Google drops pagination tags as indexing signals

Last month Google announced through their Webmasters Twitter account that they will no longer support pagination tags (rel=”next” and rel=”prev”) as indexing signals.

What are pagination tags? 

Pagination tags are link elements that help search engines understand the relationship between “paginated pages” in its index. Pagination tags are strong signals to search engines that the pages are part of a series. Furthermore, pagination tags can be useful in the discoverability of pages.

Recommended approach: 

Now that Google no longer uses pagination tags as indexing signals, what should you do? First, don’t panic! The impact on visibility will likely be small. Reach out to your iProspect SEO consultant for a personalized approach or consult the Q&A below:

Q: My website currently has pagination tags correctly implemented, what should I do?

A: iProspect recommends keeping pagination tags in place. Even though they are not being used in as indexing signals, they still indicate relationships between pages. Furthermore, they still can be used as a means for the search engine bots to discover pages.

Q: My website has no/faulty pagination tags but they are on the development backlog, should I keep this on the list?

A: iProspect recommend to de-prioritize if the paginated pages can also be identified by means of other links.

Q: We’ve never looked into implementing pagination tags, should we forget this even exists?

A: Pagination tags can still be useful in the discoverability of pages and to signal how pages are related. The more signals you can give to search engines, the better. iProspect therefore does recommend to not neglect pagination tags.