Wikipedia Nofollows Links Again – Due To SEOs Abusing Wikipedia

Carsten at Search Engine Journal reports that the English Wikipedia has decided to add the nofollow attribute back to the English Wikipedia space. The decision came from the founder, Jimbo Wales, partially, if not completely, based on a discussion of a new SEO contest, where editors are warned of an onslaught spam, from SEOs and this contest. Joost also gets credit for spotting the news early, also explaining that SEOs are the cause for this.

Editor, A. B., sums up the reason SEOs are targeting the Wikipedia is “In a nutshell, the goal is to “optimize” (i.e., spam) enough links around the web as to make your site show up ahead of everyone else’s.” As you can see, Wikipedia and SEO’s don’t have a good past. Heck, remember Danny’s Open Letter To Wikipedia Editors: Yes, Matt Cutts Is Notable?

FYI, this is not the first time Wikipedia had the nofollow attribute on links. As I noted here the Wikipedia removed the nofollow attribute to some links in November 2005.

Tim Bray argued that we deserve the links Wikipedia gives to us.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Answer Search Engines


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • JEHochman

    Wikipedia and SEOs need to achieve detente. Both have much to gain.

  • Danny Sullivan

    Tell you what, JE — I’m finishing up the SES New York agenda right now. I was strongly considering a session on Wikipedia already. Now I’m virtually certain to do it, with the idea of getting some Wikipedia editors and SEOs together. Let’s see if we can get that detente you want, if not at least some better understanding all around.

  • Lucky Lester

    Wikipedia wants everybody to contribute to the site but wants to censor that material after the work has been done. Perhaps it would be better to follow the link to see if the linked site has something to offer rather than to just add a nofollow to these links. After all an outbound link or two is a small price to pay for some of the awesome content is generated by the users of Wikipedia.

    Get off of your high horse Jimbo Wales and learn from the mistakes made by the overly self important asses at the ODP. You remember them, the ones who regulated themselves out of the good graces of the webmasters that helped to build the Internet.

  • Seth Finkelstein

    The Matt Cutts kerfuffle was an extremely low-level mistake in that some Wikipedia writers aren’t well versed in the problems of determining notable niche experts.

    In contrast, the nofollow issue comes from the very, very top, from the God-King of Wikipedia, and involves MAJOR issues about Wikipedia’s role in the web and PageRank distribution.

  • smoMashup

    How about a new slogan for the Big Wiki:

    Wikipedia – Taking the U out of commUnity

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