How To Add Nofollow To WordPress Tags and Tag Cloud

WordPress tag links and tag clouds. To use or not to use. The debate continues. Most SEO guys are of the opinion that the probability of being penalized by Google increases when wordpress tag clouds are added to a blog/site.

Here’s what Google’s Matt Cutts has to say about the use of tags and tag clouds.


Personally I need my tags as I don’t have time to set keywords for each and every blog post so I rely on All In One SEO to turn my tags into keywords.

In other to keep the Big G happy, I decided to look for a way of adding the nofollow attribute to ALL my tag links including those within a cloud and I stumbled on Kaf Oseo’s Nofollow Tag Cloud.

By default, this little plug-in inserts rel=’nofollow’ in links generated by wp_tag_cloud() ONLY! If you’d like to apply the nofollow attribute to tags appearing within your posts too, you’d have to edit the plug-in as shown below.

image4 How To Add Nofollow To Wordpress Tags and Tag Cloud

Remove // from line 22 circled in red above so that it looks like this:

image5 How To Add Nofollow To Wordpress Tags and Tag Cloud

Save the plug-in, upload it to your wordpress plug-in folder and activate it via your wordpress dashboard and you’re done.

Here’s a direct download link to the plug-in: Nofollow Tag Cloud.

NOTE: In the event that your browser downloads the file with a .htm extension, you’ll have to rename that to .php




The Read More link that appears on the front page of a wordpress blog or its’ archives page has no SEO benefit at all and as such should be nofollowed. It’s kinda crazy to rank for "Read the rest of this entry" :-D.

Using the Custom More Link plug-in by Michael Weingaertner, you can add the nofollow attribute to the read more link while @ the same time removing the #-number anchor that is added to the read more link by default.

Below is the simple plug-in setup.

image6 How To Add Nofollow To Wordpress Tags and Tag Cloud

Here’s the code : <a href="%permalink%" rel="nofollow">%linktext%</a>

With nofollow in place on my tags and tag cloud, I can now use tags freely without stressing myself about the chances of getting penalized by Google ;-).

This post was made possible by Malanciault’s Adding the nofollow attribute in WordPress Tag Cloud and tag links and HellBoundBlogger’s  Avoid Using Tag Clouds On Your Blog – Matt Cutts.

What are your opinions about the use of tag clouds? Do you use them on your blogs? Do please feel free to leave a comment below and share with us.

Please don’t hesitate to share the knowledge on Twitter, Facebook etc or even email this post to your friends using the icons below.

Cheers and have a great week ahead ;-).

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  1. Jason @ Affiliate Marketing Blog says

    Hmm, I was thinking before of using tag clouds, but I chosen not to, to decrease the keyword density on my homepage. But I think it would be great if there’s a tag cloud plugin that can include “tag descriptions”, since I’m seeing the future of search engine algorithms will focus more on “keyword definitions and synonyms” to really scale what’s relevant and what’s not. Well, that’s just a crazy prediction :)


    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      I recently saw a mention of tag descriptions somewhere on the net. Unfortunately I can’t remember where exactly as I wasn’t really interested @ that moment :-(.
      Google already focuses on keyword synonyms ever since their Keyword External Tool was launched.

  2. Mitch says

    I’m leaving my tags alone, and since my blog has already been penalized by Google I could care less. What I’m finding is that people are clicking on the tags and looking at other articles, and I’m getting Google Alerts, of all things, telling me they’re doing it.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      Hmmm! What kind of penalty did Google place on your site? Your site still appears in the SERPS. How did you setup Google Alerts to notify about tag links clicks? I thought that was only possible with Google Analytics?

        • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

          I have it setup for my blog’s address but I really don’t see it can help me keep tag on my tag links click. Anyway I’ll probably hack into Google analytics to set that up ;-)

          • Mitch says

            Any time anyone clicks on a link, I’m notified. Are you putting those link tags into your content like I am, or just leaving it on the side as, well, a category of sorts?

  3. JR says

    Well, this is news to me, thanks for posting this great article and the video from Cutts, I have tag clouds on all my sites, I think I will remove most of them and make some nofollow. Thanks for the great write up.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      The plug-in doesn’t really offer any methods of making some tags nofollow and others dofollow. Do please let me know if you find such a plug-in. Thanks for dropping by ;-)

  4. green tea benefits says

    tag clouds can help a site a lot. i also like your idea to make them nofollow. this is a good thing to do it keeps bad things from getting indexed. good post.

  5. Chibex de Naija Computer Nerd says

    Just installed wordpress on my site and now surfing the net to see how to make it better. Although i don’t have tag cloud plug installed for now, this post really showed me what to do without any penalty from Google when i want to add it.

    Thanks a lot.

  6. Chintan Kotadia says

    Well, I have installed tag cloud on my blog and I followed the steps mentioned by you for not getting penalized from Google.
    Thanks for sharing it! :)

    Cheers mate!

  7. Tanmay says

    Adding “nofollow” tag in at tag cloud is obvious if you want to make your blog SEO friendly. You can also deal with this issue without any plugin. Just edit /wp-include/category-template.php and add the nofollow attribute at wp_generate_tag_cloud function.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      We all love using less plug-in in wordpress but the truth is editing the core files would mean editing the core files each time there’s an update and that can be tasking unless of course you don’t intend upgrading your wordpress installation ever again.

  8. Luqman @ Finance info says

    I am just hearing about custom more link plug-in for the first time. I have download it now and I am going to activate it on my blogs. Thanks for sharing this article.

  9. Sathish @ TechieMania says

    Hi Thanks for sharing this plugin. I am exactly searching for a similar kinda plugin to implement in my new blog. U saved my day. Thanks a lot

  10. kolobigi says

    What I love most about this post is the “custom more link”,I was frustrated seeing myself ranked for “read more and post” more than anything else in my blog. thanks Doc.
    I still have a challenge now though,to implement this on my forum.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      Hmm. Wish I could help you in implementing that feature on a forum but my knowledge never reach that level.

  11. Internet Marketing Services says

    Still experts are not sure about no follow is really not considered by search engines. It is said that more visitors are attracted towards our blog if has do follow blog commenting.

  12. Sk says

    Thnaks a lot for this plugin… I have a blog on daily news… usually i put 10-15 tags with one post…is it help me from being penalized by Google SERPS.

    I think after installing this plugin no need to make more than 2-3 tags is it ?

  13. Jonan Castillon says

    May I thank you for the information that I got from your post, especially Matt Cutt’s video clip. While I made my own discovery about tags and tag clouds, I realized upon researching further that tag clouds could be abused and be overstuffed with keywords. I would choose retain using the tag cloud and observe what happens with my site, which is just about ten months. Will it gain a PR or not…let’s wait and see.

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