I have a question for you. After I've receiver a penalty for a clean website I've decided to recheck it.
The site is powered by Wordpress CMS. In the header of the posts are two links, to the next and previous articles (invisible to the human eye). These links are here by default, after the CMS installation.
The links looks in this way:
<link rel='prev' title='Previous page' href='http://www.site.com/previous-page/' />
<link rel='next' title='Next page' href='http://www.site.com/next-page/' />
I know that the next / prev is used for pagination of the articles (multiple pages from the same article) or of the categories.
My question is that if these links are able to hurt the site ranking. How these links are interpreted by Google? The next / prev is used to tell Google that the articles are part of a single article.
I believe the problem with one my sites was determined by the wrong implementation of the rel="next" attribute. At the and of every article I have a link to the next post.
I think I've been made a mistake because I've added to this link the rel="next" attribute. I believe, different articles can be interpreted as different pages (pagination) of the same article by Google.
The scheme was basically this one:
Article 1 => <link rel='next' title='article 2' href='http://www.site.com/article-2/'>Article 2</a>
Article 2 => <link rel='next' title='article 3' href='http://www.site.com/article-3/'>Article 3</a>
Article 3 => <link rel='next' title='article 4' href='http://www.site.com/article-4/'>Article 4</a> so on...
In this situation, all the pages of the site will become virtually a single article.
The next / prev in the header and the rel="next" attribute to a different article, can hurt ?