Video about pagination with rel="next" and rel="prev"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

If you're curious about the rel="next" and rel=prev" for paginated content announcement we made several months ago, we filmed a video covering more of the basics of pagination to help answer your questions. Paginated content includes things like an article that spans several URLs/pages, or an e-commerce product category that spans multiple pages. With rel="next" and rel="prev" markup, you can provide a strong hint to Google that you would like us to treat these pages as a logical sequence, thus consolidating their linking properties and usually sending searchers to the first page. You can check out our presentation for more information:

This video on pagination covers the basics of rel="next" and rel="prev" and how it could be useful for your site.

Slides from the pagination video

Additional resources about pagination include:

  • Webmaster Central Blog post announcing support of rel="next" and rel="prev"
  • Webmaster Help Center article with more implementations of rel="next" and rel="prev"
  • Webmaster Forum thread with our answers to the community's in-depth questions, such as:
    • Does rel=next/prev also work as a signal for only one page of the series (page 1 in most cases?) to be included in the search index? Or would noindex tags need to be present on page 2 and on?

      When you implement rel="next" and rel="prev" on component pages of a series, we'll then consolidate the indexing properties from the component pages and attempt to direct users to the most relevant page/URL. This is typically the first page. There's no need to mark page 2 to n of the series with noindex unless you're sure that you don't want those pages to appear in search results.
    • Should I use the rel next/prev in the <head> section of a blog even if the two contents are not strictly correlated (but they are just time-sequential)?

      In regard to using rel="next" and rel="prev" for entries in your blog that "are not strictly correlated (but they are just time-sequential)," pagination markup likely isn't the best use of your time—time-sequential pages aren't nearly as helpful to our indexing process as semantically related content, such as pagination on component pages in an article or category. It's fine if you include the markup on your time-sequential pages, but please note that it's not the most helpful use case.
    • We operate a real estate rental website. Our files display results based on numerous parameters that affect the order and the specific results that display. Examples of such parameters are "page number", "records per page", "sorting" and "area selection"...

      It sounds like your real estate rental site encounters many of the same issues that e-commerce sites face... Here are some ideas on your situation:
      1. It's great that you are using the Webmaster Tools URL parameters feature to more efficiently crawl your site.
      2. It's possible that your site can form a rel="next" and rel="prev" sequence with no parameters (or with default parameter values). It's also possible to form parallel pagination sequences when users select certain parameters, such as a sequence of pages where there are 15 records and a separate sequence when a user selects 30 records. Paginating component pages, even with parameters, helps us more accurately index your content.
      3. While it's fine to set rel="canonical" from a component URL to a single view-all page, setting the canonical to the first page of a parameter-less sequence is considered improper usage. We make no promises to honor this implementation of rel="canonical" .

Remember that if you have paginated content, it's fine to leave it as-is and not add rel="next" and rel="prev" markup at all. But if you're interested in pagination markup as a strong hint for us to better understand your site, we hope these resources help answer your questions!