1

On an ecommerce website the category page of a type of product has pagination. A view all system isn't used because the page speed would be too high. The HTML rel='next' & rel='prev' links are used.

Upon a site: search, the sequential pages are indexed.

There is also organic traffic managing to land on these pages from Google.

Should the rel='next' & rel='prev' stop all the pages from being indexed but the first?

2

No, the rel="prev" and rel="next" won't stop all the pages but the first being indexed, and that is exactly what you want it to do.

The rel tags are instead used to indicate to Google that these set of pages are connected in a 'paginated' setup. After finding those tags on a page, Google will work its magic with regards to crawling, indexing and ranking those pages. Afterwards, it might, or might not, decide to crawl those pages (at a certain rate) and/or keep those pages in the index and/or let those pages rank.

Sources:

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