I'm upgrading an old website, from having 25 results per page (40 pages), to having 50-100 per page (5-10 pages)

This will change the pagination, and maybe affect search engines in a bad way.. So I'm wondering, how I could go about this the best way?

Redirect all requests to old page id's to the first page? Or re-calculate intervals and find the new correct page? (that would be messy and very advanced for me)

  • 1
    Why not allow the user to choose how many to display per page?
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:22
  • @AbuNooh I'm aiming at super simplistic design, without too many buttons/options/choices etc. Before = pagination. Now = just back/forward. And with fewer pages for users to go through
    – mowgli
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:25
  • I am assuming that this is a result page with links to other pages... while 100 is a fine number, you may be reaching a limit. There are sites with some pages with far more links on select pages, however, using mechanization it may not be wise to go beyond this limit. Just saying... ;-)
    – closetnoc
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:36
  • @closetnoc Yes. I said 50-100, but it's actually just 50 ;)
    – mowgli
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:39
  • I am the kinda guy that would chose a random number just to have some fun... but that is just me!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:40

4 Answers 4


Instead of recalculating the first item on a page, use a from instead of a page:


If you switch to more/less items in a page, you still start at 40.

To prevent "duplicate titles/descriptions" and such, indicate pages using the rel="next/prev :

<link rel="prev" href="/articles/from-20" />
<link rel="next" href="/articles/from-60" />

Do not use noindex/nofollow. Noindex isn't very optimal, just let Google decide about that, and nofollow is terrible, you really do want them to follow the anchors on your pages and index the items.


Here's what I've done in the past with a similar situation without any issues in URLs (404, canonical etc).

So I added a dropdown with a bit of js to take away the submit button like this:

<select onchange="window.location.href = (this.options[this.selectedIndex].value)" name="rows">
<option selected="selected" value="">Please Select</option>
<option value="chapter.php?cid=7&amp;page=1&amp;rows=10">10 Per Page</option>
<option value="chapter.php?cid=7&amp;page=1&amp;rows=25">25 Per Page</option>

So if you have a URL like:


that would remain, all your pages would remain as far as search engines are concerned. And only users who have javascript enabled which is most humans/browsers can select and view however many per page. And for those users the URL would look something like this:


and so on. And yes google bot is advanced and is able to view with js enabled so that would new URLS will also get indexed in that case you'd just add, like you say some canonical hints. Have a look here for some tips.


It is always better to use noindex for sub-pages archive. like /page/2/, /page/3/ & so on. (Search engines don't like it either)

Eventually, your sub-pages will be removed & you won't have to worry about what happens when you change per page items list.

Use Infinite Scroll to load sub pages content. That should also improve UX.

  • 1
    nofollow is terrible to use! It means that if a bot reaches this page, it will NOT follow any anchor to any link!
    – Martijn
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:27
  • +1 for using rel attribute. My bad on adding nofollow (edited now) - but I personally prefer using a noindex directive on these less important sub-pages, Google anyway decides by themselves what to index. :)
    – tushonline
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:37
  • These subpages are very relevant and important ;)
    – mowgli
    Sep 14, 2015 at 17:36

Pagination is almost never worth it from either a search engine or user experience perspective. Just eliminate that as a feature altogether.


Less than 10% of users usually click to page 2. Less than 1% of users usually click to page 3. I've never measured a situation where enough users rely on pagination to warrant keeping it.

Search engines

Page rank falls off very quickly in a series of pages. Especially when page 1 links to page 2 via "next" and page 2 links to page 3 and so on. By the time you get to page 3, there is so little link juice available that search engines will never rank page 3 content.

Titles and meta descriptions of pagination are usually so similar you also run into duplicate content issues. I have tried writing different titles and descriptions for the first three pages of pagination but I've found that effort has very little payoff.

They also wont push any juice to into the pages you are listing in the pagination beyond page 1. It is far better to have your detail pages link to each other directly (similar products, you might also be interested in, people who looked at x also looked at y).

Get rid of your pagination and redirect everything back to page 1.

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