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The previous installment in this ongoing article series showed how to configure the DataPager control to generate an SEO-friendly paging interface. By default, the DataPager renders its paging interface as a series of Buttons, LinkButtons, or ImageButtons that, when clicked, trigger a postback. The problem with postbacks is that they are not crawled by search engine spiders, meaning that with the default behavior only the first page of data will make it into the search engines' indexes. Fortunately, the DataPager's paging interface can be configured to include the page number in the querystring. When configured this way, the DataPager renders its paging interface using hyperlinks with URLs like Products.aspx?Page=PageNumber. With this approach a search engine will happily crawl through each page of data.
Shortly after publishing Creating an SEO-Friendly Paging Interface, a number of readers asked if it would be possible to create a paging interface that moved the page number from the querystring into the URL. Rather than having a paging interface that linked to pages with URLs like Products.aspx?Page=PageNumber, these readers wanted to have URLs like: Products/PageNumber. Such terse, descriptive URLs are possible with ASP.NET Routing, a feature added to the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. While typically used in ASP.NET MVC applications, ASP.NET Routing can also be used in Web Form applications.
This article shows how to use ASP.NET Routing with the ListView and DataPager controls to create the ultimate paging interface.