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I've started to read that pagination in eCommerce is bad practice because of the implications it has on SEO (seo source 1 and seo source 2) . However, I feel like every site out there users pagination and it's become something people are just used to fiddling with to 'view all' or see more results.

Is there a study that talks specifically about pagination in eCommerce usability that is not only related to SEO?

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The most obvious answer is, as you say, you see it all over the place; it becomes a convention. Conventions are powerful tools but...just because it's a convention doesn't mean it's good either. –  Ben Brocka Aug 6 '12 at 19:26
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I'm not sure if anything about eCommerce makes it a special UX case when dealing with presenting paginated data. Pagination is a useful tool for presenting large amounts of orderable data and makes a lot of sense for presenting long lists of products.

The SEO issues should be taken care of by the individual product pages (that would be linked from a paginated list and possible other sources). A good search engine should return the page for the product that is relevant to the search.

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technically, without pagination, you may need to load all the results at once during the event. This will lead to "wait and watch" situation for a user. However , if you are using the paginated result, which means you have given a chunk of data for user to see and then user decides if he wants another chunk to be seen or not.

Pagination will be helpful to avoid loading time, this is what i have found as an apprx ans to your question :P

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When it comes to eCommerce it would depend greatly on how much data is being presented per result cell. If you have a lot of data (reviews, descriptions, star ratings), you would want to include less results per page (to avoid information fatigue).

My general thoughts on this is, "sort what the user can take in". That may be different depending on what is being sold, I'd usually set my pagination between 8-20 items per page.

You can test statistics from bounce rates, heat mapping, and buying patterns to determine how the effects of more or less cells per page fair.

From a UX perspective the key to product list pages is relevance, not how much is showing. This is all derived via testing. Some popular sort methods are sorting descending from lowest price down, sorting by the most popular items (if data is available), sorting by sale items - some stores have further had success by sorting by the highest price descending (I personally haven't seen this work in practice, it may be different niche effects though).

That being said, in regards to your SEO issue, if the main argument is that spiders can crawl more amounts of data more easily if they're on one page. My counterpoint to that would be that the increased load times of loading 100 results at a time would result in a greater negative effect than having paginated pages.

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