nofollow is an HTML attribute that allows you to tell Google and other search engines not to pass any SEO value to a specific link. Essentially, as the name suggests, it tells Google’s crawler robots not to “follow” the link.
Here are some situations where you might want to use the nofollow attribute for external links:
- Sponsored links/ads – if you’re receiving payment for a link, either directly or via something like an affiliate program, it’s a best practice to apply a nofollow tag to avoid seeming like part of a link scheme.
- Untrusted content – nofollow lets you say “I’m linking to this page, but I don’t want to be seen as vouching for its content”. This is especially helpful for dealing with comment spam links, though you might also want to use it in your own content.
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In this post, we’ll show you two ways how to add nofollow links in WordPress. You can click below to jump straight to your preferred method:
If you only need to use the nofollow attribute infrequently, it’s not difficult to manually add the code yourself.
This method is good for any links that you add in regular WordPress content. But if you want to nofollow links in your comments, the plugin in the next section offers a simpler implementation.
To get started, add a regular hyperlink (you’ll make it nofollow in a second!):
Then, select the link and go to the Text tab of the WordPress editor. You should see the actual HTML for your link:
To add the nofollow attribute:
- Find the part of the HTML that says
rel="nofollow"after that part, with a space in between
And that’s it! You can now return to the Visual tab of the WordPress editor and continue with your post.
Your link will look 100% normal in the Visual tab, but the nofollow attribute will remain.
If you often find yourself needing to use the nofollow attribute, or if you want to automatically apply the nofollow attribute to certain types of links (like blog comments), then the Ultimate Nofollow plugin provides an easier solution to manage nofollow links in WordPress.
- Adds a nofollow checkbox to the regular WordPress “insert link” interface
- Lets you automatically nofollow all links in blog comments
- Gives you various nofollow shortcodes
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, here’s how to use it:
How To Add nofollow To Individual Links With The Plugin
To use the plugin’s functionality to nofollow a link, insert a link as you normally would by clicking the Insert/edit link button in the WordPress toolbar.
Then, click the Pencil icon to edit the link:
Then, click the Gear icon to open the more detailed Link options interface:
You should see a new checkbox for Add rel=”nofollow” to link. Check that box and click Add Link:
That’s it! Your link now has the nofollow attribute.
How To nofollow All Blog Comment Links
If you want to automatically nofollow all the links in blog comments on your WordPress site, go to Settings → Nofollow in your WordPress dashboard.
Then, check the box for Nofollow all links in comments? and click Save Changes:
Once activated, any links that appear in your blog comments will automatically have the nofollow attribute applied.
For more discussion on nofollow vs dofollow links, check out our SEO checklist post.