« Oatmeal

Is pagination broken on my website?

Why is the most recent page 1? Shouldn’t the oldest, or first?” page be 1 — working up, towards the present? This way paginated urls could remain consistent. If something shows up on page 4, it’ll always be on page 4 forever and ever.

After having conducted a very brief and very unscientific survey of a handful of websites I can’t find any examples of pagination as I have described here.

Theory: this is Google’s fault. Folks see how Google’s search results start at page 1 and work back” from there, and mimic the design pattern. The issue here being that Google’s implementation of pagination is actually solving for a different problem than pagination on my blog.


  • Blogs, or any sort of chronological timeline should link the concepts of pagination and date, so that the older the date, the lower the page number
  • Search results, or any sort of weighted results should prioritize for relevancy, associating the most relevant results with the lowest page number (in other words, the pages closest to the user should be the most relevant to the search term)