WordPress SEO: Advanced Nofollow

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 16, 2009
Updated • Jun 4, 2017

WordPress is already well optimized when it comes to SEO (that's Search Engine Optimization). There are some basic changes that are usually performed by webmasters, like changing the link structure to include the title of the article, or displaying the title of the article in the web browser's title. Most WordPress admins stop there, some go ahead and install SEO plugins which do some magic in the background.

Advanced tips are not that easy to come by, and most websites running a WordPress blog do not have them implemented. This article lists some options that center around the nofollow tag.


Nofollow basically tells search engines like Google to not count the link vote that is usually being passed when linking on the Internet.

Most search engines see this as a vote for the linked resource. While you may not mind giving votes to respected web properties or other sites you like, you may sometimes link to sites that you don't want to vote for.

Another reason why this is beneficial is because of linking power. Each link that points to internal and external resources gets a piece of that linking power.

Not all linked pages should be treated equally however which is what this article is about. It makes for example no sense to pass linking power to internal pages that have no value, think of privacy policies, contact pages, login, log off or social bookmarking links.

WordPress themes come with a surprising number of links, the majority of which is not set to nofollow. Here are a few areas where you should consider placing the nofollow link tag in a WordPress blog:

  • The more (read more) tag. The page is already linked from the title of the post properly.
  • WordPress meta data
  • Pages like Privacy Policies, Contact Us
  • Social Bookmarking links

To add the nofollow link one would simply add the rel="nofollow"
tag to the link structure which is not a problem if the link is displayed in the source code of the theme, for example:

<a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">Example Link</a>

There are however links (like the previously mentioned more tag) that cannot be manipulated in the theme source as the link is created by a php function.

Here is how you make the more tag in WordPress nofollow:

  • Open the file post-template.php in the wp-includes folder.
  • Locate the following line beginning with:$output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink()..
  • Replace it with:$output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink() . "#more-$id\" class=\"more-link\" rel=\"nofollow\">$more_link_text</a>";
  • You basically add the rel=\"nofollow\" tag to the line

This ensures that all more tags will be nofollow from then on.

Wordpress SEO: Advanced Nofollow
Article Name
Wordpress SEO: Advanced Nofollow
The guide looks at the nofollow attribute specifically for WordPress use, and explains what it is, and how it can be used efficiently.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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