Metadata Elements - META Link Relationship Tag

It is helpful for search results to reference the beginning of the collection of documents in addition to the page hit by the search.

Example of the META Link Relationship Tag

You may help search engines by using the link element with rel="start" along with the title attribute. This link relationship tag is part of the metadata that appears within the <head></head> section of your web pages.

For example, the following link relationship was on page 22 of our Submission Reviews. That was the last page in a series of web documents relating to our Editor's Comments during the submission review process.

<link rel="prev" href="/reviews/comments-21">
<link rel="start" href="/reviews/" title="Submission Reviews - Editor's Comments">

Here is another example where links defined by the link element may describe the position of a document within a series of documents. In the following excerpt, links within our document titled Submission Reviews - Editor's Comments Page 11 point to the previous and next pages in the collection of documents:

<link rel="prev" href="/reviews/comments-10">
<link rel="next" href="/reviews/comments-12">

Authors may use the following recognized link types, listed here with their conventional interpretations. White space characters are not permitted within link types. These link types are case insensitive, i.e., Alternate has the same meaning as alternate.

User agents, search engines, etc. may interpret these link types in a variety of ways. For example, user agents may provide access to linked documents through a navigation bar.

Designates substitute versions for the document in which the link occurs. When used together with the lang attribute , it implies a translated version of the document. When used together with the media attribute, it implies a version designed for a different medium (or media).

<link rel="alternate" href="">

Refers to an external style sheet. See the section on external style sheets for details. This is used together with the link type Alternate for user selectable alternate style sheets.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Refers to the first document in a collection of documents. This link type tells search engines which document is considered by the author to be the starting point of the collection.

<link rel="start" href="">

Refers to the next document in a linear sequence of documents. User agents may choose to preload the "next" document, to reduce the perceived load time.

<link rel="next" href="">

Refers to the previous document in an ordered series of documents. Some user agents also support the synonym Previous.

<link rel="prev" href="">

Refers to a document serving as a table of contents. Some user agents also support the synonym ToC (from Table of Contents).

<link rel="contents" href="">

Refers to a document providing an index for the current document.

<link rel="index" href="">

Refers to a document providing a glossary of terms that pertain to the current document.

<link rel="glossary" href="">

Refers to a copyright statement for the current document.

<link rel="copyright" href="">

Refers to a document serving as a chapter in a collection of documents.

<link rel="chapter" href="">

Refers to a document serving as a section in a collection of documents.

<link rel="section" href="">

Refers to a document serving as a subsection in a collection of documents.

<link rel="subsection" href="">

Refers to a document serving as an appendix in a collection of documents.

<link rel="appendix" href="">

Refers to a document offering help (more information, links to other sources information, etc.)

<link rel="help" href="">

Refers to a bookmark. A bookmark is a link to a key entry point within an extended document. The title attribute may be used, for example, to label the bookmark. Note that several bookmarks may be defined in each document.

<link rel="bookmark" href="">

More Information about Link Relationships

  1. W3C - Helping Search Engines Index Your Website
  2. W3C HTML 4 - 6.12 Link Types
  3. W3C HTML 4 - 12 Links
  4. W3C HTML 4 - 12.1.2 Other Link Relationships
  5. W3C HTML 4 - 12.3.3 Links and Search Engines
  6. W3C HTML 5 - 5.12 Links


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