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Adding Pagination With Rel=next And Rel=prev

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#1 train99


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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:18 PM

I've been using these tags on my site to combine pages that are on the same topics into a series. I've also been doing new articles as a series.

This is done by adding these tags in the header section of the page:

[codebox]<link rel="prev" href="URLpage1" />
<link rel="next" href="URLpage3" />[/codebox]

That code would be in page 2 of a series.

Google says they will consider these linked pages to be one long page for the purposes of rankings, but show the most relevant page in searches.

Some people say the pages share link juice. This might be true. I added these tags to two pages on my site in August that were on a similar topic, but targeted different keywords. Just adding those codes moved my better ranking page up a few places on the first page of Google's results. More importantly my sales went up.

Now I'm going through my whole site page by page and cleaning it up. I'm finding numerous articles that lend themselves to becoming a series.

I'm posting this so I can get some feedback on how I'm doing this, and ideas for other things I might not be looking at.

I sell reports on how to do things. I write articles with information, and then link to other other related articles and to my relevant reports. This model works really well.

First, I think regardless of anything I can do, keeping a focus on providing information in a usable manner is most important.

Secondly, I'm lightly considering where the pages show up in serps. Last night I redid 3 pages that all targeted the same phrase, and selected the best ranking page (the top of page two) for page one of the series. That page also has more facebook likes and google+ clicks than any other page in the series. It was also an introduction so it fits the user requirement. I added a new page as page two, and tagged on an existing page that wasn't optimized for any phrase, but logically fit into the series to make a 5 page series. I don't know what will happen as a result of these changes, but I hope one of the pages will move up.

Thirdly, as I mentioned above I'm adding existing pages to a series when they are a logical fit and weren't optimized for any phrase. This seems like a good way to use pages that aren't doing any lifting in the past. The pages already have some inbound links. The new page five is a page my readers like- it has many facebook likes and google+ shares. By adding it to the series I should get it in-front of more readers.

I've also deleted pages that were similar to the ones I put in the series and put a 301 redirect in aiming at the most relevant surviving page. When I do this I also move content to the surviving page.

Based on my results so far I'm sure I'm doing this well, but there's no information about this anywhere I can find online. I'd like to know what other people are doing.


PS. one thing that I am considering is people abusing these tags and then the search engines start ignoring them. When I first thought about this abuse I was hesitant to implement these, but then I realized that nearly every time the search engines sweep out the garbage, my results either don't change or improve.

#2 qwerty


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:23 AM

I'm not sure you're using these tags the way they were intended. According to Google, it's for an article that's broken up into numerous pages, or a collection of products that are displayed across multiple pages.

Nowhere in their post introducing the concept do they advise lumping similarly-themed articles together in this manner. It would make more sense to me (if you haven't implemented this already) to organize similar articles by creating a hub page with an overview of the topic and links to all of the relevant pages.

Think about it this way: you've got three articles, one on grooming tips for small dogs, one on grooming big dogs, and one on treating your injuries after attempting to groom a cat. You could use rel="prev" and rel="next" to connect them, but that would mean that you were recommending that the articles be read in a particular order. As a user, I think I'm more likely to seek out one of the three topics, read that article, and then maybe consider the others just because I liked the first article and the overall theme interests me.

#3 train99


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:48 PM

Bob, thanks for you input.

The articles I'm combining make sense as a series, and some were a series to begin with. Some were a bunch of articles written over years that fit together. For example: the reasons for doing X, what you need to do X, how to do X, common problems when doing X.

The first series I created months ago was "how to do X" and "where to do Y" with X and Y being synonyms. Google always returned the "how to do X" page for a search on "how to do Y," but now the result is a little higher in the rankings. Those two pages were always a series and were written together.

For series that weren't originally written concurrently, I'm changing the introductions and closing paragraphs so there is a natural flow. For the series I did last week the introductory article has moved from the second page of Google results to low on the first page.

I can see when I send the link to the first article in a series to my newsletter subscribers that they follow the path. So the series is something people want to read. I'm only doing this for a few groups of articles where it really makes sense.

The hubs you suggest are also coming. About a year ago I started putting links to related articles below my articles. If I take those links out and replace them with a link to a hub page that contains summaries of the articles along with links it might increase readership. Currently, I just have a list of links to pages that is order by date the article was added in my navigation. So adding hubs will certainly make it easier for users to find relevant articles.

That's the goal - keeping people reading related articles.

#4 clandestino


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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:20 AM

@train99 Post back here when you've had a chance to evaluate results. I'd be very interested to know.

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