How To Use the Rel Attribute for Anchor Tags in HTML


The rel attribute inside anchor tags (<a>) describes the relation of a linked resource. rel can take one of 14 values. Let’s examine them all:


Using the rel Attribute Inside Anchor Tags

Here are the 14 values that the rel attribute can accept:

  • alternate: Points to an alternate version of the document.
  • author: Points to the author of the document.
  • bookmark: Points to an URL for bookmarking.
  • enclosure: Points to a downloadable asset.
  • external: Points to an URL on a different domain.
  • help: Points to an help document.
  • license: Points to legal, license, or copyright information.
  • next: Points to the next document in a series.
  • nofollow: Indicates to search engines that the document in not endorsed. This is the most commonly used value and should be used for paid links and ads.
  • noreferrer: Indicates to the browser not to send an HTTP referrer header.
  • noopener: Prevent an opener browsing context. It should be used when using target="\_blank" on a link. Mathias Bynens discussed the security benefits of this and Jake Archibald discussed the performance benefits.
  • prev: Points to the previous document in a series.
  • search: Points to a search function for the document.
  • tag: Points to a document that’s covers a keyword/tag of the current document.


The rel attribute is an important feature of HTML. See our related tutorial on the Rel Attribute for Link Tags

For a more comprehensive review of the HTML5 markup language, explore our series, How To Build a Website in HTML.

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