What is Noreferrer and Nofollow?

Picture of Chanuka Wijesundara

Chanuka Wijesundara

I am Chanuka Wijesundara, a professional web developer in Canada based in Toronto. I was always fascinated with technology, how the system sets work, and how technology evolves every day around us.

What is a Nofollow Link?

In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.

What is a Noreferrer Link?

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 noreferral would change anything in SEO terms, but it shouldn’t.

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.

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.

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