Rel=Next/Prev, short for “relational next and previous,” is an HTML link element attribute used to indicate the relationship between component URLs in a paginated series. This attribute informs search engines that multiple pages are part of a sequence and assists them in understanding the relationship between these pages. Utilizing the Rel=Next/Prev attribute helps search engines index paginated content more efficiently and can prevent issues such as duplicate content that might arise from the individual indexing of pages that actually represent a single article or product category split over multiple pages.


When a set of URLs corresponds to a sequence (like a multi-page article or a product category with several pages), a webmaster implements the rel=”next” and rel=”prev” elements in the section of the HTML of each page. On page 2 of a sequence, for example, you’d include a rel=”prev” link pointing back to the first page, and a rel=”next” link pointing to the third page. Doing this throughout the sequence creates a connected chain of pages, where page 1 links to page 2 (with rel=”next”), page 2 links back to page 1 (with rel=”prev”) and forward to page 3 (with rel=”next”), and so on until the last page, which would only include a rel=”prev” link.

Best practices:

1. Implement rel=”next” and rel=”prev” on each page within the paginated series except the first and last pages.
2. The first page should only include a rel=”next” attribute and the last page should only contain a rel=”prev” attribute.
3. Ensure the URLs referenced in the rel=”next” and rel=”prev” attributes are absolute URLs to avoid confusion by search engines.
4. Do not include rel=”next” or rel=”prev” if you have a “view all” page that consolidates all paginated content into one page. Instead, use the rel=”canonical” attribute pointing to the “view all” page.
5. Avoid using noindex on paginated pages because they need to be indexed for search engines to acknowledge the rel=”next” and rel=”prev” attributes effectively.

Note: As of 2019, Google announced that they no longer use the rel=next/prev markup and instead, they rely on other signals to discover and index paginated series. However, maintaining a logical site structure remains important for user navigation and could be beneficial for other search engines that might still use these signals.


How does the rel=next/prev attribute help with SEO?

The rel=next/prev attribute assists search engines in understanding the relationship between paginated pages in a series, allowing for more efficient indexing and preventing issues like duplicate content.

When should I implement the rel=next/prev attribute on my website?

You should utilize the rel=next/prev attribute on each page within a paginated series except for the first and last pages. The first page should only have a rel=next link, and the last page should only have a rel=prev link.

Is the use of rel=next/prev still relevant for SEO in 2021?

While Google no longer uses the rel=next/prev markup for indexing purposes, maintaining a logical site structure with the attribute can still benefit other search engines and improve user navigation through paginated content.

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