Technical SEO and rel Tagging

If you've wondered about when to use tags such as rel="author" and rel="alternate" hreflang="x", this is the video for you. Cara Pettersen breaks down a presentation from Maile Ohye earlier this year, putting in simple terms how and when to use these tags.


Cara Pettersen: Hi. I'm Cara Pettersen, an SEO Account Manager here at RKG. We attended SMX Seattle this year, and one of the more technical SEO sessions was Maile Ohye explaining link relationships and specifically rel tagging, their usage and how they can be used together. The five rel tags that Maile went over in detail were the rel author, rel next prev, rel alternate hreflang, rel alternate media, and rel canonical tags.

We thought this would be important to share with everyone how these tags can all be used together on one piece of content, and we'd like to explain that using an international blog as an example. So, this blog we have an author. We have a paginated article. We have this paginated article served in Spanish content as well, and it's also served for mobile content. We also have tracking parameters that are appended to the URL.

So, within this situation, we would want to use the rel=”author” tag to signal the relationship between the page's content and the author's Google Plus profile. This will provide a nice little image in the SERPs next to the content result. Because we have pagination, we'll want to implement rel=”next”/”prev” tagging, and this indicates a relationship between component URLs in a paginated series. It'll also help to consolidate all equity back to a single landing page.

We also have this content provided in Spanish. So with this situation we'll want to implement the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” tag. This tag will help Google serve the correct language or regional URL for searchers. So if there are Spanish searchers that are looking for this content, they're going to be served the Spanish version and not the English version.

We also have this content for mobile on a different mobile domain. So we'll want to implement the rel=”alternate” media=”x” tag on the desktop version signaling the mobile content. Lastly, we have the canonical tag and this will help clean up any duplication from tracking parameters.

So this was a quick and dirty reiteration of Maile's talk at SMX and we hope you found it valuable. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below, and thank you for your time.