Nofollow link settings

(Robert McIntosh) #1

By default, all user submitted links will have a nofollow attribute added to deter inappropriate or potentially damaging behaviour. This includes all links on user profiles, as robots.txt ignores all profile information.

However, there are exceptions that can be managed by admins to improve the relevance of certain links to your site and your trusted users.


  • Staff posts - as the setting suggests, this setting applies to users. Staff are presumed to act in the interests of the site, or to share relevant links that benefit the community, so their links are followed.

  • Trust Level 3 users - regular users who have gained TL3 status can benefit from having links followed to reward them for engagement and time invested. Like staff, they are presumed to act in the interests of the site. This setting can be disabled.

  • Whitelisted domains (and subdomains) - admins can whitelist the domains they wish to associate with their site, and should include the domain of their own site.


  1. Go to Admin Settings / Spam

    by default, the add rel nofollow to user content is checked

    if you change this setting (not recommended) you need to rebake all posts to apply the new settings to existing links.

  2. Go to Admin Settings / Trust Levels

    by default, TL3 users will have their links followed. Check this box to remove this exclusion and keep all user links as rel=nofollow

  3. Go to Admin Settings / Required

    add the site’s parent domain to the exclude rel nofollow domains whitelist

    This setting allows internal links, and links to content on the same site but outside of Discourse, to be followed. This increases the visibility of relevant and useful content, and increases the relationship between the sites.

    You can use this setting to also allow links to related and trusted sites, but note that there can be SEO penalties applied for excessive numbers of links.

    Enter the most appropriate parent domain ( as this will also whitelist all subdomains (

Tip: when including a site on a popular domain, include only the specific subdomain (e.g. to avoid whitelisting all other subdomains.

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