Google recommends webmasters, developers, & publisher continues to use rel=prev/next for other reasons outside of Google indexing intense.
yesterday Google has confirmed that it has not supported rel=next/prev for years. Google confessed that it was an oversight, a mixup. It removed support but did not communicate that up to someone on the Google webmaster trends team noticed it wasn’t being used anymore by Google search.
It was an oversight:
“We apologize for any confusion. It was an oversight and there is something that we should have communicated visionary before taking down the documentation,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land on Friday. The company also said it will aim to do better at communicating these kinds of changes in the future.
“As our systems improve over time, there may be instances where specific types of markup are not as critical as it once was, and we’re committed to providing guidance when changes are made.”
Should you remove the markup?
Probably not. Today morning google communicated in a video hangout that while it may not use rel=next/prev for search, it can still be used by other search engines & by browsers, among other reasons. So Google may not use it for search indexing, rel=prev/next can still be useful for users. Especially, some browsers might use those annotations for things like prefetching & accessibility purposes.
Bing partially supports rel=prev/next:
Frédéric Dubut from Bing said yesterday that while Bing doesn’t use it to merge pages into a single set, they do use it for discoverability and understanding a site’s overall structure.
Google doesn’t use it at all:
But just for clearance, Google is not using it at all.
Google said: It doesn’t mean you should make single gigantic pages when it isn’t the best solution for your users