Why is our SEO team adding rel='noopener' to our links?
 by Staff

Why is our SEO team adding rel='noopener' to our links?

  • As one of the content writers for our site, I've noticed that our SEO team is modifying our outgoing links to include rel="noopener" target="_blank"

    I know the target="_blank" is to open the link in a new tab, but I'm wondering, what's the reason for adding rel="noopener" — is there an SEO benefit?


Simply put, it's a security thing — there is no SEO benefit.

Links to external websites (aka, cross-origin destinations) are inherently unsafe when opened in a new tab using target="_blank" because they can expose your site to performance and security issues such as:

  • The other page may run on the same process as your page. If the other page is running a lot of JavaScript, your page's performance may suffer.
  • The other page can access your window object with the window.opener property. This may allow the other page to redirect your page to a malicious URL.

Adding rel="noopener" or rel="noreferrer" to your target="_blank" links avoids these issues.

Fyi, rel="noreferrer" differs from rel="noopener" only in the fact that it also prevents the referring information from being passed on to the new page.

You can learn more here which also explains how the Lighthouse cross-origin destination audit fails and