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.
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
window.open()) to control the original parent page – which could result in phishing attacks and similar.
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.
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.