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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.