homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Loss of multiple Wikipedia links and trustrank

 8:42 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I noticed that Wikipedia has done a sweep of external links on the 17th of March and I lost 10 long-standing links to various internal pages of my website. It was the same editor in every case, and he seems to have mysteriously left other links to websites which could be construed as commercial sites since they are selling advertising or products. I doubt there is much I can do about it, but I am wondering what the effect of losing so many old links (6-24 months old) will have on my Google ranking. In every case the linked pages seem to have benefited greatly from the Wiki link. I understand that the nofollow tags blocked any PR from being passed, but what about the overall effect on trustrank from those 10 Wiki links? Does anyone have direct experience with this recently? Thanks!



 10:56 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I experienced the same thing this month. I had external links on some widget pages to some of my interior pages. The same person deleted all of my links, but left links to a competing site. I tried creating a new account and adding the links again, but the same person deleted them.

The external links I had on Wikipedia had been there for nearly four years. They showed up in a link: search, but no longer.

I'm not sure it's had an adverse affect on my rankings, though. I'm still first-page for just about everything. However, I'm still recovering from accidentally adding "noindex" to all of my pages on March 4th.


 12:13 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

How long has it been since your Wiki links were removed? Usually when I have lost links to my site I see the effect within 1-2 weeks. Turnabout is fair play...if you see that the editor is leaving competing links you should delete those as well that way nobody gets the benefit.


 1:03 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Those links are nofollowed. You should see zero change.


 4:27 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Steveb, there's also the issue of the links generating traffic. I had a lot of visitors coming from Wiki through those links.


 8:19 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

But that has nothing to do with the question.


 8:42 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Turnabout is fair play... if you see that the editor is leaving competing links you should delete those as well that way nobody gets the benefit.


This reminds me of the dmoz crooks in the old days. Except now you can actually fight back. You have to figure out who is going to give up first: the editor or you. If the editor really has no bias or vested interest (competition), he doesn't have much to gain by removing your links, so he could give up soon enough. If you're not selling crack online, why should he care so much to delete your links repeatedly?

Hopefully Google is smart enough not to penalize drops from wiki, knowing full well anyone can delete anything at any time. How could it design a nofollow for wiki and then set its algo to lower TrustRank if you lose the links?



 9:00 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Had this same problem. Editors would link to our site and competitors would remove. Over and over again. We sat and watched. We didn't care or fight back but still was fun to watch. Doubt we have any links now. Yep still do. Not as prominent or as many.


 9:22 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

If your sites are not commercial and offer value to visitors I think that you can open a discussion about it.

Have a look at the discussion "tab" in the top of the wikipedia page.


 9:52 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

This topic is not relevant to Google Search because Wiki links have nofollow and will not effect rank or trust rank.

[edited by: Johan007 at 9:53 am (utc) on Mar. 27, 2008]


 12:03 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have taken it tha nofollow does not pass PageRank, but how can you be sure about the trust rank? Especially if the links are long standing.

I don't think it is safe to assume no follow links from high trust sites are discounts from the algo completely. Maybe i am just too suspicious.


 3:54 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't think it is safe to assume no follow links from high trust sites are discounts from the algo completely. Maybe i am just too suspicious.
No rank no trust is parsed. Google would not risk discrediting the nofollow attribute rendering it worthless. After all anyone can set up an experiment.

 4:08 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am with Soxos on this...I don't believe for a second that losing 10 long-standing wiki links will not have an effect on trust rank. Most of the interior pages that those wiki links linked to had 0-1 PR but were still top 10 placement for the term. I doubt that will remain the case now, but as time goes on I will monitor it and post it here.


 4:09 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Had this same problem. Editors would link to our site and competitors would remove.

I was having that happen as well and when I complained about it a rogue editor flagged our site as spam and will not even respond to any communications we have sent regarding the matter.

Let me also state that our site is not a MFA site and some of the links were to articles and data related to the topics they were linked off of.

I've actually set our site to bounce traffic coming from there to one single page on our site.


 5:05 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

From a co-citation and link neighborhood perspective, having your link amongst other reference links about the topic on Wikipedia can only help, especially if the wikipedia page for that query term ranks high.

However Matt Cutts is on record as saying that nofollowed links are dropped off the Google link graph, which means they don't pass anchor text, link popularity, and basically don't exist.

I'm interested in what will happen in a few weeks. Please do reply back with the results as this is an interesting test as to how much wikipedia links affect rankings.


 6:22 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

A quick search for six out of ten of the pages that were previously linked by Wiki show that they are all still in top five position...this is actually higher than about 6 weeks ago, the last time I remember checking them. All of my Wiki links were dropped at the same time ten days ago...so far no effect at all. Perhaps Google takes into account the nature of wiki links these days and how they are constantly being added and deleted by editors?


 6:31 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

we too have lost a lot of links from the Wiki however if you pick on an obscure article you can slip a link in by omitting the []


 7:01 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Matt has said the links are ignored. Believe him or don't, but it is just aimless speculation to be concerned about the effects of something where such a clear statement has been made.


 4:21 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I personally don't believe the links are ignored. Google knows Wikipedia uses nofollow in which a case they shouldnt be nofollowed. Why wouldn't google just factor this in their algo to still trust these links and in return Wikipedia gets less spam.

For pages that I have wikipedia links pointing to my site I continue to rank #1 ever since they adopted the nofollow so I believe Matt is posturing on this one.


 3:55 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree...I'm sorry but just because Matt Cutts claims something doesn't mean it's really the case. I don't think Google can discount resources like Wiki, especially since the editors are so strict and the SPAM has been cut back since nofollows were employed. On the other hand...I'm sure google is also well aware of the constant skirmishes and politics which go into who gets links from wiki articles.


 5:44 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

When Matt Cutts says that nofollow links are "dropped from the webgraph", that means they are not included in PageRank calculations.

Matt also said that nofollow links are "not even used for discovery." So that should mean that a url with only nofollowed backlinks (a very odd critter that would be) would not even get indexed. I've seen some recent nofollow experiments for the purpose of "page rank sculpting" - they do seem to show that the second point is true.

Also, Google developed a kind of back-office nofollow tag long before it was released as a general recommendation, originally for user generated content. Many people lost PR during that period - especially from blog comment spam - and didn't know why exactly.

So I am pretty sure that nofollow links don't pass PR and they won't get a url into Google's index. However, that isn't the same thing as being "totally ignored". It will be interesting to hear how this works out for you, ichthyous.

[edited by: tedster at 12:04 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2008]


 8:49 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Exactly, which IMO is why if the link is long standing on Wiki, whilst it may not pass PR, it may with time pass TR (something which would be hard to prove) I do not think Google would be prepared to cut off their nose to completely discount links from such a massive authority on research (its favorite type of site) like Wiki.


 10:50 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

It would be absurd to not pass pagerank but to pass trustrank. Besides its impossible. I you can't discover a URL via a nofollow link, then you obviously can't assign it trust rank.

The most suspect part of Matt's statement is they don't use them for discovery. If they did -- which an easy thing for us to prove -- then everything else is possible.


 9:02 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

We follow our competitor's site ranking and noticed that since they got 25+ links at Wikipedia their ranking improved a lot.
Although their site is full of adsense units plus loads of ads from affiliate sites, their links are not removed from Wikipedia.
We believe the links are not removed as it seems that the whole travel guide for one country on Wikitravel is written by their writer so links at Wikipedia are like "payment" for it.


 9:26 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

So far I haven't seen any loss in traffic yet, but my total number of links is dropping due to the number of wiki clone pages dropping my links. Most of those pages have no rank, but perhaps the lower number of links might hurt.


 9:28 am on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

We believe the links are not removed as it seems that the whole travel guide for one country on Wikitravel is written by their writer so links at Wikipedia are like "payment" for it.

Interesting. How do you know who writes the articles on Wikitravel?

I have not noticed a loss of traffic or ranking since all my Wiki links were removed some 3 weeks ago.


 6:01 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

An update on this post... Six weeks after all of my wiki links were removed I noticed the beginning of a downward trend in traffic. From Beginning of May every week has been lower than the previous week. Traffic is down 33% overall and still dropping. I have had no other major changes to my site nor have I lost any other links, so I do believe the loss of wiki links has a significant impact on trustrank and traffic does go down as a result. Just my 2 cents


 9:40 am on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

The wiki editors are bias in my opinion, you only have to look at there message boards to figure that one out - I wouldn't waste your time with it. The articles are okay, but their editor linking incest is not worth the fight - eventually they will put you on their "blacklist" if you aren't in 'the click'

As for the impact wiki link have - as I said in my first post, I did believe long standing wiki links carried trust (if not page rank) so ichthyous your findings make sense to me.


 6:32 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have seen that myself...the editors tend to leave links from certain sites which are 'noncommercial'...except they are running adsense on every available inch of their pages. I can't figure out why it took 6 weeks before I saw the decline though....and it's been slow and subtle, not like when I have lost links in the past and traffic falls off a cliff


 8:28 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

ichthyous i too noticed a slow (steady) decline in serps after loosing 4 very high trust links from a uk (inter)national news website. However, the drop was not as much as expected and the site has already recovered with the aid of some replacement links (I was actually surprised how quickly the site did recover). So take hope and concentrate on replacing the trust and hopefully you will also turn the decline around.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved