Tech and programming

What is rel=”noopener” On WordPress?

Noopener on wordpress explained

The world of information technology evolves at a fast pace. Our understanding of it must increase quicker and deeper than just how it appears to function. We must keep it within our control and protect ourselves from the intents of malicious elements. That is generally possible with our knowledge of programming and source code. Still, with every update, we must understand new limits and implications of the applications we use to harness information technology. WordPress recently released rel = noopener noreferrer as an attribute update that affected the way pages opened via links related to the parent page.

What is the function of the rel=noopener noreferrer update?

The no opener update function is to prevent links opened in new tabs from controlling their parent site via the windows. Opener JavaScript object is a common malicious tool for phishing sites; the noreferrer attribute prevents links from obtaining information from the parent site. Hackers use windows opener to replace the parent site with a fake one and steal login information or other user data. It is a term rereferred to as tabnabbing. Although noopener alone dealt with that issue, not all browsers supported it, so noreferrer was an added feature to the update.

Issues raised from the release of rel = noopener

WordPress released rel = noopener as a security update, but bloggers and web content creators were concerned about its side effects. Below are the two major issues that were raised:

SEO Points
Most online creators want to know if it will affect WordPress SEO, but the noopener and noreferrer attributes do not involve SEO ranking. Though noreferrer prevents the link tab from obtaining information from the parent tab, it should not be confused with nofollow, preventing your site from contributing to your SEO points to your linked sites.

Amazon Commissions
A problem arose with the noreferrer attribute and Amazon affiliate links. Because part of Amazon’s guidelines and policies states that they need to know where the link came from, this hindered referral commission receipt via Google analytics. Only 15% of browsers do not support noopener and require noreferrer to defend against tabnabbing, so most people feel the risk of losing their affiliate income is greater than the risk of attack. Amazon confirmed that they could track referral sites regardless of the updates. Using noreferrer is still in violation of Amazon’s guidelines and policies. Therefore, the only possible solution is to disable the noreferrer attribute.

How to Remove noopener noreferrer

It is highly recommended that you keep the noopener noreferrer updates. Still, if you must remove them, you can do so easily. noopener can be removed by disabling the Gutenberg block editor and using the classic editor. noreferrer, on the other hand, cannot be removed this way for now. One of the solutions to the noreferrer problem is using Blogging Monetization Compliance Fix. After removing the noreferrer, you can sign up for a Live Fix subscription, which removes noreferrer when added by Gutenberor any other software.
Above all, stay smart and stay safe online.

Written by Taiwo Thomas