What Is Rel=prev/next and What Does It Do? with Gary Illyes of Google

Abstract Shiny Blue Background

In this excerpt from our recent Virtual Keynote on SEO Tags with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes, Gary and Eric Enge talk about how Google views the rel=”prev” / “next” tag on web pages. View the segment below, or skip below the video to get a summary of the main points.

Rel = “prev” or “next” identifies a paginated sequence of pages. For example, say a shoe site has forty shoes of a certain type, and displays them ten shoes per page over four pages, with HTML navigation links between the pages for the user.

The rel=prev/next tag helps search engines understand that the set of pages is meant to be a sequence. However, even though the pages are a group, they still can be individually indexed and become canonical pages on their own.
How Rel Prev/Next Works
Because Google sees pages connected by rel=prev/next as a group, any signals accrued by any one of the pages are attributed to all the pages in the group. So if another site links to the third page in the sequence, any signals from that link would be credited to all the pages in the group.

On the other hand, a search engine might still return a result to any individual page in the group if it thinks that the user query is most relevant to a particular product on that page.

BONUS: Learn how to implement rel=prev/next on your site in our step-by-step video!

Thoughts on “What Is Rel=prev/next and What Does It Do? with Gary Illyes of Google”

  1. This is good information. Something I have not implemented but will need to start doing. I researched this topic a little more on Google Webmaster and found that you do want to include these “rel” tags with one exception:
    “If, alongside your series of content, you also offer users a view-all page, or if you’re considering a view-all page, please see our post on View-all in search results for more information. Because view-all pages are most commonly preferred by searchers, we do our best to surface this version when appropriate in results rather than a component page.”
    The link for “View all in search results” on Webmaster can be found here:
    Thanks for posting all this good stuff!

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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