Do I need to add “nofollow” or “sponsored” to my Amazon Affiliate Links?

Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure here.

What exactly do sponsored or nofollow mean and why would I use it?

Google recently introduced the option of using “sponsored” on paid or affiliate links instead of using the “nofollow” that was previously expected in the past.

When a link is set as nofollow this tells search engines to literally not follow that link on your post when they are crawling through and indexing your site. What’s more, nofollow tells search engines that you have been compensated in some way for the link that is shared on your post. So if it is an affiliate link or a link to a company that has given you a free product for a review or sponsored post, these are the types of links that need to be set as “nofollow”.

Another example is on my post for what to do if someone steals your blog post, I shared a link to the host of the offender and did not want Google to follow that link or give them a thumbs up also called “link juice” since this link was shared from a negative experience.

Follow links have the benefit of helping your SEO, so if someone randomly quotes you or mentions your website because they like what you are doing, most often this will be a follow link. In contrast, the nofollow link has little to no SEO benefit.

Here is the latest update from Google on link attributes; such as, nofollow and their new options sponsored and ugc.

Adding sponsored to your link

Open your post to edit it, and find where you added the links, you will need to switch to the html editor.

  1. Click the block that has the link to make it active
  2. Click the 3 dots
  3. Screenshot clicking the block to make it active

  4. Select edit as html
  5. Screenshot of edit as html

    The next steps are the same for both Classic Editor and Gutenberg.

    Important note: regarding the fancy curly or slanted quotes, the Gutenberg and Classic editor will ignore these, and you will get weird output, if you see a fancy or curly quote ” delete it and retype it, it should appear as a straight quote "

    Screenshot showing curly or slanted quotes

    If your link Opens in the Same Window


    <p><a href="">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>

    You will notice on the link above that there is no attribute “rel”. Place your cursor between the ” and the > and add a space and type in rel=”nofollow” it will look similar to below


    <p><a href="" rel="sponsored">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>


    <p><a href="" rel="nofollow">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>


    <p><a href="" rel="sponsored nofollow">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>

    You can use either of the 3 methods above, the order of the rel attributes does not matter.



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    If your link is set to open in a new tab

    In this case you will see that the rel attribute exists (if you have saved or updated your post) as WordPress automatically adds rel=”noopener noreferrer” to links that open in a new tab.


    <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>

    In this case, place the pointer/cursor between the ” and the word noopener, and add rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>, as shown below. Note, it doesn’t matter what order you type in noopener, nofollow, as long as they are in there is what matters.


    <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="sponsored noopener noreferrer">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>


    <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>


    <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="sponsored nofollow noopener noreferrer">Highly recommended Affiliate Link</a></p>

    Again, you can use either of the 3 methods above, the order of the rel attributes does not matter.

    If you are using Gutenberg:

  6. Click the three dots again, switch back to the Visual Editor
  7. Screenshot of edit visually

    Related: how to remove noreferrer on WordPress advanced tutorial

    Both Classic Editor and Gutenberg:

    Confirming your changes on the front-end

    Open your website in the browser and right-click on or near a link and choose “inspect” from the right-click menu.

    This example shows a link that is set to open in a new tab.
    Before your changes you will see something like this:
    Screenshot of Before image inspecting link

    After your changes you see something like this for nofollow:
    Screenshot of after image inspecting link

    Want more information on becoming an Amazon Affiliate? See this Post by Tracie Fobes on Amazon Affiliates Ultimate Guide on using Amazon Affiliate’s the right way.

    Debbie Gartner has a great post over here on how she makes over $7000/month with Amazon Affiliates. I think I need to try her techniques.

Avatar for Tara, WP Blogger Assist

I have over 15 years experience in IT. Over this time: managing server infrastructure, building websites and more. This website is dedicated to helping WordPress bloggers with setting up their blogs and websites; optimizing fast page loading, SEO and social media marketing - such as; Pinterest, Facebook and more.

13 thoughts on “Do I need to add “nofollow” or “sponsored” to my Amazon Affiliate Links?”

  1. Hi. I’m trying with a great deal of difficulty to understand exactly what we’re meant to do. If I have written a review on a series of Amazon products does this mean that review should be a ‘no follow ‘ one, and if the answer is yes, can it still be ranked by google? Jim

    • Hi Willem,

      If you are using affiliate links for Amazon in your review they should be “nofollow” links in your post.

      Yes, you can still rank posts on Google that have “nofollow” links. This helps search engines like Google to know the link is an affiliate link and does not pass “link juice” to Amazon based on your review post.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Google isn’t strict at all about nofollowing affiliate links. Rel=”nofollow” or the new “sponsored” is for paid placements, which affiliate links typically are not (you get paid on click or sale completion, not for placing the link). Can you point me to where you found Google recommending nofollow explicitly for “affiliate” (vs advertisement/paid placement) links?

  3. Very useful post Tara
    I have Gutenberg with amazon widgets inserted (amazon pic and text), no plugins.
    I figured I can just in sert rel=”nofollow” at the end, will this be okay?

    show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” width=”300″ height=”150″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” rel=”nofollow”>&lt;br /&gt;

    • Hi Ramon,

      It sounds like you are referring to the iframe widget from Amazon where it shows the Amazon frame with the picture and the price. You do not need to add “nofollow” to these, as the iframe html does not include the rel attribute. I hope that helps.

      We only need to add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the hyperlink/anchor tags that start <a …

  4. Hi Tara, trying to wrap my head around this. Currently all my affiliate links open in a new tab so it has the rel=“ noopener noreferrer” attribute. So, do I need to add the “nofollow” tag to each Amazon text link too?

    That’s a lot of work!

    I’ve read some mixed reviews about using a plugin to help make this easier. Can you recommend a trusted one?

    • Hi Mariza,

      Google wants us to add to affiliate links either the “nofollow” or their new option “sponsored” to the rel attribute. It is best to add this manually due to the fact that if a plugin fails that links may break or the rel attributes may be missing on the links.

      If you have a lot of links to update, I would recommend to do the changes in batches update a few posts per day.

      Here is info on the new attribute “sponsored”

      But, the smaller search engines like Bing/Yahoo still watch for nofollow.

      On affiliate links that open in a tab:
      Some are adding both rel=”nofollow sponsored noopener …”

      Some are staying with rel=”nofollow noopener …”

      Some are just going with Google’s update to rel=”sponsored noopener …”

      In my opinion any of the above 3 options are valid as I believe Bing and Yahoo will see the change Google has made and do the same.

      On affiliate links that open in the same window you will not see the rel=”noopener noreferrer”, so you will need to add rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” or both rel=”nofollow sponsored” and again the order does not matter.

    • Hi Everythingtricky,

      For your button code, I checked on your site, you are using the anchor “a” tags. You would add the following here:

      <a class=”wp-block-button__link” href=”https://…” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Buy on amazon


      <a class=”wp-block-button__link” href=”https://…” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>Buy on amazon


      <a class=”wp-block-button__link” href=”https://…” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored”>Buy on amazon

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