Adding internal and external text links to your WordPress posts is a good practice to boost SEO. However the external links should be nofollow links. It is a recommended way not to pass link juice by telling search engines not to follow links to influence search engine rankings.

WordPress by default don’t have an option to make a text link nofollow and we will see in this article how to insert a nofollow link in your post.

HTML uses anchor tag <a> to display a text link. For example:

<a href="">xyz website</a>

The link above is a dofollow link which means search engines consider the above link as your vote for the linked website. It is also perfectly alright to insert dofollow links but only for the websites you really trust.

Adding rel=nofollow will make the above link a nofollow link.

<a href="" rel="nofollow">xyz website</a>

Adding nofollow links in your posts don’t affect your blog in any way as you are telling search engines not to consider them as your vote. It will also not affect the blog you are linking to.


nofollow external link wordpress

Why use a nofollow link?

The question is why should you even bother to use nofollow links? The answer is to stop search engines believing your blog is involved in selling dofollow links or your blog itself is a link farm.

A dofollow link from your blog to a fishy site can cost you a lot in terms of SEO and other penalties.

Link-farming is a practice to give away dofollow links to earn money.

Woopoo's Caution

How to insert a nofollow link in WordPress?

WordPress until its current version 4.8 don’t allow to insert nofollow links from post visual editor. Who knows about future? As for now you have to make nofollow links either manually or by using a plugin. We will see both methods.

Adding a nofollow link manually

This method is recommended if you don’t write articles frequently and can manage to add nofollow links manually in your posts.

  • From your post editor, add a text link as you normally do by clicking the Insert/edit link button.

wordpress post editor link button

  • Once the link is added, switch to Text editor from Visual editor (two buttons at the corner).
  • Add nofollow tag rel=”nofollow” manually to the anchor link.

nofollow link example

  • Switch back to Visual Editor and Publish your post.

You can also remove nofollow in the same way by deleting rel=”nofollow” tag.

WordPress Plugin for nofollow links

Using a plugin for nofollow external links is more suitable for more frequent WordPress bloggers or for websites with multiple authors.

The best plugin we have found for this purpose is External Links which will make nofollow all external links automatically. The best part is the plugin will not add nofollow to internal links.

nofollow links wordpress plugin

  • Go to Settings > External Links for the plugin settings and make sure Add No Follow option is checked.
  • That’s it. Keep the plugin enabled to enjoy the nofollow function.


You should not give dofollow links generously and consider nofollow external links in your posts which you don’t trust.

If you still have any questions, do let us know using the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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