Does Adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” to a Link affect SEO?

Does Adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” to a Link affect SEO?

You may have recently noticed that WordPress has started adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” to links by default.

You may want to know why this is happening, and if it has any impact on SEO.

Why is WordPress Adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” to my links? How dare they?

Well as it turns out, there is a very good reason to add these tags to external links by default – as doing so should stop a potential exploit that allows the new webpage (opened via target="_blank" or window.open()) to control the original parent page – which could result in phishing attacks and similar.

Does adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” to links have any impact on SEO?

You may have already heard about the rel="nofollow" tag, and how significant the SEO impact of this tag can be, and consequently be worried that the rather similar looking “noopener noreferrer” tag has a similar affect.

Well fear not, there is absolutely zero impact on SEO from using rel=”noopener noreferrer”.

This has been confirmed by Google’s John Mu in a direct answer to a webmaster’s question:

Does Google still crawl, index, and count a good link even if it has a rel=noopener on the link? I know it won’t with a no follow but I was not sure about rel=noopener

John Mu replied:

Yep, it’s just a link.

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So there you have it. If you find WordPress automatically adds this to links on your blog there is no need to remove it, and if you have an enterprise website that does not use rel=”noopener noreferrer” on external links you might want to consider adding them in.

Similarly you may want to avoid using target="_blank" or any other target, especially on user generated content links from which it would be much easier for someone to inject a link to a malicious site.

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4 comments

  1. Abdullah Prem says:

    I’m not talking about SEO perspective but I need to know whether It will affect my affiliate sales or not? If someone buys through my link. Then it won’t be a problem. Still the click counts an would i get the commissions? Because I heard many amazon affiliate’s lost sales because amazon can’t track the link where it came from.

    • Esha says:

      These tags also impact Affiliate Networks as it hides referrer information. WordPress has started adding these tags to your links. But you can remove these tags from your link using xxxxxxxxx plugin. (*Edited)

      • Hi, this is a misunderstanding of how affiliate tracking systems work. When an user visits an affiliate link – whether that is from a website, email, redirection, or just manually typing the URL in – the URL itself allows for tracking and then a cookie is created recording the source of the visit.

        Example tracking URL: affiliate.com/?ref=123456

        So the actual original referrer information is not needed at all and bears no reference on the ability of an affiliate system to track the visit.

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