Does the WordPress “noreferrer” Amazon Affiliate harm?


Please briefly explain why you feel this question should be reported .


Several months ago, I already reported that there is a new WordPress feature that could cause problems for affiliates.

The point is that external links are automatically provided with rel = “noopener noreferrer” , which is supposed to be secure, but also prevents affiliate programs from knowing where a visitor came from.

Although the Amazon Affiliate Program (PartnerNet) is not directly affected, I wondered if it could have negative consequences for Amazon Affiliates. In the following you will learn what I have found out and I introduce a plugin, which fixes the problem.

What does “noreferrer” do?

Usually, the browser passes information about the previous site to the new site. So, as a website owner, you can find out where the visitors came from. This is very useful, for example, when it comes to website statistics. In this way you can see where your visitors come from, whether advertising measures have produced something, and so on.

But many affiliate programs also use this information to make sure that new visitors are really coming from the affiliate sites. Unfortunately, there are some among affiliates who bring with them not a small amount of criminal energy. For example, some people sign up for a partner program with regular affiliate websites, but then distribute their affiliate links with dubious or even illegal methods on the net and try to earn a lot of commissions. Therefore, networks such as check this referrer and write the commission well only when a new visitor comes from a registered affiliate website.

Of course you can do bad things with the referrer, of course. It’s about the popular target = “_ blank”addition to websites. This leaves the original website open and the new website loads in a new tab. However, with the help of the referrer you can manipulate the source website and load another page in this tab. You could, for example, make it look exactly the same, but populate it with malware or something similar.

With the addition of rel = “noopener noreferrer” WordPress has closed a security gap , but that does not change the fact that it can also give a substantial loss of revenue for affiliates.

Does the WordPress “noreferrer” Amazon Affiliate harm?

What I could not answer at the time was the question of whether Amazon affiliates also suffer negative effects. While Amazon does not value the Referrer for commissions, you do not lose any commissions, but it’s said that you’re testing it to test the quality and honesty of affiliates. Can this cause an Amazon affiliate to get out of PartnerNet?


I asked this question directly to the Amazon PartnerNet team and got an answer:
“By the terms of the Operating Agreement, affiliates are not to the URL URL. Doing so is a violation. Will obscured referral URLs get someone immediately closed? No. Will it raise suspicion and invite closer scrutiny? Yes “

Translated, the answer is
“According to the terms and conditions, affiliates are not allowed to obscure the referrer URL. If this is done, it is a violation. Will obscured referrer URLs cause the PartnerNet account to close immediately? No. Will it cause Amazon to become skeptical and make more accurate checks? Yes.”

So no one has to worry about it now automatically flipping out of Amazon PartnerNet. Amazon is aware of this problem and will probably try to find a solution in the future as well. Nevertheless, Amazon naturally falls on when there is no referrer information and for the reasons mentioned above, one then looks more closely and checks whether the WordPress problem is the reason or if someone is trying to cheat.

So the risk increases if you do not make sure that the referrer is handed over again. On the other hand, this opens the vulnerability, of course. This is not huge, if you pay attention, which websites one links, but nevertheless this is there. One solution would be to target = _blank in the future

Are you using target = “_ blank” on your affiliate links?

Disable WordPress “noreferrer”

In this article , I’ve already come up with a solution on how to prevent the automatic insertion of rel = “noopener noreferrer” (“noopener” is no problem for affiliates, but is also automatically included with it) in the visual editor.

That works okay, but not really. In the HTML editor, for example, a rel = “noreferrer” is inserted, if you use the link dialog. You have to remove it manually.

By chance, I have discovered another plugin, which cleans up with the problem in the HTML editor. The plugin is called Ultimate Nofollow and is actually intended to add a checkbox in the link dialog, with which you can add a rel = “nofollow” to a link. In addition one can put thereby automatically all URLs in comments and in the Blogroll on nofollow.

After my tests, this plugin also automatically ensures that rel = “noreferrer” is no longer inserted in the HTML editor. So if you use the HTML editor, you should install this plugin.

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