Indicate paginated content

Sites paginate content in various ways. For example:

  • News and/or publishing sites often divide a long article into several shorter pages.
  • Retail sites may divide the list of items in a large product category into multiple pages.
  • Discussion forums often break threads into sequential URLs.

If you paginate content on your site, and you want that content to appear in search results, we recommend one of the following three options.

  • Do nothing. Paginated content is very common, and Google does a good job returning the most relevant results to users, regardless of whether content is divided into multiple pages.
  • Specify a View All page. Searchers commonly prefer to view a whole article or category on a single page. Therefore, if we think this is what the searcher is looking for, we try to show the View All page in search results. You can also add a rel="canonical" link to the component pages to tell Google that the View All version is the version you want to appear in search results.
  • Use rel="next" and rel="prev" links to indicate the relationship between component URLs. This markup provides a strong hint to Google that you would like us to treat these pages as a logical sequence, thus consolidating their linking properties and usually sending searchers to the first page.

Using rel="next" and rel="prev"

You can use the HTML attributes rel="next" and rel="prev" to indicate the relationship between individual URLs. Using these attributes is a strong hint to Google that you want us to treat these pages as a logical sequence.

Let's say you have content paginated into the following URLs:

http://www.example.com/article-part1.html
http://www.example.com/article-part2.html
http://www.example.com/article-part3.html
http://www.example.com/article-part4.html
  1. In the <head> section of the first page (http://www.example.com/article-part1.html), add a link tag pointing to the next page in the sequence, like this:
    <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/article-part2.html">

    Because this is the first URL in the sequence, there’s no need to add markup for rel="prev".

  2. On the second and third pages, add links pointing to the previous and next URLs in the sequence. For example, you could add the following to the second page of the sequence:
    <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/article-part1.html">
    <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/article-part3.html">
    
  3. On the final page of the sequence (http://www.example.com/article-part4.html>), add a link pointing to the previous URL, like this:
    <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/article-part3.html">

    Because this is the final URL in the sequence, there’s no need to add a rel="next" link.

"Google treats rel="previous" as a syntactic variant of rel="prev". Values can be either relative or absolute URLs (as allowed by the <link> tag). And, if you include a <base> link in your document, relative paths will resolve according to the base URL.

Some things to note:

  • rel="prev" and rel="next" act as hints to Google, not absolute directives.

  • If a component page within a series includes parameters that don't change the page's content, such as session IDs, then the rel="prev" and rel="next" values should also contain the same parameters. This helps our linking process better match corresponding rel="prev" and rel="next" values. For example, the page http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=2&sessionid=123 should contain the following:
    <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=1&sessionid=123" />
    <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=3&sessionid=123" />
    

  • rel="next" and rel="prev" are orthogonal concepts to rel="canonical". You can include both declarations. For example, http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=2&sessionid=123 may contain:
    <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=2"/>
    <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=1&sessionid=123" />
    <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/article?story=abc&page=3&sessionid=123" />
    

  • If Google finds mistakes in your implementation (for example, if an expected rel="prev" or rel="next" designation is missing), we'll continue to index the page(s), and rely on our own heuristics to understand your content.