is better to have more tightly focused categories wherever possible. (Although i would very much like to hear the opinions of others about this.)


7:37 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is a good question. I have been wondering the same thing because I see sites like Overstock that have hundreds and hundreds of products listed on one single category page.


7:42 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've removed pagination from several large sites because:

1. Referral traffic to pages 2+ was very low

2. Users tended not to use them

3. It added tons of crawlable pages which needed significant server resources to support

4. Pagination made the UI look cluttered

5. It is easier for developers not to have to support them.

As a result, page 1 usually picks up enough referrals to offset the 1-2% of referrals that used to come into page 2+. However, I have never seen a large up-tick in overall traffic from pagination removal.


9:09 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

as a general rule, you should try to sort the products in order of sales popularity.

whichever way you go with pagination, this will be better.


10:55 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have explored this as well. My pages that had pagination seem to have always been taking a hit. What I did was implement ajax to load more results, not pagination ajax but a "view more results" so the results will just keep scrolling vertically which is more user friendly anyway.

Upon implementing this about a year ago when panda was released, these pages have not seen any improvement. I can not rule this out entirely but I am pretty sure it does not have as much effect as I still see many sites ranking fine that have paging...paging does not seem to be much of an issue...but maybe the actual pages are the issue, if there are a lot of similar pages you might want to reduce the amount of similar/redundant content/listings pages you have.

hope this helps


Robert Charlton

11:12 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Pagination and SEO - Maile Ohye
GoogleWebmasterHelp - YouTube - Mar 8, 2012
TRT 16:36

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njn8uXTWiGg [youtube.com]

Google's Maile Ohye examines the issues webmasters face with paginated content: paginated articles, product category listings, etc. She then explains the options available to those webmasters concerned about SEO, including rel="next" and rel="prev" HTML markup.

PS: To echo wingslevel, whatever else you do, definitely sort products by priority. To add a further PS, I've always felt that if a category was much too large, then some further split in categories might be appropriate.


1:35 pm on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

as a general rule, you should try to sort the products in order of sales popularity.

whichever way you go with pagination, this will be better.

Another one we've struggled with, We've had such disastrous results with changing our coding in the past that we've just left it the way it is out of fear of breaking the whole machine. Our products are basically just coded to appear alphabetically. Allowing us to tinker around with the order actually scares us a bit.

I totally agree with you, this would be the most ideal. I'm trying to make a positive change to the site with the least complex coding possible.

Thanks for all the input. I'm haivng my developer give me a rundown of how this might effect page load but so far I can't think of any good reason NOT to do this!

It was mentioned to try to get my categories down to 12 products per page. In this case it just wouldnt be possible. We're dealing with 'Licensed' products so basically, each category is a license. It's more likely that they will get bigger rather than smaller.

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