PrevNext is a pagination markup introduced to help determine the relations between different pages or between parts of URLs. In 2011, Google started to use these links to discover related pages. Most sites now use them to provide these hints. In 2019, Google announced that it was retiring PrevNext, citing its users’ love for single-page content. It advised website owners to aim for single-page content when possible. However, it was quick to add that multi-page content is still fine for Google Search and advised website owners to know and possibly do what’s best for their users. It’s not clear what these pagination changes mean for huge e-commerce sites. You can’t imagine cramming 10,000 products on one view-all page.
Managing Paginated Content
Initially, Google recommended three options for website owners seeking ways to effectively handle paginated content.
#1 Doing Nothing About it
Google contended that paginated content is quite common and that the company does an incredible job returning to their users the most relevant results. This is with little regard to whether or not such content is divided into many pages.
#2 Implementing a View-All Page
According to Google then, searchers prefer viewing an entire article or category on just one page. Consequently, if you think you know what the searcher wants, you should try showing a View-All page in the page results. Also, you can consider adding an official link to your component pages. This will tell Google that you want the View-All version to appear in your search results.
#3 Using rel=” next” and rel=” prev”
You can use the above headers or links to indicate the connection between your component URLs. The markup strongly hints to Google that you’d like the search engine to treat the pages as a logical sequence. As such, Google will consolidate its linking properties and send searchers to the first page.
Is PrevNext Necessary?
According to Google, Googlebot doesn’t need PrevNext anymore to discover the next page as it’s smart enough. That, however, does not mean you can delete all the PrevNext links you’ve worked tirelessly to implement. You should remember that this is a web standard, and there’re many other search engines besides Google. For example, Bing uses PrevNext as a hint to discover pages and understand site structures. However, it does not use it to rank or group them.
Now What for PrevNext?
As you wait to see if Google will detail a new way to handle pagination, here are a few things you should remember.
#1 Internal Linking Structure
You should focus more on your internal linking structure and consider improving your cornerstone content. It will be even more important for you to understand where you would like search engines and your visitors to go, then act on that.
#2 Single View-All Pages
You should be careful with single-view-all pages. They’re often not a good idea as they negatively affect SEO and performance.
#3 Don’t Panic
Most importantly, you should not panic.
For the moment, you want to keep everything as it is and maintain your PrevNext markup links. In any case, it’s the web standard. You can take a careful look at your site’s structure and improve it.