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I ve an tshirt e-commmerce page (wordpress/woocommerce) and I want to shuffle my shop page, which is listing all my products with a pagination. (30 pages total each has 50 products)

I want to shuffle the products, so every pagination page will show different products. (I want to evenly distribute t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies etc. to all pages)

How will this affect seo, and what should I do after this to prevent any harms on my SEO?

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If your listing page is supposed to list all these different products, then just shuffling their order of appearance is not going to affect your SEO score.

edit: to add more.

Do you use links to indicate the paginated content? Webmasters use rel="next" or "prev" to indicate that a url shows a specific page of some paginated content. If so, then a product that appeared in page 2 gets indexed there by search engines and when a user searches for that product he might be redirected to said page number, only to find that the product is not there because you shuffled it.

Even then, since we are talking about a listing page, this is a page whose content is supposed to change often. Even if you did not shuffle your products, adding and/or removing them, listing new ones or stop selling others, would change the content of the page. This is normal behavior for listing pages.

If you do use link to mark each page in your pagination, consider that constantly shuffling your products may produce scenarios where search engine result links direct the user to a cached search result for your site where what he was searching for was in page 5, but you shuffled it to page 2. This may indeed cause some confusion.

If you do not use pagination mark up, or you shuffle your products once in a while and not constantly, I believe it should not affect your SEO score.

In any case, why shuffle the products? You could have filters on the page for users to find what they need and let search engines cache the page. If you need to advertise new arrivals or whatever you could use other approaches to show your content (even random ones) without messing with your listing page.

  • but when order of appearance (products) changes, it is possible that products move to different pages, for example, a product at the 3th page of my pagination, moves to 15th page, and I believe that somehow I should let google know about this change. What do you think ? – HOY Nov 14 '18 at 14:16
  • @HOY please read my edit. – Σπύρος Γούλας Nov 14 '18 at 14:32
  • I use prev and next links to indicate paginated content. (Actually woocommerce plugin already comes with this structure). The reason I need to shuffle is, I started building my website with only 2 types of products, (White and black tshirts) then new arrivals came like other color tshirts, sweatshirt etc. But when you navigate through the site by pagination, the content is not evenly distributed. For example, sweatshirts can be found only on first 10 pages. So I need a homogenius shop page. I agree with your answer, but it doesn't provide a workaround to me, where I think there should be. – HOY Nov 14 '18 at 14:41
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Do you have specific products that get significant search engine traffic to their product pages? If so, you want to make sure they either appear on page 1 or have prominent links, for example from your home page.

The only problem with the shuffle approach from an SEO standpoint that I see is that you will randomly be pushing link juice to a different set of products every time. This won't hurt anything except the product pages that do well in search engines only when they are linked prominently on your site. If you don't have any product pages that get search traffic, I don't think you need to do anything.

Another approach to mitigate the problem is to link your product pages to each other. Each product page could have a small list of other products, or a few lists such as:

  • Similar products
  • People who bought this also bought
  • People who viewed this also viewed
  • Recommended accessories
  • In the same color
  • In the same style
  • Recommended for you

This site takes that approach with the "Related Questions" list that is on this page.

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