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Annoyingly inaccurate articles!



9:39 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I find it incredibly annoying that Wikipedia doesn't seem to verify their content. It seems any "goober" can write anything they want and it goes unchecked.

Some of the articles are incredibly inaccurate, but because it calls itself an "encyclopedia" ... people are willing to believe anything written on their pages!

I don't want to become a wikipedia editor, I don't have the time or the inclination to rewrite their stuff for them. But c'mon ... doesn't anyone check for quality or at the very least, verify historical facts on this site?

Man it irks me! I was talking to a friend's 9 year old son yesterday and he stated an incorrect fact about our country. When I corrected him, he said, "nuh ahh ... I checked and Wikipedia said this ..."

I took a look and sure enough, there it was. This kid was using Wikipedia to do his homework for heaven's sake and they had 3 "facts" wrong within a 4 paragraph page.

Why is so much credence given to this site by the search engines? I just don't get it. It is really annoying! Arrrgh. :(


8:12 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

But people are reading facts on Wikipedia and taking them as accurate.

People have been doing that with different books since people could read and will always do it. If you want to change that then maybe the only way is to improve science education so people can learn to think more critically, but people will still do it. IMO that doesn't mean that wikipedia shouldn't try to improve by implementing new procedures (as mentioned in my previous posts).


11:19 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

But people are reading facts on Wikipedia and taking them as accurate.

And that is the crux of my complaint.

People have been doing that with different books since people could read and will always do it.

Agreed. And that is exactly why I dislike Wikipedia. I believe anyone who publishes information purporting to contain "facts" ... has a moral obligation to ensure their facts are accurate.

Fine, Wikepedia is an "experiment" according to the publisher. Then like any experimental process, it should be treated as such by the search engines. In particular, Google needs to stop treating it as though it were the end all and be all of resources!

Their disclaimer is fine:


Wikipedia is an online open-content collaborative encyclopedia, that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups who are developing a common resource of human knowledge. The structure of the project allows anyone with an Internet connection and World Wide Web browser to alter its content. Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.

... but the disclaimer needs to appear at the top of every page of content. Or they could shorten the disclaimer to read ...

Facts and information cited may or may not be accurate. Use at your own risk!

But I still like the idea of external links using the "no index, no follow" tag. If Wikipedia were to do this, I think they would lose a great number of editors who only add content in order to be able to link to their own sites.

Maybe then ... the quality of content would improve!

[edited by: Liane at 11:24 am (utc) on July 19, 2006]


12:54 pm on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Check this out .... [en.wikipedia.org...]

Anyone care to add info? Heck, on a page with only 3 short paragraphs summing up Brett's life in a whopping 104 words, they managed to squeeze in 16 internal links!

Now add in the 2 exteranl links to Pub Con and WebmasterWorld plus the 35 other internal links and Wikipedia managed to cram 53 links onto a page with 104 words of actual content. That's more than 50%, links to content ratio!

Personally, I think there should be a link to all WebmasterWorld member websites so that people will know just how much influence Brett has had on the internet! ;)

(Just kidding Brett. I happened to find the link while searching Google for other Wikipedia threads on Webmasterworld.)

Disclaimer: No disrespect intended to whomever authored the Wiki page, assuming it may have been written by a member. I just found it very amusing ... about the internal links I mean.

If Wikipedia's internal linking methods aren't a blatant attempt to manipulate Google PR, I 'll eat my hat!


4:05 pm on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Liane,

I believe it's called cross-referencing, and what HTML and hyperlinks exist for IMHO!




9:14 pm on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

One man's cross referencing is another man's PR manipulation.


1:07 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And everybody who posts to this forum thinks their site should be #1 in every search engine. Its called SEO. And its also an "authority" site and my competitors site stinks and they are cheating.


9:28 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Its called SEO.

LOL ... and if every website on the internet looked like the average Wiki page, the internet would look like a dog's breakfast!


8:44 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It is becoming very annoing with the LOVE that Google has over wikipedia.I just discover today that for a big European city they are with 2 listings at the top possitions pussing down of course more informative and dedicated pages for the certin city,both wiki pages are duplicate with only a URL change city.html (PR7)and city_country.html (PR5)
If that thing goes on there should be some limits to the govern of every subject on the internet by wikipedia a good solution was that
and [arstechnica.com...]
time for some countries to take action when any webtroll can post any kind of political abuse and subjective political oppinions or wrong iformation about places ,countries ,industries ech.at that late years new cancer of the web.


9:44 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google doesn't deliberately put Wikipedia articles higher up than other pages. It's all done with algorithms reflecting the popularity of a site. So it means that Wikipedia is simply more popular. Don't blame Google for that, blame the visitors.


11:59 am on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

both wiki pages are duplicate with only a URL change city.

Yep ... they do this for ketword spelling variations. If that isn't SE manipulation, I don't know what is.

So it means that Wikipedia is simply more popular.

I beg to differ. Wikipedia isn't necessarily more popular, it just means that due to the sheer volume of pages which are heavily interlinked throughout the site is working for them as an SEO tactic.

[edited by: Liane at 12:00 pm (utc) on July 30, 2006]


9:08 pm on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Earlier in the thread it was said that it is relatively expensive to print a book. Well with sites such as Lulu, it's not expensive for small quantities now.


10:26 pm on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"If that isn't SE manipulation, I don't know what is. "
Spot on Liane ,wonder when G00G stock holders will realise how big revenues they loosing by letting wikipedia overtaking dedicated sites (with adsense) on top results.I believe and hope that this wiki crap its another temporary fruit and sooner or later will shut down or it will be bun from several SE's that are based on add revenues.

Robert Charlton

12:54 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I happen to like Wikipedia a lot. The wiki model definitely is prone to mischief and error, though not necessarily more than a lot of other media. There's a very funny spoof of Wikipedia in a recent issue of The Onion... haven't seen it mentioned here. Hope it's OK to post the link....

Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence
Founding Fathers, Patriots, Mr. T. Honored
July 26, 2006 ¦ Issue 42•30

NEW YORK—Wikipedia, the online, reader-edited encyclopedia, honored the 750th anniversary of American independence on July 25 with a special featured section on its main page Tuesday....

..."At 750 years, the U.S. is by far the world's oldest surviving democracy, and is certainly deserving of our recognition," Wales said. "According to our database, that's 212 years older than the Eiffel Tower, 347 years older than the earliest-known woolly-mammoth fossil, and a full 493 years older than the microwave oven."

"In fact," added Wales, "at three-quarters of a millennium, the USA has been around almost as long as technology."

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:58 am (utc) on Aug. 1, 2006]


11:51 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Looks like google is quoting them as an authoritative source. I just googled "what is <keywords>" and I got

<Keywords> - Definition ..
"According to [en.wikipedia.org...]

As the top most entry.

I wonder if Google is finally throwing in the towel. If they want to create results that people want, it may be that people want wikipedia.

It's an interesting problem, of course, because Wikipedia is disintermediating us all - including Google.


2:33 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Actually, to me it appears as though Wikipedia is taking over the internet! That's a scary thought because all the major search engines are letting themselves be manipulated by this beast.

This is a classic example of the tail wagging the dog!

It would seem that Google's Trust Rank really doesn't amount to a hill of beans (at least in this case) ... if an unverified source such as Wikipedia is permitted to gain such prominence in almost any search one does on Google.

This really makes me wonder what level of "Trust" anyone should have for Google's Trust Rank! I was thrilled to hear about "TR" when it was first announced. I had great hopes for the future of search because of it ... but so far, I am less than impressed.

I understand that some people really like Wikipedia and I understand all the arguments in regards to it "just being one source" and that people should never use just one source for information ... blah, blah blah. I also understand that there is a lot of good information contained within Wikipedia ... but the "average person" is not capable of making the distinction between good and bad information! The truth of the matter is that because Wikipedia passes itself off as an "encyclopedia" ... people trust the information and believe it is accurate.

The average person is lazy. The average person does not necessarily think for themselves. The average person often does believe everything they read. The average person has been given no reason NOT to believe what Wikipedia spews out. Wikipedia claims to be an encyclopedia and the average person believes that encyclopedias are trustworthy and accurate!

Wikipedia is dangerous in my opinion. It contains unverified information from thousands (perhaps millions) of questionable sources ... and most people are gullible enough to believe whatever is contained therein. It just galls me.

In my opinion, Wikipedia is responsible for the (further) dumbing down of all internet users and the SE's should be ashamed of themselves for promoting it so heavily. Full stop.


4:08 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Recently I suffered some nasty chemical burns. If I'd followed the advice in Wikipedia about not to wash it off and go seek medical attention, I'd have third degree burns, not first.

There are some chemicals you mustn't wash off, like one acid and anything that explodes on contact with water, and the others you have to neutralize or get off pretty damn fast.

Not that my first recourse was Wikipedia. I ran like hell for a tap, dived under it, then covered myself in liquid antihistamines and other anti-inflammatories. Then I looked up what to do.

I'm fine. No thanks to Wikipedia.

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