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Dynamically serve a full list of products to Google instead of a paginated list (page 1, page 2 etc) 1 Recommended Answer 3 Replies 0 Upvotes
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Is it a good idea to dynamically serve (i.e. to Googlebot based on user agent) a full list of products to Google on a single page instead of a paginated list ?

The idea is to save time and crawl budget considering the list of products can be long (up to 200 pages) and log analysis shows that it is never completely crawled.

Is this recommended ? Could it be considered cloaking ?
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Thank you for input.

I don't believe it can be considered cloaking, since the term, especially in SEO, comprises the idea of "hiding" something, in a dishonest way. The point here is not to hide, on the contrary. I would really call it what it is, Dynamic Serving ! Also, Google specifically recommends Dynamic Serving to Googlebot in certain situations (for example, for javascript heavy websites).

While I do appreciate your recommendations and believe what are you describing would indeed be optimal, I'm gonna have a lot pushback trying to implement this. Dynamic serving would allow to keep what we have for the user, with the UX etc. while optimizing for Googlebot.
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  • Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides our users with different results than they expected.
'Dynamic serving', for example for JS rendered sites, is presenting the same content to users, just using a different technical means to 'render' it. Basically the page is rendrered server side, rather than relying on client side JS. 
... Basically a bot rendering the page, gets the same page content as a user does. - at the end of the rendering process. The details of what happened during the rendering doesn't matter quite so much. 
 
 
In your example, the pages are different. A user find a particular product say on page 6, but the bot finds the same on page 1 (the only page!) 
As a contrived example, a user searches on Google, their query matches products a long way down the list. Google sends them to your page, but they can't see the products Googel saw (and perhaps showed in the snippet). The products Google saw, are simply not there. 
The user has to page though the results, maybe say clicking next say 114 times, to get to page 114 (they don't know what page to jump to!) 
 
In general with paginated content, there might be some shifting as products are added/removed, but the product they looking for generally wouldn't have moved 'far', just a couple pages, far less than 114!
 
 
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