What is noopener noreferrer in my links?

Ever notice the following in your WordPress links:

 rel=”noopener noreferrer”

You might be left scratching your head, what exactly is noopener noreferrer? Where did this come from? This was actually added to WordPress in version 4.7.4 -affecting certain links on your posts and pages (see below for why and when).

The bit you might be most interested in is the noreferrer element; this makes traffic data hidden from the owner of the referred website. Instead of your website showing up in their referral data, they will instead see the traffic as ‘direct traffic’. The website owner will never know you linked to their site, nor how many clicks you’ve sent over. For those of us who *want* websites to know and see the traffic we send to them – this can be disastrous.

So what’s next? Going through your website and updating 100s or 1000s to remove noopener noreferrer from links might seem like a hugely onerous task. Using the premium version of Track The Click, you can rewrite your links on the fly; we can automatically detect noopener noreferrer and remove it in the website data sent to your website readers.

A caveat of this is that we will also remove target=”_blank” from the link as well. This is because the introduction of rel=”noopener noreferrer” in links was to remove a possible security hole in the use of target=”_blank”. So to safely remove noreferrer and let websites see all those lovely clicks and links – we also need to remove this too.

Note: we don’t ever edit your WordPress database. The noopener noreferrer is still there in your WordPress database. All we do is change the data sent to the browser. This means if you decide to disable Track The Click at any time, there are no long term/non-reversible changes to your site and data; your post and page data will be completely preserved.

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