Should I Remove Rel=Prev/Next from My Website Code?

2019/08/15 21:57

rel prev next

Google introduced the rel=prev/next markup in 2011 but supporting it years ago without telling anybody about it. If you’re like many other marketers, you’ve been using rel=prev/next for its SEO benefits and to identify the previous and next articles in a complete series.

While the markup was useful for blogs, it was also ideal for ecommerce sites that wanted to highlight products that belonged in the same category.

Now that Google is no longer supporting the markup, should you adapt your code?

The answer is no. If you have rel=prev/next in your code, there’s no reason to remove it. Google will not penalise you for leaving it there and there are other search engines that still use it to discover pages and understand site structures anyway.

Optimising Your Category Pages

Now that rel=prev/next is a thing of the past, there are a few things you can do to optimise your category pages:

  • Use your first page wisely. To help with indexing, place as much of your text and media on the first page in a category. Once users find the first place, they can easily navigate to other pages.
  • Watch page speed. Since you will be adding more items to your category pages, keep a close eye on page speed to ensure it’s not harming your SEO efforts. You may need to use sub-categories to avoid overloading primary category pages.
  • Optimise your featured image. Provide Google with additional information about your pages by optimising the featured image on your main category pages.

Overall, there’s no need to get rid of rel=prev/next. Many marketers are keeping it in place to have it work like a rel canonical. Whatever you do, just make sure that Google knows which page is Page One.