20 April 2024
Home / SEO / rel=”noopener noreferrer” Tags WordPress & Their Effect on SEO

rel=”noopener noreferrer” Tags WordPress & Their Effect on SEO

rel=“noreferrer noopener” Tags WordPress & Their Effect on SEO

WordPress 4.7.4 update has sparked a huge confusion where WordPress automatically mentions rel=”noopener noreferrer” tag to external and internal links.


WordPress site owners are well versed with rel=”nofollow” tag but most of them lack the knowledge of what is noopener noreferrer? Due to lack of clarification about the new tag, most of them are busy finding similarities and difference between noreferrer vs nofollow and how it would affect their SEO and affiliate earning.



In this article, we are going to provide you complete details regarding the noopener and noreferrer attributes and clear all the confusions regarding its effect on your website.


WordPress 4.7.4 Update and the Confusion


With WordPress 4.7.4 update in April 2017, WordPress is automatically adding noopener noreferrer to all external and internal links that open in a new tab.


In other words, wherever it is finding the attribute target=”_blank” in anchor tag which is meant to open a link in a new tab, it is adding rel= noopener noreferrer.



We all know that rel=”nofollow” is used not to pass link juice to other external links. Since this is another rel tag, people are confused whether the SEO of their websites is affected or not.


rel="noopener noreferrer" Tags WordPress & Their Effect on SEO


But many website owners have confirmed that there affiliate marketing earning is getting affected. Due to the use of WordPress noopener noreferrer, when a user is clicking on affiliate links, the referral ID is not being passed to the server of the referred site from the browser, and the referral is not getting counted.


What is rel=”noopener noreferrer” and Why is it Used?


Let us understand rel=”noopener” and rel=”noreferrer” separately as they have different functionalities.


The attribute rel=”noopener” prevents the browser to get access to the previous window/tab from where the new link in a new tab originated. In its absence, web browsers access window objects of the originating window/tab via window.opener parameter. This is an important step to prevent the phishing attempt called reverse tabnabbing. With window.opener, hackers replace the original link that is supposed to open in the new tab with a malicious page link.


What is rel=noopener noreferrer and Why is it UsedSource


The attribute rel=”noreferrer” prevents the web browsers from collecting any information about the referrer. Hence, no information is passed to the server via HTTP referrer header.


In other words, the source of the traffic stays unknown. This is also done to prevent phishing so that hackers cannot identify the origin of the referrer and place malicious code.


Effects Of rel=”noopener noreferrer” In WordPress?


Since noreferrer is hiding the origin of referred, website owners are afraid that the backlinks will not be able to pass the link juice and hence, there will be a massive drop in SEO score. But the fact is that search engines do not take into account noreferrer attribute and only checks nofollow attribute during link juice passage. The noreferrer attribute is only applicable for web browsers.



According to many experienced experts on Quora, neither noopener nor noreferrer affects SEO of your WordPress website by any chance. If you are seeing a drop in SEO rank after WordPress 4.7.4 update, it has to do with other factors. There is no relationship whatsoever with rel noopener noreferrer and nofollow.


Effects Of rel=noopener noreferrer In WordPress



When it comes to affiliate marketing and identifying the source of the referrals, it is truly affected adversely. Even Amazon Associates have confirmed that in some cases, they are unable to track the referrer.  Hence, they cannot pay out the commission to the deserving ones. They are currently working on an alternative way to track every referral.


The reason why it is happening only in some cases is that only a few web browsers are implementing this noreferrer attribute, but major web browsers are ignoring it for the time being.


What is the difference between nofollow and noreferrer tags

What is the difference between “nofollow” and “noreferrer” tags?


It is instrumental to understand the difference between rel noopener noreferrer and nofollow and clarify that the rumors about rel noopener noreferrer SEO impacts are baseless.


The attribute rel=”nofollow” prevents a web page from passing on link juice to any link that is linking to the web page. So, if you get a backlink from a web page which has nofollow attribute, you are not going to get any SEO value.



This is done primarily to prevent spamming and excessive linking and manipulating SEO rank. Most of the popular websites especially their comment sections have nofollow attribute to prevent comment spammer from getting any SEO value from their websites.


According to StackExchange Community, the noopener noreferrer and SEO have no link as they are meant for web browsers and they are meaningless for search engine crawlers.


In other words, rel= noopener noreferrer and nofollow are poles apart from each other in their functionalities. While nofollow affects SEO rank, noreferrer affects analytics only for the affiliation website like Amazon and ClickBank while tracking the referrer.


Even Google analytics do not follow the basic functionality of noopener and noreferrer while forming analytics of a website.


How to Remove rel=”noopener noreferrer” from WordPress?


If you are using custom analytics tools and affiliation marketing is the main source of your income, you should definitely disable noopener and noreferrer from WordPress. You have to open your theme’s function.php file from Dashboard>Appearance> Editor and add the following code.



function tinymce_allow_unsafe_link_target( $mceInit ) {


return $mceInit; }


This is not a recommended move as it makes your website vulnerable to phishing attacks. Therefore, before you can use it, make sure noreferrer is affecting your affiliate income significantly in comparison to the past trends.



Instead of disabling noopener and noreferrer, you can avoid using target=”_blank” attribute and open the link directly in the same tab replacing your web page. It would affect the average time and post engagement, and hence, you have to be selective in making this replacing move only where it is worth it.


Wrapping It Up


There are no reports suggesting that noopener noreferrer and SEO have any connection. Hope you have understood that from noreferrer vs nofollow comparison. If your third party analytics or affiliate income is getting affected, you can disable these attributes and carry on with your normal flow.


rel=“noreferrer noopener” Tags WordPress & Their Effect on SEO

No votes yet.
Please wait...
Gaurav Jain
Article by Gaurav Jain
Hey There! My name is Gaurav Jain, a full time affiliate marketer since 2007. The reason for starting eMoneyIndeed.Com blog is to help you Save & Make Money Online. I write about Blogging, Online Marketing, Webhosting, SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Startups, Social Media, Email Marketing and more. Hope you enjoy the posts on eMoneyIndeed.com

Want To Earn Money Online?

Get Tips & Tricks in Your Mailbox
Subscribe Below
Join lot's of other subscribers:
Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have. Stop wishing - Start doing. The goal is living life on your terms.

Check Also

10 Link Building Mistakes That Can Cost You Heavily

10 Link Building Mistakes That Can Cost You Heavily

What You Will Learn What is Link Building Why Link building is important Common Link …

Want To Earn Money Online?

Get Tips & Tricks in Your Mailbox
Subscribe Below
Join lot's of other subscribers:
Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have. Stop wishing - Start doing. The goal is living life on your terms.
Want to Learn Tons of Ways to Make Extra Money From Home?
Show Me How

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join lot's of other subscribers