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How to Add Nofollow Links in WordPress

How to Add Nofollow Links in WordPress

Links are the currency of search engines. The more links pointing toward a website, the greater the chances that the website will land high rankings in search engine results. There are many ways to create links, and each is important for SEO. For instance, internal links lead on a different page of the same website, while external links will take you on a new website. Also, by creating anchor links, you will allow your people to navigate through pages easily. Now, search engines recognize two types of links: nofollow and dofollow.

Today, we’re going to take a look at how to add nofollow links in WordPress, and how to check if a link is nofollow or dofollow when you run into it. But, before we dive into the subject, don’t forget to make sure your customers will be able to open links in a new tab.

The Two Types Of Links

Dofollow links are crawlable and indexable by search engines, meaning that search engines take into account what you link to and make topical connections. A good analogy might be social medial likes – your website is you and your dofollow links are your likes. By liking, i.e. linking, to some page or post you are letting the search engine know that you consider its content interesting or valuable. In doing so you give it a vote of confidence and provide a point for that page’s ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages).

All links are automatically considered dofollow unless otherwise set up.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, don’t create the same bonds between pages. By making a link nofollow you are telling search engines that the page that is being linked has no domain authority and that no confidence points should be passed to it. You might do this because it’s a third-party website, or an affiliate or sponsored link – something where you have no influence over the content. In general, you should make links nofollow for any website you don’t fully trust. Otherwise, Google can penalize you for linking to spammy or untrustworthy sites.

However, it is recommended to keep links to well known, authority websites (e.g. YouTube, Wikipedia, WPKlik, WordPress, Themeforest…) as dofollow. A number of SEO experts believe that this will boost your credibility and improve your rankings.

Making Your Links Nofollow

Now, before proceeding with this tutorial, you might want to take a look at our guide on how to add a link in WordPress. But if you are already comfortable with doing that, let’s get started!

You can make a nofollow link by adding a nofollow tag. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Manually with the help of text editors:
  1. Or via plugins designed to affect properties for individual or multiple links in WordPress:

I Adding Nofollow Links in the Classic Editor

To manually add a nofollow tag in the Classic Editor, we need to edit the HTML code by adding the rel=”nofollow” attribute to our link.

Start by finding the page or post in your WordPress dashboard that contains the link that you want to change and open it for editing in Classic Editor.

Nofollow links in the Classic Editor

At first, you will see only the linked text as the view will open automatically to the visual section of the editor.

Now you only need to switch to the text tab in the right-hand corner to reach the HTML code.

Classic editor text block

From there, find your link in the text.

Now you can make it nofollow simply by adding the nofollow attribute right after the opening <a> tag and before the web address, like so:

<a rel=”nofollow” href="https://wpklik.com/wordpress-tutorials/">linked text</a>

Adding the nofollow attribute

Save your changes by updating the post/page in the sidebar and you’re done. Your link is now nofollow.

II Adding Nofollow Links in the Gutenberg Editor

With the Gutenberg Editor, the process is somewhat similar to what we go through with Classical Editor in option I.

You need to go to the page or post that contains the link you want to change via your WordPress admin dashboard. Once you’ve found and opened it for editing, you will get one of two views. On the one hand, you might immediately see the code editor (which is what we want, so we’re halfway done already) and it will look something like this:

Gutenberg classic view nofollow link

You can see the HTML code and will be able to edit the link straightaway. To make the selected link nofollow you just need to add the nofollow attribute right after the opening <a> tag and before the web address like so:

<a rel=”nofollow” href="https://wpklik.com/wordpress-tutorials/">linked text</a>

Press Update to save the change and you’ve finished.

On the other hand, if your editor doesn’t automatically open to the code view, you will be met with the visual end of it. That will look something like this:

Gutenberg nofollow link

Now, if you select your link in the block editor, a pop-up with the link text followed by pencil and link icons to its right will open. It offers the option to Open in New Tab for the linked page, in case you want to use it. If not, you can simply proceed.

Click on the three vertical dots icon on top of the text block, at the very end of the top bar, for a dropdown menu with more options.

From there choose Edit as HTML.

Edit as HTML

This will provide access to the HTML code of the link, which should look something like:

<a href="https://wpklik.com/wordpress-tutorials/">linked text</a>

HTML code of the link

You can then change it by adding the nofollow attribute right after the opening <a> tag and before the web address like so:

<a rel=”nofollow” href="https://wpklik.com/wordpress-tutorials/">linked text</a>

The result should look like this:

HTML code of the nofollow link

Et voilà, you have made a link nofollow in Gutenberg editor!

III Adding Nofollow Links via a Plugin

There are several plugins that we can install which work together with the Classic Editor and let us create a nofollow link simply by ticking a box.

For our tutorial, we decided to use the Title and Nofollow Links plugin since it has over 10,000 active installations and good user reviews.

Title and Nofollow Links plugin

If you are not sure how to go about installing a WordPress plugin, no worries. We have an easy-to-follow guide to installing WordPress plugins.

Now, after you’ve installed and activated your plugin (no additional configuration after this is needed), you can go to the page or post that contains the link you want to change via your WordPress admin dashboard. Once there, open it for editing in the Classical Editor. As before, you now need to select the link, but do so from the tab with the visual editor view. This will open a pop-up with the link text followed by a pencil icon to edit and a broken chain icon to remove link.

Edit link

Click to edit and the pop-up options will change to an enter icon to apply and a gear icon for link options. Choosing link options will open a brand new pop-up with an additional selection.

Link options

Here, you just need to tick the box with Add rel=”nofollow” to link, press Update and you’re set!

Add nofollow to link

IV Using a Plugin That Makes All External Links Nofollow

In case you want to make all the external links (or at least a majority of them) on your website nofollow, some plugins can do just that for you.

These shouldn’t be confused for the plugins that interface with the Classic Editor (as mentioned in option III) since they don’t provide an additional option to tick; instead, they require configuring before being applied across-the-board.

The one we have chosen as our example is the External Links plugin.

External Links Plugin

Once you’ve installed and activated it, the settings for this plugin will appear on the left, in the sidebar of the admin dashboard panel.

External Links Plugin Options

Next, open the settings and find the option Set follow or nofollow – the dropdown menu will offer three options: to keep settings as they are, to make all links dofollow, or to make them nofollow.

External Links Plugin nofollow

Choose nofollow, save changes and you’re finished!\

Keep in mind that, if you choose this method of making your external links nofollow, you won’t be able to change individual ones via HTML code afterward. So before you go through with the blanket change, check if there are some links that you want to exclude and make sure to list them in the plugin’s Exceptions section.

External Links Plugin Exceptions section

Ways To Check If A Link Is A Dofollow Or A Nofollow

There are times when you’ll want to check if a link (on your own website or some other one) is dofollow or nofollow. Luckily, you don’t need any advanced know-how to do this. In fact, there are even browser extensions that will check the link for you. Let’s take a look at two simple ways to check whether a link is dofollow or nofollow.

1. Using a Chrome Extension

This is the easiest option as, after initial setup, you won’t have much to do in order to run any future checks.

So, if you are using Chrome as your default browser, the best way to check whether a link is nofollow or dofollow is to install the NoFollow Chrome Extension. By doing so we can see which links are nofollow as the extension will frame them in red.

NoFollow Chrome Extension

You can choose whether to leave the extension turned on constantly or set it to be active only for certain websites.

2. Manually by Inspecting the Link

The other option for checking what kind of link we’re dealing with is with the DevTools and it requires examination of individual links every time.

To see what kind of link you’re dealing with, right-click on the link in your browser and choose Inspect from the dropdown menu.

This opens the DevTools where we can see the complete code and look it over to check whether the link includes the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

Inspect links

In Conclusion

Now that you know how to make your links nofollow, you can go out and start making the most out of your link juice and improving your traffic.

Now, SEO may seem strange and scary if you’re new to it. But once you pick up the essentials for SEO you’ll see that it’s no hardship. In fact, you might come to see the fun of it, once you pick up a few of the latest SEO tips and tricks and start applying them.

We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!


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