Hiding external links from search engines helps to discourage spammers from posting links on your site. If you turn this option on, any URLs inserted in pages and comments will be given the 'nofollow' attribute, which prevents search engines from following them.
Shortcut links (e.g. CONF-2622@JIRA) and internal links to other pages within Confluence are not tagged.
To hide external links from search engines:
- Choose the cog icon , then choose General Configuration under Confluence Administration
- Click 'Security Configuration' in the left panel.
- This will display the 'Security Configuration' screen. Click 'Edit'.
- Check the 'Hide External Links From Search Engines' checkbox.
- Click the 'Save' button.
Background to the nofollow attribute
As part of the effort to combat the spamming of wikis and blogs (Confluence being both), Google came up with some markup which instructs search engines not to follow links. By removing the main benefit of wiki-spamming it's hoped that the practice will stop being cost-effective and eventually die out.