rel=next & rel=prev for paginated archives

Google is once again showing why standards compliant building might be very beneficial for SEO. They have started to userel=nextandrel=prev, both part ofHTML4andHTML5, to recognize archives and paged articles.

A few years back, I was having a discussion with Nathan Rice, one of the developers ofGenesisover how one should deal with paginated archives, 2 of my SEO category. In Genesis, there is the option to canonicalize the subpages back to the first page of an archive. I have said and will keep saying that I think that thats the sole big SEO mistake in that theme.

Now, as it goes with these things,Google has just posted the solution. Theyve asked to addrel=nextandrel=prevto paginated archives, so that they can distinguish them as a series and, quote:

Send users to the most relevant page/URLtypically the first page of the series.

Bingo! Thats what we want. The syntax is very simple. Onwe should have a prev link pointing to the first page in the series and a next link pointing to thenextpage in the series, like so:

Now I think this should be added to WordPress core, but of course, it currently isnt. We have some other related links in core right now, most of which are useless. In fact with the exception ofrel=prevandrel=nexttheyll be removed from core anyway. Im working on a patch for that combined with theticket to add this to core. Ill probably need to combine that with the work Nathan and I were doing on canonical onanother ticket.

For now though, Ive added this functionality to my Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, so all you have to do is update to the latest version and youll be taken care of!

Read more: Why every website needs Yoast SEO

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rel=next & rel=prev for paginated archives

Joost de Valk is the founder and CEO of Yoast. Hes a WordPress / Web developer, SEO & and an Open Source fanatic. Hes also (and more importantly) the father of three sons called Tycho, Ravi and Borre, a daughter called Wende and the husband of the lovely Marieke, who also works at Yoast.

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