I have a situation for which the standard canonical "prev" / "next" doesn't seem applicable.

On the first page, I have a form which collects information from the user. After the form is submitted, the site then generates 5 pages of data based upon that initial form-page input.

The standard canonical approach of using "prev/next" to indicate sequential pages is not actually what I need. What I need is a canonical indication that all pages require that starting page.

Or does one set the "prev" value on all pages to "page 1"?

Currently I redirect all subsequent pages back to the initial form page if they don't have the required "GET" data passed in the URL string. I would think that solves the issue, but Webmaster Tools still tells me I have duplicate meta content on the 5 "results" pages.

Is this a case for "prev" "next"? ie: Page 5 doesn't follow page 4 at all if page 1 hasn't yet been submitted.

How do I best tag these results pages to indicate that they are dependent on the starting form page?


if i were you, i would firstly ask myself many times, whether Google really needs to know about the content of these 5 pages, which are loaded by page1 form. If not, set them to noindex and forget about canonicalization.

Then, if G needs to know about content of these 5 pages, i would think about to load these 5 pages not as pages, but as parts of the page 1, with internal anchors. you know: example.com/page1, example.com/page1#result1, example.com/page1#result2 and so on.

If anchor-based solution can't be applied, i would accomplish it on following way: page 1 has form, collects data and generates another 5 pages (a, b, c, d, e) with collected data. So i would establish prev next pagination between pages a-e, in their head areas, like < link rel="next> href="page c" />, and all of page a to e would have a < link rel="canonical" href="page1" />. Because pages a-e have relation prev-next only between each other, but not with page 1.

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