On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that Google does not use link rel=”prev” and rel=”next” for paginated pages. These tags are used to show bots that individual pages are part of a larger set.
For example, you could split a large article into three individual pages and then use the prev/next attributes to show search engines that these individual pages are a single article.
Google does not support these pagination attributes
Although Google had a help page for the rel=”prev” and rel=”next” attributes, they haven’t used these attributes for years. Google’s John Mueller confirmed this on Twitter:
We don't use link-rel-next/prev at all.— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) 21. März 2019
We noticed that we weren't using rel-next/prev in indexing for a number of years now, so we thought we might as well remove the docs :).— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) 21. März 2019
Use single-page content when possible
Each page of your website should stand for its own. If you split an article into several individual pages, make sure that the individual pages use their own web page titles, descriptions, etc.
For the most part, we just index the pages as we find them, so as we've recommended for a long time, it's good to make sure that all pages can stand on their own.— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) 21. März 2019
In another tweet, Google recommended that you should aim for single-page content when possible:
Spring cleaning!— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) 21. März 2019
As we evaluated our indexing signals, we decided to retire rel=prev/next.
Studies show that users love single-page content, aim for that when possible, but multi-part is also fine for Google Search. Know and do what's best for *your* users! #springiscoming pic.twitter.com/hCODPoKgKp
Avoid duplicate content problems
As Google says that all pages should stand on their own, it’s easy to create duplicate content with paginated pages. Although duplicate content does not lead to ranking penalties, it makes choosing the right page for the search results more difficult.
For that reason, it’s better to avoid duplicate content on your web pages. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler checks your website for duplicate content (and many other things). You can create your SEOprofiler account here: