I want to know the main difference between "nofollow" and "noreferrer" link from SEO perspective.

3 Answers 3


The difference is that, in theory, rel="noreferrer" should not have any SEO impact, while nofollow clearly specifies that the link does not endorse in any way the target URL.

nofollow was invented by Google back in 2005 in order to fight comment spam in blogs, any URL appearing in the comment section would not pass PR to the target webpage.

rel="noreferrer" mainly affects analytics, how did this visit landed to this page? where comes it from? noreferrer specifies to hide that kind of information.

I said in theory because there is currently no official documentation that explicitly indicates using noreferrer would change anything in SEO terms, but it shouldn't.


"nofollow" is used by Google, to specify that the Google search spider should not follow that link "Noreferrer": Specifies that the browser should not send a HTTP referrer header if the user follows the hyperlink

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    I believe that is correct, however it doesn't completely answer the question. How do each of those effect SEO? Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 18:00
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    @StephenOstermiller ~ don't believe that referrer has any impact on SEO, since the usage is intended mainly for privacy and security... I mean why would it? its the same as SSL doesn't refer but none the less Google still rewards external links from and to SSL enabled sites. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 21:52

rel="noreferrer" does not affect anything special. It is effected on the browser side.But in the case of rel="nofollow". The google bot does not check that link. This is the main difference between this two options.

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    "not affect anything special" -- How is not sending a referrer on click nothing special? Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 9:12
  • Absolutely what Stephen said. Not receiving referrer information is a major problem for those doing SEO.
    – GWR
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 13:36
  • No referer doesn't send the referring URL to the page in the link. It might be very useful when linking from a private page. Let's say you link to site X from example.com/my-secret-url/ you might consider adding no referer to your link. However, this is done browser side and some browsers might ignore that directive, while major browsers comply.
    – Julien B.
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 3:25

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