If you have ever dabbled in SEO or digital marketing, chances are you have stumbled upon the term “noopener”. This simple construct holds a great amount of potential to enhance your site’s performance and security. Let’s delve into it a bit more, shall we?

What is noopener?

"Noopener" is a security feature used in hyperlinks, and it is designed to mitigate potential security risks associated with opening new tabs and windows from your website. When a user clicks on this type of hyperlink, it instructs the new page to open in a separate process, disallowing it from accessing your page's window object.

This protective measure prevents a significant security threat known as “tabnapping”. Tabnapping involves a malicious website hijacking of your web page, leading to risks like phishing. By including “noopener” in your links, you’re not only ensuring your website’s security but also creating a better, safer user experience.

Why is noopener important?

Implementing “noopener” in your website could seem like an insignificant change, but it holds significance regarding site security and performance. Let’s dissect why noopener deserves your attention.

Firstly, “noopener” shields your site from security breaches. If your website includes numerous outbound links, every time a user clicks on these links, they stand a risk of their session getting hijacked by the destination site, if it’s malicious. The “noopener” alleviates this risk by preventing the new site from accessing your site’s object window.

Secondly, “noopener” significantly enhances your site’s performance. When a new tab opens, it gobbles up a chunk of the browser’s memory. This memory consumption grows with the increase in the number of tabs. By implementing “noopener”, each new tab is isolated, and its memory usage is managed individually, reducing the overall load on your website.

Lastly, “noopener” can indirectly contribute to your SEO efforts. A secure website that performs well contributes to a positive user experience, which is an important ranking factor in search engine algorithms. Thus, such a seemingly small tweak can make a notable difference in your website’s SEO.

Types of noopener

Within the context of “noopener”, it’s worth noting that this keyword operates alongside other similar rel attributes. Let’s delve into these types.

The “noreferrer” attribute, much like “noopener”, is another security feature. Using “noreferrer” ensures that no referer information is passed to the new page when a link is clicked. This can be crucial in maintaining the privacy of your site’s data.

The “nofollow” attribute is commonly used for SEO purposes. When applied to a link, it indicates to search engines not to follow or pass PageRank to the linked page. It’s often used when linking to pages whose content you don’t want to endorse.

While individual usage of “noopener”, “noreferrer”, and “nofollow” is common, it’s also possible to combine these attributes for added security and SEO benefits. For instance, rel=”noopener noreferrer” is a common combination used to enhance link security.

Examples of noopener

Downloading content

Let’s say you’re running a tech blog and you’re reviewing a new app. When providing a download link to the app, you can include “noopener” to open the link in a new tab and protect your site in the process. The hyperlink would look something like this: <a href=”http://example.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Click here</a>.

Third-party websites

In e-commerce websites, “noopener” can be effectively used when linking to product manufacturers or third-party vendors. This prevents any potential tabnapping from those sites while keeping your site operations smooth.

Forums and comment sections

In forum or community platforms where users can post content with hyperlinks, implementing “noopener” is crucial to keep the platform secured against potential phishing attempts through user-posted links.

Handy tips about noopener

Now that we understand how “noopener” operates, let’s look into some best practices regarding its usage.

Make “noopener” a standard practice for all your outbound links. It not only safeguards against security breaches but also improves your website’s performance.

Use combination of “noopener” with “noreferrer”

If you’re concerned about referring information being lost with “noopener”, you can use the combination rel=”noopener noreferrer”. This ensures both security and referral data privacy.

Automate it with plugins

While WordPress automatically adds “noopener” to target=”_blank” links, for other platforms, consider using plugins or scripts that automatically append “noopener” to your links.

Conclusion

In conclusion, “noopener” is a critical element to incorporate into your website’s link structure for improved security and performance. While it might sound technical and complicated, it is rather straightforward to implement.

By adding “noopener” to your hyperlinks, you’re safeguarding your website from potential security threats like tabnapping. In addition, it helps manage your browser’s memory usage more efficiently, leading to a smoother user experience.

Further, remember to familiarize yourself with other similar rel attributes like “noreferrer” and “nofollow”. Incorporating these aspects into your website operations could significantly enhance your SEO efforts and site performance, ultimately leading to a more secure and user-friendly website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use noopener?

Using “noopener” ensures that when a link on your page is clicked opening a new tab, that new page is not allowed to access your page’s window object. This prevents potentially malicious websites from tampering with your site and ensures better memory management providing a smoother user experience.

How do I use noopener in my code?

To use noopener, you simply add it as an attribute in your hyperlink code like so: <a href=”http://example.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Click here</a>. This code tells the browser to open the link in a new tab and isolate it from your site.

Are there any other security features like noopener?

Yes, similar to noopener are “noreferrer” and “nofollow”. “Noreferrer” ensures that no referer information is passed to the new page when the link is clicked, protecting your site’s data. “Nofollow” tells search engines not to follow or pass PageRank to the linked page, useful for when you don’t want to endorse the content of the linked page.

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