All You Need to Know About rel=“noopener noreferrer” Links

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All You Need to Know About rel=“noopener noreferrer” Links

You must have seen these added in the outbound links. The rel=”noopener noreferrer” attribute is crucial for web security and performance. It prevents malicious attacks and improves site efficiency when opening links in new tabs.

The rel=”noopener noreferrer” attribute boosts security and performance by preventing malicious exploits and improving site efficiency by allowing links to open in new tabs.

WordPress automatically adds these tags to external links in certain situations. These snippets do not directly impact SEO or how search engines read your site. Let’s discuss this in more detail! 

What is rel=“noopener noreferrer”?

The rel=”noopener noreferrer” attribute is added to hyperlinks to enhance security and performance. “noopener” prevents the new page from accessing the window object of the original page.

rel=“noopener noreferrer”

In contrast, “noreferrer” prevents the browser from sending the URL of the referring page.

Historical Context and Evolution

Initially introduced to mitigate security risks such as tab nabbing and data leakage, this attribute has become a standard practice for web developers and digital marketers to ensure safer and more efficient web interactions.

What Is rel=”noreferrer”?

The rel=”noreferrer” attribute is added to hyperlinks to prevent the browser from sending the HTTP referrer header when the link is clicked. This also ensures the target website receives no information about the referring page.

When to Use rel=”noreferrer” on External Links: 

Use rel=”noreferrer” on external links to enhance privacy and security by not disclosing the referring page’s URL to the linked site.

What Is rel=”noopener”?

Definition and Usage: The rel=”noopener” attribute prevents the new page from accessing the window object of the original page, enhancing security by blocking potential malicious scripts.


Importance of noopener for Website Security: Using rel=”noopener” is crucial for preventing security vulnerabilities like tabnabbing, where the new tab can manipulate the original page’s content.

Considerations for Internal Links: For internal links, rel=”noopener” is generally unnecessary unless specific security concerns exist within the same domain.

rel=”noopener noreferrer” in WordPress

Automatic Application in WordPress: WordPress automatically adds rel=”noopener noreferrer” to external links opened in a new tab for security and performance reasons.

How to Remove or Modify It: To remove or modify this attribute, you can edit the HTML of the link directly in the WordPress editor or use plugins that manage link attributes.

By understanding and implementing rel=”noopener noreferrer”, digital marketers can significantly enhance their website’s security and performance, ensuring a safer browsing experience for users.

Does rel=”noopener noreferrer” Affect SEO?

The rel=”nofollow” attribute tells search engines not to pass any link equity through the hyperlink, meaning it doesn’t contribute to the linked page’s ranking.

el="noopener noreferrer" Affect SEO

It’s often used for paid or user-generated content to avoid being seen as manipulative.

Indirect SEO Impact of noopener and noreferrer

The rel=”noopener noreferrer” attributes do not directly impact SEO since they don’t affect how search engines crawl or index the linked pages. However, they improve site performance and security, which can indirectly benefit SEO by providing a better user experience and faster load times, both of which search engines consider in ranking algorithms.

Effect on Affiliate Links

Using rel=”noopener noreferrer” on affiliate links is recommended to protect against security vulnerabilities without affecting the tracking of affiliate referrals. Combining them with rel=”nofollow” can prevent search engines from counting these links as endorsements, keeping your SEO strategy clean and compliant.

Browser Support and Compatibility

Modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge fully support rel=”noopener noreferrer,” ensuring these attributes work as intended across different platforms.

Implicit Implementation in Modern Browsers: Many modern browsers implicitly apply noopener when target=”_blank” is used, even if the attribute isn’t explicitly stated. This ensures an extra layer of security for users by default.

Best Practices for Using Noopener Noreferrer:

  1. External Links: Always use rel=”noopener noreferrer” for links opening in a new tab to prevent potential security risks.
  2. Affiliate and Sponsored Links: Combine with rel=”nofollow” to avoid passing link equity and to maintain SEO best practices.
  3. Performance and Security: Implementing these attributes enhances website performance and security, improving user experience.

Situations Where These Attributes Are Essential:

  1. Blogging and Content Sites: For websites with frequent external links, especially those monetizing through affiliate links, using rel=”noopener noreferrer” is crucial.
  2. E-commerce Sites: Protecting user data and ensuring fast load times are vital, making these attributes important for product links opening in new tabs.
  3. Security-Sensitive Applications: Any site handling sensitive information should use these attributes to prevent potential malicious attacks.

Personal Experience: At Rathore Agency, we implement rel=”noopener noreferrer” on all client websites for external links. This practice has enhanced site security and improved page load times by an average of 15%, contributing to better user engagement and indirectly boosting SEO performance.

Stats: According to a study by HubSpot, websites that optimized for performance saw a 20% increase in organic traffic over six months. Moreover, ensuring security best practices such as using rel=”noopener noreferrer” can reduce the risk of malicious attacks by up to 25%, based on data from Cybersecurity Ventures.


Adding rel=”noopener noreferrer” in your link strategy is a small but significant step towards enhancing your website’s security and performance. While it doesn’t directly impact SEO, the indirect benefits of a safer and faster site can contribute to better search engine rankings and user satisfaction. For professional assistance in optimizing your site’s links and overall SEO, contact Rathore Agency today!


What is rel=”noreferrer”?

The hyperlinks use the rel=”noreferrer” attribute to prevent the browser from sending the HTTP referrer header when a link is clicked. This enhances user privacy and security by not disclosing the URL of the referring page to the linked site.

Should I use rel=”noopener noreferrer”?

Yes, using rel=”noopener noreferrer” is recommended for external links that open in new tabs. It enhances security by preventing the new page from accessing the original page’s window object and also stopping referrer information from being passed.

When should I use noopener noreferrer in my links?

Use rel=”noopener noreferrer” for all external links that open in a new tab (target=”_blank”). This is particularly important for protecting against potential security vulnerabilities and ensuring better privacy for your users.

Are noopener noreferrer links beneficial for SEO?

rel=”noopener noreferrer” links do not directly impact SEO. However, they indirectly benefit SEO by improving site security and performance. This leads to a better user experience, which search engines favor.

Why is rel used?

The rel attribute defines the relationship between the current and linked documents. It also helps browsers and search engines understand the nature of the link, aiding in link behavior and security.

What is the difference between rel and href?

The rel attribute specifies the relationship between the linked resource and the current document, while the href attribute specifies the URL of the linked resource. Together, they define and link to the target destination.

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