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Wikipedia Links
No Follow?
petra




msg:3227475
 12:47 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just wondering if this news is true.. it seems that Wikipedia have decided to re-add No Follow tags to their outbound links.

Is this true?

Moreover, do search engines and especially Google obey No Follows?

 

zCat




msg:3227478
 12:55 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just wondering if this news is true.. it seems that Wikipedia have decided to re-add No Follow tags to their outbound links.

Is this true?

Certainly looks like this is the case.

Personally I'm reciprocating (setting any links from my site to Wikipedia to "no follow").

sugarrae




msg:3227501
 1:25 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes it's true which you can see by visiting any wikipedia page and viewing the source code or utilizing an SEO related type plugin for firefox.

>>>Moreover, do search engines and especially Google obey No Follows

The engines have never specifically said how they do or don't treat nofollows... only given webmasters the ability to assign a link *with* a nofollow for the engines to do whatever they choose with. So, thats up to guess, debate, testing...

Personally, doesn't really matter to me so much... Wikipedia will have a "spam" problem until they stop ranking for everything under the sun. Forget the link, Wikipedia actually sends traffic and in the right categories, a lot of it.

zCat




msg:3227971
 8:30 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here's the official announcement:
[lists.wikimedia.org...]

Seems to be a reaction to a "search engine optimization world championship" which is in the offing.

Viz my remark about reciprocating with "no follow": I'm coming to the conclusion there's too much of a "good thing" (Wikipedia) in the SERPs, and fewer backlinks for them might be a good thing for the rest of the Internet.

loudspeaker




msg:3228019
 9:03 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The blogosphere is already abuzz with this (I know we're not allowed to post links, but search [technorati] and you'll find some commentary... mostly negative).

Personally, even though I understand the decision, I think this will unleash a reaction that will be hard for WikiPedians to contain. Previously, most sites didn't mind their stuff copied onto WikiPedia pages because they were getting a "link credit". Now, the rules have changed and the value of being "cited" in WikiPedia is becoming negative (i.e. you're losing but not gaining). It is conceivable that we'll see lawsuits citing copyright violations.

[edited by: sugarrae at 1:01 am (utc) on Jan. 23, 2007]
[edit reason] replaced specifics with a generic [/edit]

grandpa




msg:3228462
 8:27 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see this differently. At least for now, Wikipedia still enjoys status as an authority on many topics, so I can't see where anyone would lose from having, or from gaining a new citation there. (Not gaining can also be winning - depends where you stand on the fence) The DMCA has effectively ended copyright infringement lawsuits over web content, IMO, except for the most blatant cases of abuse. I don't see anyone jumping on the bandwagon to sue Wikipedia for this move. Then again, greed is a powerful force...

At the most this will irritate people who have, up until now, freely reciprocated a link. We have already read the response of one webmaster, one of potentially thousands. As mentioned, we might see the SERP's change a little. This can only be good for the rest of us. Too bad they didn't do this a year ago.

Halfdeck




msg:3228481
 9:12 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally I'm reciprocating (setting any links from my site to Wikipedia to "no follow").

That's actually a legit way to use nofollow, since you're "voting" against Wikipedia.

jomaxx




msg:3228490
 9:25 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I really can't see anybody suing over this. The author is still being credited AND linked. By the time copyright law catches up with the "nofollow" directive, the Web will be a distant memory. Besides, if you don't like the deal now, you can simply remove your material yourself.

Miamacs




msg:3228587
 12:17 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think I can catch up with the fun.

So I'll just add my little note and hope you don't mind.

First, if Google does not see Wikipedia as a trusted source - and as far as I know, it's not trust but the sheer amount and relevancy of inbound and navigation links to and within Wikipedia -, then a massive change in their so called linking pattern may set off a huge change in their rankings.

If there are any automated filters for checking the inbound / outbound link ratio ( in other words, if it's not always a manual check ),or in case the algorithm that checks changes to the linking pattern is set to know the difference between an outbound and an outbound with nofollow, Wikipedia will become a closed circuit for pagerank and trust literally overnight. Which would erase any website off of Google SERPs in an instant. Not sure about Wiki though.

I wonder how many times you've come across Wikipedia versions of languages other than English. Even though there are versions that already caught up in their number of articles to at least one fifth of the size of it, thus are pretty large and relevant.

An interesting point would be that all... yes, ALL the versions other than English have been using nofollow for a long time.

Of course I'm not saying this is the only differnce, but it's an interesting point.

So adding the nofollow to the Wikipedia flagship, the English articles may very well make Wiki a closed circuit system as for parameters passed on with outbound links. Which is - or is usually - frowned on by Google.

We'll see.

Besides, sites that are credited or cited in Wikipedia are receiving a decent amount of traffic of people who are really interested in their information. It never was for pagerank, or at least it shouldn't have been, but to be on one of the most visited reference guides for things a site is really good at.

Visitors from Wikipedia are always much more satisfied with the information on a site linked from under the proper topic, than let's say, people who arrive from Google search after entering a broad search term.

Receptional




msg:3228653
 1:29 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't have a problem with it. In fact it seems a sensible course of action to me.

SEOs found an SEO hole to exploit - they're looking to block it.

Who can blame them?

beren




msg:3228885
 4:52 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Awesome! I've been wishing Wikipedia would do this for a long time. Now maybe we won't see excessive external links at the bottom of so many articles, just because some AdSense sites want links.

Patrick Taylor




msg:3230811
 11:51 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's an admission of failure of their internal systems, nothing less. For the web, this move is very much a backward step, as it raises the status of "no follow".

lgn1




msg:3232249
 12:38 am on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

It will most likely only last a few days.

DXL




msg:3251832
 10:40 pm on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have articles that are legitimately linked for reference or informational purposes on Wikipedia. Were it not for the fact that they do generate some clickthroughs, I'd probably remove links if the links no longer have value anymore.

I say leave it up to contributors and admins to police references and external links as they always have. If I see an external link to a site that's inarguably made for Adsense, I'd remove it. Otherwise, who cares if webmasters are adding links mostly for link value? If there's information on a site that provides citations for an article, and its clearly not a site created specifically to display Google ads, then let it serve its purpose. As much useful information as my sites provided, I'd like some link value back.

wolfadeus




msg:3252275
 10:57 am on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Was about time - I wouldn't expect a huge decrease in the placement of spammy links on wikipedia, but it is a beginning.

lfgoal




msg:3253199
 10:28 am on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

" It will most likely only last a few days. "

As of today's date, the nofollows are still there. However, it doesn't seem to stop Yahoo from picking them up as links in siteexplorer (and I'm talking about newly acquired links from wikipedia).

lgn1




msg:3253453
 4:32 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I suspect they are working on automated tools to detect spam.

As a test, I put some spam in some very deep and obscure areas of Wiki, and it was detected and deleted withing 24 hours, so they obviously have something in the works.

I still believe the nofollow is a temporary measure, until they improve their spam detection tools.

oddsod




msg:3253455
 4:41 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia originally planned using nofollow when it first came out but then decided against it.

Did they have a deal with Google?

'cause Wikipedia links have, since then, been acting like they had nofollow even though they didn't. For example, they were not passing PR (I started a thread about this sometime and and it was the general consensus that the juice wasn't flowing).

OK, it's unlikely that Google did a deal with Wales but it's not impossible that they set some internal switch to treat all wiki links as honorary nofollows considering that they aren't trusted links and all that. It could have been a protective measure back at the plex to avoid "contamination" of their system via outgoing links that nobody had any control over and which were wide open to spam.

Tapolyai




msg:3253469
 4:59 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I fail to see the problem of having nofollow on Wikipedia links.

From what I know, nofollow is solely for machines, and not humans.

If Wikipedia intends to promote herself as a resource for humans, by all means, take any measure to reduce and manage spamming.

nofollow would discourage a percentage of spammers, therefore, I cannot see why not make it permanent.

wheel




msg:3253500
 5:36 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just because you're doing link development and SEO doesn't make you a spammer. And just because you're doing link development and SEO doesn't mean your site shouldn't be in wikipedia if it's what it's purported to be.

Given that I believe that wiki links to my sites only bring in my competitors so I don't care about supposed human traffic, with the nofollow there's absolutely no reason for me to accept links from that site. So they're losing a valuable source resource. In short, with the addition of the nofollow the only thing a wiki link would do for me is advertise what I do in front of my competitors.

I pulled all my links from there for other reasons. The nofollow only seals the deal.

wolfadeus




msg:3253567
 6:53 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

oddsod, good point; i agree that other se (such as y!) have always liked wiki much more than the big g.

Tapolyai




msg:3255017
 11:14 pm on Feb 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wheel, I do not understand.

How do you resolve, or even find a solution where you want/can have your visitors to find you, yet not your competitors?

wheel




msg:3255084
 12:20 am on Feb 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't. But I don't need every part timer who's read spamming 101's chapter on getting links from wikipedia to have a look at why I'm ranking. It's the difference between sticking your head up out of the hole or remaining hunkered down. I'll put up with it if I get some SEO benefit, but without that, it's all a one way street for them and nothing in return. That's me anyway, I think some folks claim to get real traffic from them.

This whole thing just underscores all that's wrong with the nofollow tag, and wiki's solution to their woes is just plain sloppy. They're refusing to compensate to their contributors - so valid sites are getting penalized for other's problems.

jdancing




msg:3270288
 10:44 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even though the nofollow is being used, Wikipedia links are still counted by Google and will help your SERPs.

There is no way that Google ignores links from their most trusted authority site on the web. These links are just too important to their algorithm.

Jane_Doe




msg:3270290
 10:46 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia links are still counted by Google and will help your SERPs.

How do you know that for sure?

jdancing




msg:3271818
 8:16 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still am getting the same boost from the links. I'll take a Wikipedia link any day, nofollow or not.

oddsod




msg:3272425
 10:58 am on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still am getting the same boost from the links

How do you know that?

DXL




msg:3288931
 9:16 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have an authority site I work hard on with plenty of useful original content, and I had a number of wikipedia articles using dozens of my pages as legitimate references. Two things have happened since the nofollow implementation: 1. Wikipedia no longer shows up as a search engine backlink, 2. Certain pages that normally ranked well in Google largely as the result of wikipedia links have dropped rank considerably in the last few weeks.

I don't use wikipedia as a crutch for traffic or solely as a means to improve my traffic, buts its disappointing that a few people whose information is used can't benefit from a backlink just because wiki's programmers can't figure out a better solution to prevent link spamming. A nofollow tag isn't going to discourage the hundreds of webmasters out there link spamming just for the sake of clicks as opposed to improving PR or position in the SERPs.

jdancing




msg:3288939
 9:25 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I manage a few sites that use Wikipedia links as a large part of their link strategy and they suffered no drop that would be expected if the links were simply not counted.

Many but not all of the links these sites have are integrated into the articles, not just footer spam.

potentialgeek




msg:3296106
 9:03 am on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even though the nofollow is being used, Wikipedia links are still counted by Google and will help your SERPs.
There is no way that Google ignores links from their most trusted authority site on the web. These links are just too important to their algorithm.

I just saw a site that came out of nowhere to the top in SERPs for a competitive two-word phrase. I checked Wiki. There is an external link on Wiki with the exact anchor text of the two-word phrase . . . which just happens to link to the web page of the Wiki Spammer with the title of that exact phrase. It's an MFA site.

Is it really that easy to trick the Google engineers?

p/g

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