If you’re not familiar with rel=”noopener”, it’s an HTML attribute. When added to links, it helps address a particular security vulnerability.
This security vulnerability allows attackers to exploit the link with malicious intent.
When this happens it can allow attackers to steal information and spread malicious code.
The rel=”noopener” attribute prevents the new tab from taking advantage of this JS coding. Additionally, the rel=”noopener” attribute stops the passing of any referrer info to the new tab.
What Does the Rel=”Noopener” Attribute Look Like?
The HTML code for a link with rel=”noopener” looks like this:
<a href=”https://example.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>example link</a>
Noopener and Nofollow: What’s the Difference?
It’s easy to confuse the noopener and nofollow attributes. These tag attributes are not the same. In fact, they are entirely different.
Noopener prevents your site from being vulnerable to XSS scripting (like cross-site hacking) and improves your overall WordPress security.
Be careful not to confuse the two. You could easily get yourself into a pickle.
Nofollow is the attribute that makes Google consider whether or not to follow a link on your site. This can also prevent the passing of link equity to the site that you link to.
By default, you have to add nofollow or noopener to your links in WordPress manually. WordPress does not let you do this automatically within default settings.
You can add a plugin that enhances this functionality and enables you to add rel=”noopener” to your links. You can also add a plugin that will let you add nofollow.
If your site is already plugin-heavy, we recommend simply adding the code manually. Here’s what your link code should look like:
<a href=”https://samplesite.com/” rel=”noopener” rel=”nofollow”>Site link</a>
What Is the Rel=”Noreferrer” Attribute?
Rel=”noreferrer” is an attribute that prevents referring information from the first link from being passed to the next page.
This attribute is useful when you have private information about the link being passed that you don’t want anyone else to see.
Are Affiliate Links Affected By Rel=”Noreferrer”?
There are some users who believe that “rel=noreferrer” impacts affiliate links, but this is not the case.
The most common understanding of the attribute is that “rel=noreferrer” stops the referrer information from passing to the new tab or page.
Affiliate links provide you with your own custom affiliate code that tracks your affiliate links’ performance.
This ends up passing along your affiliate ID as a URL parameter that will be tracked by the other website.
Does rel=”noopener” Affect SEO?
No. Though some believe that rel=”noopener” has an impact on SEO success, and thus they might decide to not use it at all because they think it will have a negative impact on their SEO overall.
There is absolutely zero impact on your page’s ranking and SEO performance as a result of using rel=”noopener”.
What Are the Security Implications?
Using rel=”noopener” is a great way to ensure the overall increased security of your WordPress site.
This is especially true in cases where you may link to suspicious URLs that you want to prevent from using cross-site scripting to harm your site.
If you’re not linking to many suspicious sites, you don’t have to worry too much about using rel=”noopener”, but we don’t recommend removing it if you already have it on your site. It’s helping to protect your site from external attacks.