What is rel=”noopener” and Why Should You Use it?

What is rel=”noopener” and Why Should You Use it?

rel=”noopener” is a link attribute which instructs the browser to disable the window.opener and prevent it from receiving window event notifications.

This attribute is most commonly used to avoid conflicts with pop-up blockers or to prevent scripts from accessing or interfering with content in another tab.

It is also used as a security measure to restrict what the chrome engine can see and access in another frame, such as blocking cross site request forgery attacks and preventing cross-site scripting exploits.

Negative Aspects of not Using rel=”noopener”

The use of rel=”noopener” is a widely used technique to prevent links from being followed as a new window or tab. This is important for security and privacy reasons.

As more and more browsers support this feature there are still many websites that don’t use it, leaving their users vulnerable to link hijacking.

What is rel=”noopener” in WordPress?

The rel=”noopener” HTML attribute is present in all WordPress links that open in a new tab. It can also be accompanied by the rel=”noreferrer” attribute to protect your data from being sent to outside sources.

Certain JavaScript features enable a new open tab to take control of the referring window. If you link to an external website affected by the malicious code, then that website can use JavaScript to access your original page (your website) and affect it.

Adding ” noopener ” prevents the new tab from taking advantage of this JavaScript feature. Similarly, the ” noreferrer ” attribute prevents passing on your referrer information to the new tab

WordPress always stays ahead of the curve to help with website security. As you add a link and select ‘Open in New Tab’, WordPress will add the rel=”noopener” and rel=”noreferrer” to the link code.

How does linking with a “noopener” tag affect your WordPress SEO?

Though the rel=”noopener” attribute can enhance WordPress security, some users have voiced their concern because they think it will hurt your WordPress SEO.

That’s just a myth.

Your WordPress site’s SEO ranking is unaffected and it doesn’t affect the overall performance of WordPress, either.

Difference Between noopener vs nofollow?

Neither noopener nor nofollow are technically valid HTML attributes, but they are often used to direct crawlers on how to treat links. While not limited to these two options, there is a difference between the way these tags are applied.

On occasion, though, you might have to adjust the CSS so that the rel=”noopener” is applied before the rel=”nofollow”.

Noopener has been seen to make websites less vulnerable to external attacks.

The nofollow attribute stops any previous link juice from going to a site.

Google and other search engines take the nofollow attribute into account when following a link on your website. They can’t read the ‘noopener’ tag, though.

If you use WordPress, then you will need to install a plugin if you want your external links to have ‘nofollow’. By default, WordPress does not have this option.

Does rel=”noreferrer” Affect Affiliate Links in WordPress?

The rel=”noreferrer” attribute in SEO does not affect affiliate links. Some webmasters incorrectly believe that it does because this attribute stops referrer information from being passed to the new tab.

However, most affiliate platforms allow you to create custom URLs for visitors to use. These include your affiliate ID as a URL parameter so that the other website can track purchases.

Second, most affiliate marketers use a link cloaking plugin to keep their affiliate links private

Link cloaking allows you to link to your destination URL under an affiliate code, which the user sees. Upon clicking the link, they are then redirected to your URL.

How to Disable rel=”noopener” in WordPress?

There is no need to remove rel=”noopener” from links on your website. It is good for your website’s security and has no impact on performance or SEO.

However, if you must remove Gutenberg, then you will have to disable the WordPress Gutenberg block editor and use the old classic editor. After that, you will need to add this code to your theme or a site-specific plugin:


function wpb_disable_noopener( $mceInit ) {


    return $mceInit;


Note: Applying rel=”noopener” doesn’t prevent any malicious activities. We recommend leaving it enabled.

This article hopefully made you aware of rel=”noopener” in WordPress. We hope it was useful!

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