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I have a classified website and it has a great traffic. When I google for a specific term that is related to my site I saw that my site appears in search results but google is picking the 5th page of the related category.

eg : https://test.lk/search/all/category1/sub-category1/?page=5

But I want google to pick the first page of my category. Because the first page is the page where the latest listing can be seen.

How to achieve that?

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  • Probably Google is thinking the specific page though deep answers the keyword in search query better. I don't think you can control that.
    – Kannan
    Jun 7 at 10:57
  • I deleted my anwer, because i understand the question not really. Which pattern of pagination did you implemented? Next/Prev?
    – Marius
    Jun 7 at 12:53
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Google thinks that the fifth page (in your case) answers the search query better (for the keyword you tested). The reason could be the quality of content, backlinks, etc.

There is no specific method to instruct Google to pick one page over the other (unless they are duplicates) in search results.

However, you can try improving the content quality on the main page and wait for a few days to see if Google shifts the preference purely based on EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) guidelines.

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Pagination is bad for SEO and has relatively poor usability.

For SEO, it causes problems with duplicate and very similar pages. It isn't good at passing link juice where it is needed.

Only a small number of users typically interact with pagination. At most, it is usually 1 to 2 percent. Often it is just a fraction of a percent.

Since pagination isn't good for SEO, and isn't used much by users, implement better ways of getting to all your content:

  • Have site search.
  • Implement faceted navigation.
  • Implement a list of "related" links on every content page.
  • Increase the number of items per page to 100 or more.
  • Replace pagination with infinite scroll (ensuring that a fair number of items appear without any user interaction, ideally loaded with the page for SEO.)

Once you have those in place, remove your pagination. At the very least prevent search engine bots from indexing it.

See one of my previous posts on this subject.

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