Is this the absolute ONLY correct way to indicate a paginated series of pages to search engines?

  <link href="www.example.co.uk/news/?page=8" rel="prev">
  <link href="www.example.co.uk/news/?page=10" rel="next">

Or can rel="prev" and rel="next" as attributes be added to other elements, for instance a in the body? Example:

<a href="www.example.co.uk/news/?page=8" rel="prev">Previous</a>
<a href="www.example.co.uk/news/?page=10" rel="next">Next</a>

I have read Google's documentation on implementing rel="prev/next", but it doesn't really specifically say that in the <head> on a <link> is the absolute only way to correctly implement, definitively.

  • Same question, but only about Google: Does rel=“next” have to be in the HEAD?
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2017 at 11:31
  • My question is also "about Google" if you read it. That thread also doesn't actually have a definitive answer, much like this one presently.
    – Hannah C.
    Oct 5, 2017 at 14:08
  • Your question doesn’t say that it’s only about Google Search; your first sentence says "to search engines". But if it is, your question should be closed as duplicate (shouldn’t matter whether or not the answers satisfy -- if it’s closed as duplicate, the question can still be found and answers would be posted at the duplicate target).
    – unor
    Oct 6, 2017 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


No, that is not the absolute only correct way to indicate a paginated series of pages to search engines.

According to the HTML specification for the anchor tag, the rel attribute is valid on anchor tags, so you could do it the way you have in your second example.

  • Thanks Cpt. Dob. Would you also be able to confirm that this implementation is not just valid HTML, but valid for search engines' understanding?
    – Hannah C.
    Sep 28, 2017 at 15:09

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