“rel” is a HTML link attribute that defines the relationship between the current document (the page you are linking from) and the linked document (the page you are linking to). While rel has various usages in a link, one of the important values that it can define is “nofollow”. When rel=”nofollow” is present in a link, It tells search engines like Google to not follow that link (unendorsed document/resource). This works great when you have an article with various outgoing links and you don’t want these links to act like paid links.
Unfortunately in WordPress, the “insert/edit link” popup menu doesn’t come with any option to specify the rel attribute. So the only way to edit it is to switch to the “Text/HTML” mode and manually enter rel=nofollow in the link. This is not user-friendly at all since most users don’t understand HTML coding and can make mistakes trying to edit a link. This process can get even harder if It’s a long article with many outgoing links in it.
How to Add rel=”nofollow” in WordPress
1. Install and activate the Title and Nofollow for Links plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/title-and-nofollow-for-links/.
2. Create a new page or edit one that has links in it.
3. You will see a new option that now allows you to add rel=”nofollow” to this link.
4. Update the link and save the page you are editing. This outgoing link should no longer follow the link. That means no page rank/authority will pass to the external page.
Unfortunately it’s not a behaviour that you will notice in the browser. This is purely related to SEO. You will need to allow some time before Google re-crawls this page and revert any page authority that it may have passed to the linked page.
I hope this article was useful and will help users adding/editing links from their WordPress page editor. If you have any questions feel free share it in the comments.