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How To Use the Rel Attribute for Anchor Tags in HTML

Published on September 12, 2016 · Updated on October 12, 2020
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    By Alligator.io
    Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
    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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    About the authors
    Default avatar
    Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

    Default avatar
    Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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