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According to: https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2011/09/view-all-in-search-results.html, google prefers to index view-all portions of paginated content but the problem here is that my site is an image site and loading more images consumes significantly more bandwidth.

I'm trying to figure out how to make google index the smaller groups instead of the "view all" page.

In my attached image is a sample of a photo gallery relationship configuration for my website. Let each box represent 100 pictures and assume the gallery we are dealing with has 399 pictures. People can choose to view either 100 pictures per page (aka pink boxes), 200 per page (aka green boxes) or 400 per page (aka blue boxes). The 400 per page is effectively the "view all" page. I currently have rel=canonical on the pages showing 100 pictures per page and 200 pictures per page pointing to the single 400 pictures per page to explicitly declare to google that all these pages are the same content broken up differently.

At this point, I feel that I cleared all potential duplicate content issues but at the same time, I'd rather have only 100 pictures per page indexed instead of the full 400 per page because I want people from around the world to view 100 at a time without waiting for the remaining 300 thumbnails to download. Yes I have them all in sprite sheets but it still takes longer to download more data.

What can I do to make google understand that I only want the 100 pictures per page indexed? and I don't mind if it is just the first page (of the 100 pictures per page) and nothing else in this whole set. I just want users to see that things load extra quick, and they like picture previews.

Any ideas?

P.S. Feel free to modify this if I'm not making sense because google is not making sense to me.

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First of all, it's not mandatory to have a view-all page. There are multiple ways to indicate paginated content. Google Documentation on pagination.

Secondly, do users need all 3 types of pages (100, 200, 400 images)? Your life will be much easier if you have just one type of page (100 images) and then pagination.

If you just have 1 page type (with 100 images), you can have rel="next" and rel="prev" and there is no need to have a view-all page. Google will figure it out and mostly send the users to the first page as you want.

Use rel="next" and rel="prev" links to indicate the relationship between component URLs. This markup provides a strong hint to Google that you would like us to treat these pages as a logical sequence, thus consolidating their linking properties and usually sending searchers to the first page.

In case, your users absolutely need all 3 formats (100, 200 & 400), with different URLs, the only way to avoid duplication is rel=canonical to view-all (400 images) which you are doing already. However, google will mostly send the users to the page with 400 images.

  • I need the 100, 200 and 400 options because local users like viewing lots of content at once and at the same time, I want to make my site fast for slow connections (where the 100 option shines). I already have rel=prev and rel=next for the pages in each group as shown by the brown arrows. Are you saying I should have a rel=prev and rel=next that connect the options together (like rel=prev and rel=next going from the pink boxes to green boxes to blue boxes)? – Mike Jan 9 '16 at 7:37
  • See, there are 2 things you want to achieve: 1. you want to avoid duplication problem (by rel=canonical to 400 image page) 2.Not show 400 image page in search results. I think it's not possible to achieve both. If you want to show 100 image page in search results, you got to get rid of 200,400 image pages or load them via ajax. – Aakash Jan 9 '16 at 7:49
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Instead of getting Google to index your preferred version of the page, make your "view all" page more efficient.

Specifically, you should lazy load the images below the fold. Users would only see them when the scroll down to them.

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