This link relation is defined in IETF RFC-5005.

Some of the ATOM collections returned by the web service (for example, search results and change log resources) may be paged - divided into a series of linked feed resources. A previous link points to the previous page (the previous feed resource in the series).

The following example shows a change log resource containing a link of this type:

<feed xmlns="">
  <link rel="self" 
  <link rel="previous" 
  <link rel="next" 

Note that many Atom feeds are ordered by date, with the newest entry first. This means that the previous page of a change log will contain links to newer resources, not older ones.