Noopener and noreferrer

Attributes ensuring secure linking to external sites while enhancing security and privacy.


Noopener and noreferrer are HTML attributes used when creating hyperlinks to external websites. They serve to enhance security and privacy. The noopener attribute prevents the new page from controlling the page that launched it, protecting against malicious attacks. The noreferrer attribute stops the browser from sending the referring document's address, or the URL of the page that the link was clicked on, to the new page. This can be particularly useful for privacy, ensuring that the site you're linking to doesn't receive information on where their visitors are coming from.

Did you know?
The `noopener` attribute can also improve page performance by preventing the newly opened page from using the same process as the opening page.

Usage and Context

The noopener and noreferrer attributes are relevant in SEO for several reasons. Primarily, they are used to safeguard user privacy and security. While noopener combats a specific type of cyber-attack known as "tabnabbing", where a new tab can take control of the parent tab, noreferrer prevents the browser from sending referral data to the site you are linking to. For SEO, using these tags doesn't directly impact rankings but contributes to a safer web environment. For example, if you're linking to external references within your content, adding these attributes ensures that your site visitors' data remains secure, indirectly contributing to a better user experience.


  1. What is the difference between noopener and noreferrer?
    • noopener blocks the newly opened page from controlling the page that opened it, while noreferrer prevents the browser from passing along the referrer's URL to the new page.
  2. Does using noopener and noreferrer affect SEO?
    • Directly, no. These attributes don't influence your site's SEO ranking but contribute to a safer and more privacy-conscious web environment.
  3. Is it necessary to use both attributes together?
    • Not always, but using both can maximize security and privacy. noopener is for security, and noreferrer also encompasses privacy by not passing referral information.
  4. Can I use just one of these attributes?
    • Yes, you can use either depending on your specific needs—noopener for security and noreferrer for added privacy.
  5. How do I add these attributes to my links?
    • Add rel="noopener noreferrer" within your <a> tag’s attributes, like so: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">.


  1. Improved Security: Protects users from potential malicious attacks when they click on external links.
  2. Enhanced Privacy: Stops the browser from sending referral data, preserving users’ and websites’ privacy.
  3. Better Performance: noopener can improve performance by preventing the new page from sharing the same process as the opening page.
  4. Enhanced User Trust: Demonstrates to your users that you value their security and privacy.
  5. Compliance with Best Practices: Using these attributes aligns with web development and SEO best practices, contributing to a safer internet.

Tips and Recommendations

  1. Regularly Audit External Links: Make it a routine to check and ensure that all external links use noopener and noreferrer where appropriate.
  2. Educate Your Team: Ensure your content creators understand the importance of using these attributes for security and privacy.
  3. Stay Updated on Best Practices: The world of web security is always evolving. Stay informed about the latest recommendations.
  4. Use Tools for Automatic Addition: Some CMS plugins automatically add these attributes to external links, simplifying the process.
  5. Monitor Performance: Keep an eye on your website’s performance and security, ensuring that these practices are positively contributing.


Utilizing the noopener and noreferrer attributes on your external links is a straightforward yet effective way to enhance user security, privacy, and potentially even performance. While they don't directly affect SEO rankings, they demonstrate a commitment to user safety and best practices in web development, indirectly supporting your site's reputation and user experience.

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