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How to Nofollow All External Links in WordPress

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How to Nofollow All External Links in WordPress

When writing a post, it is very easy to add an external link and open it in a new window. There are plugins that allows you to nofollow all external links, but that might not be a good idea all the time. There would be times when you might want to make a link dofollow, but you can’t because a plugin is overriding your settings. In this article, we will show you how to nofollow all external links in WordPress and manage exceptions.

First thing you need to do is install and activate Follow Nofollow Control plugin. Upon activation, there will be a new menu added under Settings called Follow-Nofollow.

Follow Nofollow Control Plugin Settings

As you can see in the settings, you can whitelist certain domains or blacklist certain domains. You have the option to nofollow all external links by default, or keep them followed.

Why do you want to nofollow certain links?

Nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of links to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. This technique is used to keep the page strength for internal links and pages.

Download Follow Nofollow Control plugin.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • Zimbrul

    Does anyone know of a plugin that nofollow ALL external links on a website but allow certain links in the article to be do-follow as you wish? I remember I came across such plugin but cant’t remember its name.

  • Jason Fox

    How much should we no follow? There does not seem to be solid answer.

    Also, do you know if, I have a handful of pages that have over 100 external links, does setting them to no follow correct this?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Too much discussion has been done on this point. Wikipedia, WordPress.org, and most other popular sites nofollow all external links.

  • Joan M

    I guess I don’t quite understand what it is can you please explain this in more detail.
    For example; on my website I have links on a blog post that links to another post in a different category as a related article. The link I have opens in a new window. Does this mean I should not put the link to open in a new window, but still link to the post in the different category.

    Thanks.
    Also I really enjoy receiving WP for Beginners weekly newsletters this is a really good resource for the learning curve of WordPress.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Joan, the rule of thumb that we follow is that if a page is on our own website, we do NOT open it in a new window. If the link is external, then we open it in a new window and potentially nofollow it.

  • Jorge A. Gonzalez

    I would also check out WP Links: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-links/

    WP Links is a SEO friendly external link handler to improve your on page SEO and increase your visitor time spent on site. You can also set the plugin to nofollow all external links. Pretty cool.