Wikipedia Nofollows External Links


From the 'pedia:

At Jimbo Wales' directive, all external links within the English language Wikipedia are now coded "nofollow" -- this should help cut spamming immensely once word gets out in the SEO community.

This was mentioned in the discussion Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Globalwarming awareness2007/SEO world championship -- expect a spam onslaught.

Funny how the Wikipedia is a community project, but undergoes such a major change on a whim.

The Wikipedia's Assume good faith goes hand in hand with Jimbo's profile:

"...I trust you...See that link up there 'edit this page'? Go for it. It's a wiki world!"

Will they still get spammed to bits the way that blog comments do? My money says yes. In fact, if they think this will solve their spam problem and police the pages less vigilantly the amount of spam will probably sharply increase.

Hat tip to Randy.


Too Little Too Late

I agree this won't help Wikipedia at all. Traffic is still a big factor in why spammers target it. Not to mention the way some users view Wikipedia links as votes to how much influence a site has.

Thank you

Isn't wikipedia one of the

Isn't wikipedia one of the cornerstones of Google's calculation of trustrank? Can this be expected to have a big impact on SERPs?

I always try to get a link

I always try to get a link on the pages that outrank my stuff. Sometimes it's Site Targeting their Adsense Inventory. Sometimes it's their or Industrybrains inventory. Link juice is just a bonus. With Google ranking Wikipedia as authoritatively as it does, I'm still going to go for the traffic on the pages that rank above my stuff.

And what's worse...aggressive SEO boogeymen adding external links or self-righteous, agenda-driven dickheads (err, editors) cockblocking Wikipedia with their inaccuracy?

Matt please add a rel="dickhead" attribute ASAP. Okthxbye.


Google wouldn't rank it so highly if it was inaccurate, would they?

Groundhog Day

Did they not do this before ?
I seem to recall they did for a while then reversed the decision

Nofollow on blogs has never

Nofollow on blogs has never stopped blog spam.

Nofollow on Wikipedia isn't going to stop people adding links for promotional purposes.

You have to love the irony...

Given the human edited, high relevance and all, Google could be forgiven for ignoring the NoFollow directive on Wikipedia... :D

Let's face it, given all these safeguards, links on Wikipedia should now be the cream of the crop and just what Google needs for it's rankings, and as a duty to its users *should* ignore it. You have to smile, don't ya?

Jimbo Wales, benevolent dictator

"Funny how the Wikipedia is a community project, but undergoes such a major change on a whim." yeah, it's kinda fun to see Jimbo use his authority this rapidly, and go AGAINST the consensus of the admins.

can we sue them?

Now that they are exercising editorial control over content does that mean they have to take responsibility for it?

I can't blame them...

...Really I can't. Wiki articles are ALMOST like blog comments.

Also, I've been thinking for some time now that a wiki link doesn't pass that much link-juice anyway. At least not right away. The nofollow bit is only a reminder of that IMV. Marked with a fat, red, blinking exclamation point ( ! ) LOL

I don't even recommend to spammers that they edit or start a wiki article anymore. What has the web come to, eh?

Wikipedia goes Blackhat

ok if the SOURCE of the content is located at another URL... why can Wikipedia feel it's 'ok' nofollow that content, especially if they use that URL as a source of their content?

If they NF ALL external

If they NF ALL external links, and the SE's treat that as they are supposed to :D, then WP should drop like a rock out of all SERPs. Sites with massive authority-like scores, and zero hub-like scores are clearly gaming the search engines...

i assumed engines would be

i assumed engines would be able to retain the hub score value of nofollowed links, but simply that the site on teh receiving end of the nofollow would not get any corresponding trust. in other words, i assumed nofollow would not impact the link giver, only the link receiver. a faulty assumption?

IF I were a search engine...

... I would penalise the "improper" use of things like "nofollow" to hoard pagerank etc etc. But that's just ME, and I am NOT a search engine.

That said: I still think WP can get away with all that, for the aforementioned reasons.....

It hasn't passed PR for a long time

Wikipedia links haven't passed PR for a long time. WmW thread about it

>> i assumed nofollow would not impact the link giver, only the link receiver.
So would link farms derive all the hub benefits but none of the bad neighbourhood mojo ... as long as they condom everything?

i would think the positive

i would think the positive score is more important than the negative (i.e. the link farm that links only to crap will still be spotted as crap, condom or no)

i wonder if the SE algorithm would penalize nofollow via deducting hub score, i question the wisdom of such and would think SE's would interpret nofollow accordingly. i would think nofollow would be interpreted in the context of the site's trust score.

at least that seems to me the way the SEs get the most out of the nofollow tool.

What If Every Site Used Nofollow

Usage of the nofollow tag is really getting out of hand. Google needs to be able to count links for pagerank to work. As more authority sites begin to implement nofollow tags, googlebot will only be left to count links on lower quality sites. This could wreak havoc on relevancy.

I would put money on googlebot using a custom/site specific interpretation on the nofollow tag. Wiki article links are generally highly relevant, and much more trustworthy than most other websites such as major online newspapers that sell links to the highest bidder.

Late with a few notes...

I know I'm a little late to the table here, but really these guys are biting the hand that feeds them.

One of the few values in helping out Wikipedia was to get a nice inbound link to your site. A lot of people built out topics so they could do just that.

Certainly a lot of research has been done altruistically, but with the attention that wikipedia has gotten from the SEO community, it would be hard to say they didn't have a major impact.

If you take out what was in the Encyclopedia Britannica to begin with, and you take out what the SEO community has provided, you are left with a lot of political propoganda, a huge section on Douglas Adams, and some information on George Lucas.

This is one of the primary reasons I've always been against the nofollow attribute - there is no consensus on proper usage and large sites either end up having to nofollow everything or nofollow nothing - which leads more and more to a lack of consensus on how the engines should treat those links.


Dance to the tune of Google, you no-follow sheeple. Baaaaaaaaa. Baaaaaaa. Baaaaaaa.

Me, I'm glad I got disgusted with Wikipedia and pulled all my links. Now instead of actively trying to get links, I police their site for links to mine and pull any links immediately. And before anyone pulls out the 'Wiki sends me traffic' card, I recommend BakedJake's pubcon presentation on screwing with competitors who visit your site - because that's the what most of the traffic coming from wiki is. People clicking on external links to see what it takes to get a link to stick. I've done it, you've done it, your competitors are doing it (and then some come back and delete your link). Personally, I don't count that as traffic (unless they're kind enough to exit via an adsense block).

Wiki's whacked out, dictatorial, and basically insane. It's like the crazy cat lady of the authority site world. Why base your link building strategy on something as flighty as that? There's easier and better places to get links than worrying about the next wingnut doing a drive by edit of your link. Go spam a .edu blog or something.

Since I posted on my blog

Since I posted on my blog about the door to door vacuum sales guy becoming an SEO, I've been contacted by many new-to-the-Internet gold miners chasing SEO dust. Newly-divorced moms, immigrants, cops and even ministers putting in some time to make side money, all with dreams of living independently off the web someday. One thing they all have in common: they contribute TONS of hours to these sites, for free. And each and every one, as they learn how the commercial web works, stops contributing.

Like any good pyramid scheme, it'll all about recruiting new members.

nofollow filter for Drupal

Let's say that you use Drupal and wont to give Wikipedia a taste of their own medicine, then I've done the work for you:

Nofollow wikipedia links module.



If somebody creates a plugin for wordpress I'll totally give the link love to it ...

what you need is wordpress2drupal

gray - just move your blog to drupal, then you're all set :)

Miss the fun

What and miss all the fun of getting hacked and now having to update 20+ blogs every three months where's the fun in that?

Am I right in thinking they

Am I right in thinking they tried this before while fundraising, then backed out because of complaints?

Am I right in thinking that this time they ensured they completed their fundraising first?

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