What Is Noreferrer?

by Sandy Meier

What is noreferrer? This term refers to an HTML attribute used in hyperlinks that prevents the browser from passing the HTTP referrer header to the destination page when a user clicks a link.

At Contentellect, we understand the importance of maintaining privacy and security on your website, and noreferrer plays a crucial role in this.

Throughout this article, we’ll delve deeper into when noreferrer should be used, its impact on SEO, and how it differs from similar attributes like nofollow and noopener.

We will also debunk common myths surrounding noreferrer, providing you with a clear understanding of its functionality and benefits.

Let’s take a look.

Is “Noreferrer” Important For SEO?

Is noreferrer important for keeping SEO organic and overall SEO performance? The straightforward answer is that while noreferrer has a minimal direct impact on search engine rankings, it significantly influences aspects critical to SEO strategy.

This attribute ensures user privacy by blocking the referrer information from being transmitted, which might affect how traffic data is recorded and analysed.

What Is rel=”noreferrer”?

The rel=”noreferrer” attribute plays a crucial role in safeguarding user privacy by preventing the browser from sending the URL of the referring page to the destination website.

This is particularly relevant when links lead to external sites, and maintaining the privacy of the user’s browsing path is a priority.

For businesses, understanding the application of noreferrer is vital for managing how their website interacts with others in terms of data sharing.

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When Should You Use rel=noreferrer?

Should you always use rel=”noreferrer”? It’s not essential for every link. Its use is typically contingent on the desired level of privacy and the relationship with the linked site.

For links pointing to trusted partners or within the same website, skipping noreferrer can be beneficial.

This approach ensures that analytical tools like Google Analytics can accurately trace the origins of traffic, which is indispensable for refining marketing strategies and optimising user engagement.

Impact On SEO

Although rel=”noreferrer” does not directly enhance a site’s rank in search engines, its role in managing how traffic data is collected and processed is invaluable for SEO performance.

Accurate data is crucial for optimising SEO strategies, as it enables SEO professionals to understand traffic flows and adapt strategies accordingly.

By managing noreferrer use wisely, businesses can balance privacy concerns with the need for detailed analytics, thus supporting more informed and effective SEO decisions.

Noreferrer And WordPress

WordPress takes a proactive approach to security and privacy by adding the rel=”noreferrer” attribute to links that open in new tabs.

This automatic feature is primarily designed to protect user data and prevent security vulnerabilities associated with the passing of session information via referrer headers.

According to Qode Interactive, WordPress’s implementation of noreferrer helps in mitigating potential security risks, especially when links lead to external websites that might exploit browser capabilities to access the originating site’s data.

While this is a significant security feature, it does have implications for analytics and SEO.


The use of noreferrer in WordPress can obscure the referrer data that SEO and digital marketing professionals rely on to track where traffic is coming from.

This makes it challenging to accurately assess the performance of outbound links and understand how users interact with content that leads them off-site.

Consequently, marketers and website owners might find it difficult to measure the effectiveness of their content strategies and partnerships accurately.

Despite these challenges, the privacy and security benefits provided by noreferrer are crucial. They help in maintaining the trust of website visitors, which is vital for long-term engagement and reputation.

Nonetheless, for those in SEO and analytics, finding a balance or alternative methods to gather necessary data without compromising security becomes essential.

This might involve using other analytical tools or techniques that respect user privacy while still providing insights needed to optimise a website’s SEO strategy and content performance.

The Difference Between Nofollow And Noreferrer

How do the attributes “nofollow” and “noreferrer” differ, and why is it crucial for digital marketers to understand these distinctions? The rel=”nofollow” attribute directs search engines not to count a hyperlink when calculating SEO benefits such as link equity.

This is particularly useful in controlling the flow of link juice and managing the quality of links associated with your site.

On the other hand, rel=”noreferrer” primarily addresses privacy and security concerns by preventing the browser from sending the referring page’s URL to the linked website.

By employing nofollow, we can strategically curate which links contribute to our site’s ranking, a practice that’s especially vital when linking to low-quality or unrelated sites.


It’s a key component in SEO management, ensuring that only reputable links influence our site’s credibility and search engine standing.

Conversely, noreferrer enhances user privacy and security by blocking potentially sensitive information from being transmitted.

When links open in a new tab, noreferrer also plays a critical role in securing the original website by not allowing the new website to access the originating page’s browser context.

This distinction is fundamental when we consider the implications for user data protection versus search engine optimisation.

At Contentellect, we leverage these attributes to their full potential, aligning them with our overarching SEO strategies and our commitment to safeguarding user privacy.

By understanding and using nofollow and noreferrer appropriately, we ensure that our client’s websites are not only optimised for search engines but also provide a secure and trustworthy experience for visitors.

This thoughtful application of HTML attributes is part of our detailed approach to digital marketing and content strategy, ensuring that every aspect of a site’s interaction with users and search engines is meticulously managed.

Affiliate Links

According to Investopedia, affiliate marketing involves an affiliate earning a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.

In this context, not using rel=”noreferrer” can be beneficial as it allows the affiliate program to confirm the origin of the traffic, which is crucial for commission tracking.

However, if maintaining privacy is a priority, employing rel=”noreferrer” on affiliate links might be advisable. This creates a balance between effectively managing affiliate marketing efforts and upholding the privacy standards that users expect.

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Understanding and debunking these myths is essential for effectively leveraging both rel=”nofollow” and rel=”noreferrer” in a way that aligns with SEO best practices and privacy policies.

This knowledge enables us to optimise our SEO clients‘ websites for search engines while maintaining robust security and privacy measures.


Understanding when and how to use rel=”noreferrer” along with other attributes like noopener and nofollow is crucial for managing the security, privacy, and SEO of your website.

While noreferrer doesn’t heavily impact SEO, it plays a significant role in user privacy and data integrity.

Contentellect is committed to organic optimisation through providing high-quality content and powerful links that respect both user experience and technical SEO requirements.

By mastering these components, we help you build a robust foundation for sustained, enduring growth.

For more expert insights into enhancing your website’s performance or to engage with our professional services, contact us today or explore more of our blog posts.

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Sandy Meier

With a background in Organisational Psychology and Marketing, and a sheer passion for creating colour-coded spreadsheets, tracking performance metrics, and staying ahead of industry trends, Sandy thrives on understanding the world of SEO and how it impacts our ever-changing digital landscape.

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