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    Categories: Search Engine Optimization

What You Need to Know about rel=”noreferrer” Attribute

A link is a strong selectable connection that allows you to jump to a new location with just a click. In that way, rel attribute can be added to any website to specify a strong relationship between the current webpage and the linked webpage. The proper usage of these tags can help you to inform the search engines in case of any duplicate content. It can also suggest to the search engines which pages to display in their SERPs and which ones to avoid.

Links are equivalent to precious gemstones you can find in a cave amidst other rocks and debris. There are many other link building agencies out there who propose they can get you the very best of links. But they are keeping the secrets hidden from you. While availing website development services it would be wise if we could keep a watch on rel=“noreferrer” attribute visible within the links.

What is a referrer?

When a person visits your website, the most important information that is being recorded is where the person has come from. You get that piece of information in the form of the URL of the page on which the person was on when they came to visit your page. If you get that information you can go to the referrer page and check the link that the person has clicked to get into your site. You will get this information from tools like Google Analytics.

What is rel=noreferrer?

If the rel=noreferrer attribute is added to a link, no referrer information will be leaked. The ultimate aim is not to pass the HTTP referrer header when a person clicks on the hyperlink. If no information is in the header, then it will not be tracked by analytics tools.

Now many of you might be wondering, what does this attribute do? It is actually a security fix to prevent malicious links from taking the control over a newly opened tab. Normally, window.opener JavaScript object allows the newly opened tab to control the parent window. This may lead to a phishing attack and enable the hackers to collect the user’s login details. Hence we use rel=”noreferrer noopener” to block the use of the window.opener JavaScript object because once the window.opener stops working, then a tab can’t control another tab.

WordPress started adding this attribute automatically from the 4.7.4 update. In this update, you might have noticed a new attribute rel=noopener alongside the target=_”blank” in the HTML header. This is an attribute that is automatically being added to all the internal and external links when you want to open them in a new tab.

What is rel=nofollow?

When rel=nofollow is added, it asks the search engines not to follow the specific link. It does not pass authority to the website. The main advantage of rel=nofollow is to control the spam attack. At times, there may be a situation where you do not have control of what people publish on your websites, for instance blog comments and forum posting. In this case, if you do not use, nofollow links then you are inviting the spammers, this will flag Google to penalize your site.

Does rel=noreferrer affect SEO?

When you click on a link, your browser sends a request to the website server of the link asking for the page. Furthermore, it also sends certain extra information like type of browser, the referrer page, the location, the device and so on. This enables the website server to save the information of how the people arrived on the webpage. This is how a rel=noreferrer works. This will have an impact on your analytics. But many people have a misconception that rel=noreferrer will affect SEO. Well this simply is not true,  rest assured there is  zero impact for rel=noreferrer on SEO.

Example

<a href=”www.cheapflights.com” rel=”nofollow”> flight ticket</a>

Here the anchor text ‘flight ticket’ is hyperlinked with ‘www.cheapflights.com’. Since it is a nofollow link, it asks the search engines not to give credits to the link.

<a href=”www.cheapflights.com” rel=”noreferrer”> flight ticket</a>

When crawling the above link, search engines will pass link authority to the linked website, but all information regarding the user will not be shared with the target site.

Conclusion

It’s more of a privacy factor and it has nothing to do with SEO.

If WordPress automatically adds this to links on your article, do not remove it, as it is a step forward into the security of your website visitors. The no-referrer links just tell the browser to hide the source of traffic going from the website. It stops the certain part of HTTP information from being passed. There is a way to deactivate it by adding a certain code or plugins. But we wouldn’t recommend it as it will make your site prone to threats.

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Lisa George: Lisa is the Link building Ninja at TechWyse. She likes to sing and dance during the cultural activities at TechWyse. When she is not building links, you can see her listening music and trying new dance steps.