You always have the threat of thin content. What constitutes thin content is difficult to pin down, though your gut will generally tell you, such as three ads for a paragraph per page.
Most times that long post has to be really long (greater than 1,000 words) for any pagination to make sense, else you might irritate your visitor. And once you start paginating, think about keeping any ad placement to 1 per page thereafter. Sadly, most of the time the same ads get placed page after page and your user will end up with ad blindness very rapidly.
The rule of thumb I use is one ad for a short page (300-500 words), two ads for a longer page (500 words plus) and three ads for a very long page (1,000 words plus). I think that's a reasonable amount of advertising vs. content.
I have occasionally broken up longer pages into two or more shorter ones, but that's been an editorial decision, not determined by advertising.
So far I have seen that I am not getting more revenue. But I am seeing faster load times. My site is mostly mobile and I have a lot of pictures in the content. When I am on the site it feels faster as well. The faster load time is pretty important. I have been trying to get load times down and this is the first thing to make a substantial improvement.
The issue is that I am putting in an auto page break. (Manually updating all the pages would take weeks and it would be difficult to undo the change down the road). But whatever I set the page limit at there will be some pages that go just over creating low content pages.
Basically for my site I think this is better for users. But is this something adsense is going to have issues with since it creates some low content pages?
If you include images as content that will be the greatest part of page speed (diminished). Might check the size and optimization of your images for mobile (if that is your desired target audience) and make sure those images are as lean and quick as possible. Also the number of images per article will carry an increasing overhead. More than three, including any logo presented, you better paginate.
I completely (and respectfully) disagree with tangor. Any pagination is a hoop the reader must jump through. If you have issues with page load times, check out "lazy loading". This method will only load images if the user scrolls near them.
As for list articles in a slideshow format (popular with the big dogs), it will get your AdSense account penalized. Talked to my AdSense rep extensively about this one, and it's considered thin content. Also, long form content tends to rank better. From my experience, only paginate articles longer than 4k words, to have at least 2.2k-2.3k words on the first page.
Source: making a living off of long form articles and organic traffic
Ages ago, I used to paginate my articles - both for organizational and advertising reasons. However, I noticed many people don't follow the pagination link to go to page 1 from page 2 (and 3 or 4, etc...).
Moreover, I've personally come to dislike pagination except for very long articles. Short little articles having 3-4 "next page" links is ridiculous and annoys the heck out of a visitor.
As for revenue, Adsense beginning in October 2015 stopped performing well for me - so I can't really say what affect, if any, longer form articles have on revenue when compared to shorter, paginated articles anymore. But for affiliate sales, longer form articles crush short, multiple paged articles.
Break articles into multiple pages when it makes sense for users. Otherwise, don't.
For example, if you have a 5,000-word article on the history of breakfast pastries, readers may find the article more digestible (and easier to nagivate) if you break it into logical sections for:
- Doughnuts - Sweet rolls - Croissants - Biscuits
and so on.
We do this for many of our longer articles (which makes them much easier to navigate than requiring endless scrolling), but we do it only when it makes sense logically and in terms of usability. And when we do paginate, we include link rel="prev" and link rel="next" so that Google and other search engines can understand that each page is part of a larger, single entity.
Note that I haven't even mentioned revenue. That's because pagination shouldn't be about exposing users to the maximum number of ads; it should be about optimizing the reader experience.
Side note: Years ago, WIRED reported on an academic experiment that asked readers to compare two articles: one with no page breaks, and another, longer version that was broken into multiple pages. The "no page breaks / lots of scrolling" version was perceived by readers as being longer than the one with page breaks, even though it was in fact shorter, presumably because the longer version with page breaks was easier to process visually.