Rel Tag Attributes and their effect on your website Security & SEO


If you are a content marketer or simply the owner of a website then you might have come through rel tag. The most common encounter that one has with the rel tag is via the “nofollow” attribute. It is nothing but something that indicates that you don’t associate with the website that you have linked with. Although, the story doesn’t end there even for the “nofollow”. Infact, it becomes utmost necessary to witness how these tags can be used for your advantages and how they can affect your website. Therefore, in order to know how rel tags affect your website security & security read down the article below. 

What are Rel Tag Attributes?

Well, if you are a complete beginner then you may not know about this. Although, there are no different rel tags, it’s just the value inside the bracket that changes. The value inside the rel tag that is used with your anchor tag tells your relationship with the linked webpage. Or simply the relationship that you wish to show to the crawler with that webpage. These values are known as Rel Tag Attributes. A sweet example of how a rel tag is applied can be as follows:

<rel=”value” href=”“>App Development Company</a>

P.S: Just in case if you worried about the application of this rel tag then I must tell you that it is supported by all the major browsing platforms.

Different Rel Attributes

Alternate: Initially having two separate links for the website and the mobile was a common practice. This was done since the mobile websites were considerably lighter. Although, if a decent amount of traffic comes from your mobile website then it is essential to define the alternate attribute. This value of the rel tag will create an association with your desktop and mobile website. It means that if your website is being crawled then the web crawler will also associate the mobile version in the same picture. For example if you wish to provide a link to youtube in your webpage and also wish to include the mobile version, the syntax of it would be:

<a rel=”alternate” href=”“> YouTube</a>

Author: Google wants to provide the best to its customers, this also means great articles along with references that go to the actual author of any document. The author value in the rel tag serves that purpose. It basically tells that a certain document belongs to a particular author. The syntax of the tag is as follows:

<a rel=”author” href=”[email protected]“> Link Text</a>

External: This is another one that talks about a document that has been mentioned on your website. Suppose that you wish to mention any document which is available on some other website, this is when you use it. The external value will simply mean that it is an external document and is not a part of your website. The syntax of this is as follows:

<a rel=”external” href=”“> Document</a>

bookmark: For instance, if you wish the reader who is coming to your website has the capability to bookmark a document mentioned in your webpage, then you can use this tag. It will allow the reader to tag that document as a bookmark which can be accessed directly by him using the bookmark. This will become a key entry point in your website. The syntax for it is as follows:

<a rel=”bookmark” href=”“> Document Text</a>

License: It is simply to tag about the licensing information about any document. Suppose, there is someone who wishes to know about the licensing information that is displayed on your website then this is the appropriate tag. The syntax of it is as follows:

<rel=”license” href=”“> Link Text</a>

Nofollow: This is obviously one of the most important rel attributes that is in existence. If a digital marketer doesn’t know about it then he/she is not even a beginner. This is used whenever you are using an external link on your website but doesn’t want to endorse. It stops the SEO juice of your website to benefit the linked website. The attribute has a very great significance in creating backlinks which ultimately affects the domain authority and ranking of your overall website. The syntax of using the attribute is as follows:

<a rel=”nofollow” href=”“>Link Text</a>

The inverse of this link would be “dofollow”. This is when you wish to share the SEO juice with a web page or a website. It is also applied similarly. Although, it is essential to keep in mind that any link that is not “nofollow” is a “dofollow” link. This is the reason “nofollow” is commonly used in many web pages URLs.

noreferrer: Whenever someone places an external link on their website, they are basically referring to it. Although, if for some reason you don’t want to, then you can use the “noreferrer” value. For example, suppose you place a link A to your webpage and use “noreferrer” considering that link A is an external link to another webpage. Then when the author link A website page will check for analysis in Google Analytics, the traffic shown would not be the referred category but will be counted as direct traffic. The syntax of it is as follows:

<a rel=”noreferrer” href=”“>Link Text</a>

Canonical: Suppose, if you are using duplicate content but on a different link then you can use this value for rel. It is absolutely necessary to do so since google can penalise your page for duplicate content. This rel value serves an important purpose for anyone who is serious about their website SEO. The canonical value is mentioned on the master page while a link to the duplicate content page can be mentioned as the link. The syntax for using the attribute is as follows:

<a rel=”canonical” href=”“>Link Text</a>

So these were some of the most commonly used rel attributes that can affect your website security and SEO. The best way to have a healthy and working website is by using all the tags properly and displaying all the information. It is also crucial to give credit to each and every link used. Also using all of the rel attributes that are mentioned effectively.

In case, if you are looking for an mobile app development company then we can help. We are Agicent Technologies and we have been making apps since 2011. To send us an enquiry mail us at [email protected]. We have also written an article about React Native vs iOS Native Development, therefore, in order to reach it click on the link provided. We hope this article may have been of some help to you. Also, thank you for reading it until the end.

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Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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