Creating nofollow links in WordPress

Hello friends, in this article in TheCMSPlace I will tell you:

How to create nofollow links and why you might want to do this in the first place.

Let’s start with the latter – why you might want nofollow links in your content?

Each link in WordPress is a standard HTML code with all the needed parameters and attributes. The search engine bots are reading this code and they understand what will happen when a user clicks on the link and where he will go to or be redirected to. By default each link is marked as “dofollow” which means that the bots will continue their crawling process by passing through the link. Well, at least if you haven’t set a general bot instruction for the entire page marking all links not followable. You may skip the “dofollow” attribute or add it to expressly state that you want the bots to follow your links or you may add the “nofollow” attribute which will inform them not to pass through the links.

When you are creating outbound links (a.k.a. links to external websites) you might want to add the “nofollow” attribute to them because this will prevent the transfer of link juice from your website to the external one. This is important for SEO since a “dofollow” link means that you trust the external website and want to be associated with it which also associates your reputation with its reputation. So imagine that your website is a perfect resource for your visitors and in the mean time you are providing link juice to a low reputation website with duplicate content, spammy links and other non-seo-friendly issues. You are simply ruining your own reputation!

So to be on the safe side you should mark all external links with the “nofollow” attribute and only allow “dofollow” outbound links when you are 100% sure that you want to be associated with the sites that you are linking to.

How to add the “nofollow” attribute in WordPress?

Option 1: Manually by using the Text editor

Simply click on the “Text” tab in the WordPress editor and find the link in your content. I will look something like this:

<a href="" target="_blank" title="Sample Title">Sample External Link</a>

Add the “nofollow” attribute after the href part by using the following code and after an interval space after the last quotation mark: rel=”nofollow”
Here is how it looks in our current example:

<a href="" target="_blank" title="Sample Title" rel="nofollow">Sample External Link</a>

In this example the “nofollow” attribute is set after the title attribute but you can actually place it anywhere in the <a> tag. My advise is to add it last before the closing > sign.

Option 2: Manually by using a plugin

Install and activate the Title and Nofollow For Links plugin. It will work out-of-the-box and will provide you with the option to add the “nofollow” attribute to each link by simply clicking on a checkbox in the default WordPress link box in the visual editor. Also in the newer versions of WordPress you are not allowed to set the title attribute anymore but with this link you can do this as well.

Title and Nofollow For Links - creating Nofollow links within the default WordPress link box

Option 3: Automatically mark each outbound link as “nofollow” with a plugin

For this option you need the WordPress plugin External Links. After you install and activate it you will receive a new subsection in the Settings menu in your WordPress dashboard. It will be called External Links and there you can adjust how the plugin will work.

Basically the default settings are fine for you but you may also specify an icon for all outbound links or whether all of them should be opened in a new tab/window. You can also apply these settings globally or apply the settings to text widgets as well. A very important feature of this plugin is to allow each link that you paste directly in your editor to be transferred from just text to a real link automatically.

Of course you can add an exclusion list of domains and subdomains and each outbound link to them will be marked as “dofollow”.

So this is it, friends! Now you know how to create “dofollow” and “nofollow” links in each post or page in your WordPress website.

One last reminder about the “nofollow” usage – yes, the vast majority of outgoing links have to be marked as “nofollow” but there are some situations in which the inbound links within your WordPress website have to use the same attribute. This should happen when there is a single post or page and you have linked another page or post more than once. In this case only the first link should be “dofollow” and the others may be marked as “nofollow”. This is not such a big deal, but in some cases it can be quite useful for SEO purposes. So you should have this in mind when creating multiple inbound links.

Well, I wish you happy linking!

About Daniel Angelov

AvatarHi! My name is Daniel Angelov and I am a guest-author at TheCMSPlace. I am a certified SEO and Digital Marketing Specialist. My passion is WordPress, Social Media, Project Management, Open Source Software, Marketing, SEO and Copywriting. In my free time I like reading and fishing. My personal blog is ""

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