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  • I have a Question & Answer website, sort of like stackoverflow.
  • When you open it, it displays 20 latest questions.
  • When scroll to bottom of page, and it fetches 20 more, and so on, infinitely.
  • Each question has its own page, just like here.

So my trick is create a empty page that contains only <a href='question_link'> links to 100 latest questions, followed by a link to the next 100 latest questions. No text, only links. Example:

Fake page 1

<a href='/question/1'></a>
<a href='/question/2'></a>
<a href='/question/3'></a>
<a href='/question/4'></a>
...
<a href='/nextpage?after=100'></a>

Fake page 2

<a href='/question/101'></a>
<a href='/question/102'></a>
<a href='/question/103'></a>
<a href='/question/104'></a>
...
<a href='/nextpage?after=200'></a>

and so on, until all questions are exhausted. Notice it has no text, no page title or page description, this is to avoid Search Engine from indexing it.

My question is, would Google allow something like this? I mean it's fully legitimate, and all we're doing is telling Google about the URLs of our pages, so it's okay right?

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Don't do this. This will create a bad ranking page, with duplicates (the next/prev pages) and will cost your more than you will gain.
Rule of thumb: Don't make pages just for bots.
To prefent indexing you could just add the robots metatag with the value NOINDEX.

What you need is a sitemap xml :) Those are perfect fort situations like this; To indicate pages which cant easily be found by crawling.
Also, if you have Google Analytics, they'll find the pages because you trigger the code on those pages. Also, if you have visitors using Chrome, they'll find the pages.

Long story short / TL;DR:
Do the sitemap, and don't worry, you'll be found.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for your fast response! I read somewhere that you shouldn't have more than 100 links in a sitemap, or else ranking goes down. So if a lot of new question pages (around 100) are being generated every hour, do you suggest making multiple sitemaps, or really 1 sitemap is enough? Thanks! – Maria Jul 6 '15 at 15:09
  • @JohnLee You can have up to 50,000 entities or 10mb per page on your sitemap. sitemaps.org/faq.html#faq_sitemap_size Im sure Google would prefer to get everything in one shot rather than crawl 1,000+ paginated sitemaps of 100 results. – dhaupin Jul 6 '15 at 17:56
  • As a general rule you should server the same content to both users and bots. No matter who views the pages on my site, the content is exactly the same, it's just styled differently. – Sherwin Flight Jul 8 '15 at 4:52

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