I am still not over losing rel prev/rel next and Google’s John Mueller was asked about it on a video hangout from yesterday. In short, John said Google is no longer using this and no longer needs to. Google is now “able to recognize common types of pagination setups on our own,” he said.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed the search engine does continue to ignore rel previous and rel next. John said, “yes, they are ignored” when asked about them.
John added that Google did once use them to understand pagination but now Google is “able to recognize common types of pagination setups on our own,” he said. He added that Google “can process those as normal internal links and understand the context from there,” adding that Google “no longer needs these special link attributes.”
After Google stopped supporting those link attributes, it gave us some advice on how Google can better understand pagination on your site.
In any event, this came up in the video at the 35:05 mark into the video, here is the embed at the start time:
Forum discussion at YouTube Community.