How To Use the Rel Attribute for Anchor Tags in HTML

Updated on October 12, 2020

    Alligator.io and Matt Abrams

    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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