|rel prev/next and duplicate content|
Is the use of the rel=prev, rel=next elements a solution for this duplicate content issue?
4 pages reviewing pickup trucks (ford,chevy,dodge,toyota)
Each page on its own could contain "thick" content [lots unique paragraphs] but each page would extensively involve the use of the exact same keywords (turn radius, weight, etc...). Pages wouldn't be true duplicates (cut and paste, just changing a very few keywords) but would be very, very similar. (With the exception of brand, they would all rank for the exact same keywords).
By stitching these pages together using rel=prev, rel=next, have I declared to google that these individual pages should be seen as one, and therefore some amount of duplicate (or very,very similar) content is expected on each one and therefore no penalty applied?
When allowed to exist independently these four similar pages might be looked at as: How to drink pepsie, How to drink coke, How to drink water, How to drink tea.
Does using the rel=prev/next help to mitigate this issue?
I think it's a good signal to send. On the article sites where I use this approach, I've noticed no confusion at Google. I don't see it as a guarantee, though - just one of many signals that belong together if you want the best results.
The key question I'd ask here is what kind of duplicate content issue are you seeing right now?
>>What kind of duplicate content issues are you seeing right now<<
Simply the issue that both a Ford and Chevy page would discuss the exact same issues, just with different numbers and facts, and slightly different description text for some features.
A lot of headers would be the same on each page, so would the text, only with different facts and figures.
No exact duplicate content, just very similar content.
How do you see that kind of "duplication" causing problems with Google?
i always try to <link> related or collected documents if there is an appropriate rel attribute value available.
it would probably help to reinforce the unique content of each document if you provide some structure that is common among the documents.