The news today seems to be that Wikipedia have added nofollow to external links.
I have seen a lot of sites mention that all the search engines respect nofollow. Actually they don’t. Anlaysis has shown that Yahoo certainly follow and index pages despite the nofollow tag.
Nofollow was introduced for untrusted links from blogs in particular to counteract blog comment spam. It wasn’t effective.
Anti-spam that works
Various plugins for blogging platforms are wiping out spam on well managed blogs. Give Akismet, Spam Karma or one of the various CAPTCHA plugins for wordpress a try, and they will greatly reduce spam on wordpress, in fact almost emininate it altogether.
Wikipedia Links you can Trust
Wikipedia are now saying they can’t trust the links they give to other people, yet their own high prominence in search engine results is determined by the amount other people, especially bloggers give to them.
Bloggers Have Linked to Wikipedia Millions of times
I would guess that a good half of the inbound links Wikipedia has are from bloggers, and yet that link juice love is not returned. You have to be notable to have a mention in Wikipedia, and we have all seen recently that you have to jump through hoops to be classed as notable.
Hoarding Link Equity
Websites will be linking to Wikipedia, and Wikipedia will not be allowing the link to flow back out. Link equity has to flow, otherwise search engines cannot based on their current algorithms judge relevance.
By hoarding links with no follow, this will have a huge effect on search results, maybe similar to some of the more notable Google algorithm updates.
By not passing on link equity to other sites, Wikipedia themselves become… irrelevant
Why link to Wikipedia with a followable link? They don’t share the link equity back out
It would be easy for Wikipedia to have a system for evaluating whether a link it credible. It could almost be a Digg like system where every link has to be vetted and have more positive votes than negative.
Wow scrape Wikipedia and create… WikiDigg
Actually don’t scrape Wikipedia, but implement a voting system for all links based around OpenID . In fact all editors of Wikipedia should use something like OpenID as well.
Opps yep, most Wikipedia editors are anonymous… they won’t like using OpenID
I would link to Wikipedia to explain what a shill is, but that would be unethical, because their sources of information would not be followed.
Stop Wasting Link Equity
Andy Beal today discussed not linking to Wikipedia any more with a followable link. I quite agree, link equity was designed to flow, that is why I also use a dofollow plugin, so people linking to me or commenting gain a backlink. No spammers get through… What are Wikipedia doing wrong?
The Damage to Search Results
This turns Wikipedia into a black hole of link equity and will have a massive effect on their search rankings because equity will be passed from one page to another internally.
It looks like Wikipedia Stubs will be more relevant now than pages containing real content.
No Follow is Unethical
Lots of the material on Wikipedia has been sourced from other locations as a reference. If the links to reference works are nofollow, how is Google to determine the original source?
Any credits within Wikipedia are now worthless. Is that legal? ethical?
NoFollow Plugin For WordPress?
It is hard work adding rel=”nofollow” to all your links to Wikipedia.
Wouldn’t it be easier to use a plugin? That way all your links to Wikipedia can be wiped out automatically.
If you want a plugin to convert all the links on your blog to Wikipedia, so that they include “nofollow”, please voice your opinion by linking to this post, or leaving a comment.
I should note this is only a proposal, though it wouldn’t take long to create the plugin. If you want it, let me know…