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I seek insights into the best practices for implementing infinite scroll or pagination, particularly for real estate websites.

Our site, Wasalt, specializes in real estate listings and recently transitioned from pagination to infinite scroll around February 2024.

Since the change, we've noticed challenges that could be negatively impacting our SEO performance, including issues with the visibility of footer content and internal links, which are crucial for site navigation and SEO.

Competitor analysis indicates that many leading players in the real estate market, including the most significant site in Saudi Arabia, Aqar, continue to use pagination for their search results pages (SEPs).

This strategy optimizes their SEO and ensures search engines comprehensively index them. Globally recognized sites like Rent.com, Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow also use pagination, suggesting it is beneficial from an SEO perspective.

Given these observations, I'm considering whether a hybrid approach could be more effective for Wasalt.

Such a strategy would employ pagination for key SEO pages and allow infinite scroll for user-initiated searches within the site, similar to what Magicbricks does.

Could infinite scroll be effective for a real estate website like ours, or should we revert to pagination to enhance our SEO and overall user navigation?

Any advice or experiences shared would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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  • I think you answered your own question. Footers and infinite scroll don’t match. Since your footer navigation is crucial, why is it in the footer in the first place?
    – jazZRo
    Commented Apr 30 at 10:35

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There isn’t a straightforward answer; it depends on your situation.

In general, infinite scrolling is a bad idea, as it has many issues (and in my experience with user testing, I haven’t found any benefits). However, it all depends on your goals. UX and SEO are disciplines where you don’t do things “just because”—there is always a rationale, so we would need to understand your reasons.

If your main concern is SEO and the footer, you can implement a simple solution: use a footer on load and make it disappear after any amount of scrolling you desire, just like a header that changes on scroll. Remember, Google only cares about content loaded initially; it ignores content loaded afterward using JavaScript or AJAX (which is another argument against infinite scrolling, as it’s useless for SEO). Therefore, you could load the header, main and footer first, and then if the user scrolls down a bit, activate infinite scrolling and remove the footer.

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