I use the WordPress plugin Ultimate Nofollow to easily make links as nofollow.

So I expected that plugin will add rel="nofollow". But it added rel="nofollow noopener"

Is there a difference between rel="nofollow" vs. rel="nofollow noopener"?

  • It tells chrome to create new process for the tab instead using the one which it came from, less vulnerabilities to get hacked by some javascript tricks. This is good to have even you can add "noreferrer" "noopener" "nofollow" altogether. – Deepak Mathur Apr 15 '19 at 11:08

nofollow will give you granular control to individual external links such as a webpage you don’t necessarily endorse or an internal link you want to prevent bots to access or index such as your members login page.

noopener is another property that gives you granular control for webpage performance and security when accessing content on a new window, the noopener directive will block access to window.opener.

read google explanation here and read here why it helps your webpage to become more secure.

In terms of SEO, what really matters is how you use the nofollow rather than the noopener. noopener is just preventing the browser (some of then) to execute malicious Scripts.


rel="noopener" is used so that when a new window is created upon clicking a link, malicious javascript code running in the new window will not access your previous window via the window.opener attribute.

rel=noreferrer is used so that when a user clicks on a hyperlink and is transferred to a new location, no referrer information will be leaked to the destination link. Meaning, it will not be possible for the destination to know where that user came from.

You can find more information about both here and more about no referrer here


The noopener link relationship has nothing to do with the nofollow link relationship.

Google says:-

When your page links to another page using target="_blank", the new page runs on the same process as your page. If the new page is executing expensive JavaScript, your page's performance may also suffer. See The Performance Benefits of rel=noopener for more information.

On top of this, target="_blank" is also a security vulnerability. The new page has access to your window object via window.opener, and it can navigate your page to a different URL using window.opener.location = newURL. See About rel=noopener for a demo and explanation of the vulnerability.

Adding a rel="noopener" attribute prevents the new page from being able to access the window.opener property and will ensure it runs in a separate process. The rel="noreferrer" attribute has the same effect, but will also prevent the Referer header from being sent to the new page. See HTML Standard: Link type "noreferrer" for an explanation of this behavior.

And you're probably already aware that the nofollow link relationship just instructs obeying search engine crawlers not to follow that link (and subsequently pass link juice - but there are other benefits).

It would be interesting to know what you're using the plugin for as it isn't advisable to nofollow internal linkage and unless you're publishing a lot of user generated content, I doubt you're linking to places that you don't "vouch for" which is largely what the nofollow link relationship is used for...

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.