Hey everyone, today I’m going to explain how to implement Rel Prev Next tags. They’re the ones that tell Google about paginated sequences of pages on your site. For example, if you have 100 products in one category, and you want to show only 10 per page, you end up having to create 10 pages of products to show them all. This is quite common on e-commerce sites.
So, why do I need Rel Prev Next Tags?
I thought you’d never ask. The basic reason is when you have a paginated group of pages, the individual pages might be seen as poor quality pages by Google. For example, if you have 10 pages of different types of snowshoes that you are selling, from a search engine perspective, they all look kind of the same. You might have the same title tag on all 10 pages. The product descriptions are all pretty similar too.
As a result, they might be seen as poor quality, near duplicates, of each other. Using the “rel prev” and “rel next” tags helps solve that problem. Better still, the pages get treated by Google as a single entity. I.e., links to any of the pages in the sequence provide benefit to the ranking of the entire sequence for related queries. This is probably true for more subtle ranking signals, such as user engagement with the pages as well.
So, How Do the Tags Basically Get Set Up?
It’s pretty simple actually. If I’m on page one of a sequence of ten pages, I use a “rel next” tag to tell Google which page is the next in that sequence of pages.
Then on pages two through nine of the sequence of pages, I use a “rel prev” tag to point to the prior page, and a “rel prev” tag to point to the next page. The example code you are looking at now is for page five.
Finally, on page ten of our ten page sequence, I only need a “rel prev” tag pointing back to page nine, as I’m showing here.
Now, let’s discuss how to Implement Rel Prev Next Tags, in a Nutshell.
- Identify the pages on which you want to place a “Rel Prev” and/or “Rel Next” tags.
- On page one of the sequence, place a “rel next” tag pointing to page two.
- On the last page of the sequence, place a “rel prev” tag pointing to the prior page.
- On all the other pages place “rel prev” tags pointing to the prior page, and “rel next” tags pointing to the next page.
- Update the source page on your live web site.
But Wait, As Always, There’s More!
Google treats these tags as a suggestion, not a directive. That means that they may see the tags on your pages, but ignore them. In general, they will only do this if you implement them incorrectly. For example, one common mistake people make is that they properly put “rel prev”, “rel next” tags on pages, but also include “rel canonical” tags on the same pages. These two tags conflict with one another, and should not be on the same page as one another. Thank you.
Rel Prev Next tags are useful when you want to tell Google about paginated sequences of pages on your site. In this episode of The Digital Marketing Classroom, Eric will explain not only how to implement these tags, but why and when.