Google Retires rel=”next”/prev” as Indexing Signal

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Issue #120
March 26th, 2019

Hey, lunch buddies. Last week was crazy! I spent the first few days in Kentucky visiting a client then returned back to the office to finish up five days worth of work in the remaining 2 business days. I’ve never been to the state of Kentucky nor met these clients in-person so it was a great experience.

The weekend presented a great opportunity to take a much-needed break and enjoy the beginning of spring. What made it even better was the fact that we booked a trip to Hawaii this fall. It will serve as a combined celebration of my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary, my wife and mine’s 10th wedding anniversary and my sons 8th birthday.  To say the family is excited is a complete understatement.  Now we only have 7 months to wait…

Finally, I met up with Abby Reimer, digital strategist at Uproer a few weeks back. Abby is pushing herself to learn more about technical SEO and through the weeds was told she should reach out to me to get some advice. She published some of her key learnings on the Uproer blog last week.

Let’s get to the goods!

What You Need To Know

Article: Google does not rely on rel=”next”/”prev” anymore and “forgets” to share with SEO community.

What’s important?
Google recently took down its official support documentation for rel=”next”/”prev” tagging resulting in many SEOs asking “why!?”.  Several Google representatives responded stating that (Google) no longer utilizes this as an indexing signal and hasn’t for the past few years.

Nick’s take:
While Google accounts for the biggest share of organic search it’s important to remember that other search engines still rely on the rel=”next”/”prev” tagging. Many in the industry (including me) believe that there is value found in the tag but will further deprioritize it in our technical recommendation.

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Interesting Reads in Your Spare Time

Was the March 12th core update a reversal of 8/1 “medic” update? –
If you aren’t already reading everything that Glenn publishes let this post convince you to start. While the 3/12 update might not be a full reversal of the dreaded 8/1 update he brings up a lot of good points (and examples) that might support a softening of signals that crushed so many sites.

March 2019 core update: stories of recovery –
Just a few days before Glenn’s post (above) was published, Marie Haynes published her findings regarding the recent 3/12 update. In this post,  Marie shows several sites that saw a recovery after being hit hard by the update 6 months ago.

Google’s official webspam report for 2018 –
Did you know that Google received over 180,000 search spam user reports last year? Even more impressive is that they “reacted” to 64% of it. In addition, Google sent out over 186 million site improvement messages to webmasters through Google Search Console.

How to prove SEO value to clients –
Kameron stole this topic from my “to write” list and I’m super excited that she did! This topic was one of the few concepts I took away from my previous agency experience. Every consultant should be looking to show tangible value through the work they are doing day in and day out.  SEO might be a slow game but that doesn’t prevent us from showing progress regularly.

Google maps introduced ‘public events’ – rolling out now! –
I’ve always envied those who have the guts to use a trademarked brand in their domain name… but that’s not what we are covering here. Damien covers in this article a new feature Google maps is in the process of launching. Users can now add live events via the”contribute’ tab. Earlier reports show that this feature is only available to Android users and takes roughly 30 minutes to display within Google Maps.

Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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