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>>>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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?