The Rise of Wikipedia = The Fall of DMOZ?

Jul 26, 2006 • 8:28 am | comments (7) by twitter | Filed Under Other Search Topics
 

Wikipedia is, by its own "simple self portrait" an encyclopedia that anyone can change or add-to. Of course, there are editors, who seem to do a pretty good job of keeping content relevant and useful, and of removing blatant attempts of "link dropping." DMOZ, conversely, is a human edited directory of websites which has had its fair share of problems and accusations of corruption.

A recent thread at WebMasterWorld Forums discusses how a member seems to be seeing more and more Wikipedia pages indexed highly in Google search results. Others concur (including me). Does this mean that Google is starting to place as much or more faith in Wikipedia references as those from long-trusted and powerful DMOZ? The member asks about the seemingly fruitless process of submitting to DMOZ:

Why should I bother now when Wiki sits atop Google (for nearly every information search term) and they let you add your link if you have a extra good resource.

Good discussion follows. Naturally, any discussion about DMOZ will lead to agreement about the headaches associated with submission and acceptance. It also is beginning to seem many people are wary of the "Web 2.0" folksonomy aspect of Wikipedia - and how much you can trust it. I have seen examples of people actually attacking Wikipedia's credibility quite often in forums and even in comments to posts in here where I have "dared" to use Wikipedia as a reference link. Some call it a mere content-thief. Some "interesting" people even compare Wikipedia to a cult.

The main point is, however, will Wikipedia help to affect your own search engine rankings if you have a listing there? As one comment points out:

You're missing the point. Wikipedia pages might rank well, but that's not the same thing as saying that out-bound links from Wikipedia are valuable. Google doesn't have to PR0 a directory to devalue it's OBL’s (outbound links).

It may be wise if you are a brand owner to ensure that your brand has not been ill-defined by a competitor or even someone who is just a little too excited about your product or service. I would recommend taking the time to at least submit an article before that happens...

Join the thread at WebMasterWorld Forums. Another related WebMasterWorld thread discusses Wikipedia getting two listings in Google for one term.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

07/26/2006 06:02 pm

These kinds of discussions underscore just how much ignorance is passed around the SEO community. So now we're judging the quality of links by which position a page gets in a search result again? When will that dog die for the last time? WikiPedia pages perform well in search results because of their inherent on-page optimization and because of their inbound links. WikiPedia remains a horrible source of information because it can be changed by anyone and is filled with insane articles that have been created or edited for anything other than the purest of reasons. Nonetheless, like all fads it will continue to gain popularity until enough people get burned by its nonsense that they start to lose interest in it. Just as is happening to DMOZ. Just as has happened to many other fad sites. In the meantime, the WikiLink Debate will continue and people will continue to link drop there, and there is nothing new on the topic.

Barry Schwartz

07/26/2006 06:15 pm

Thank you for your feedback, we do listen to it, honestly.

C

07/27/2006 04:04 pm

One thing you might not be aware of -- Wikipedia adds "rel=nofollow" to links in all "behind-the-scenes" pages (i.e, all Talk:, Wikipedia:, Help: namespaces), and in all non-English languages (which don't have as large a community to police spam). They are seriously considering using it in the main encyclopedia namespace in the English Wikipedia as well, precisely because so many spammy bozos are abusing the edit privilege. The community doesn't want to "punish" good sites linked in References or External links sections, by turning nofollow on, but other measures for combatting spam are only working on a case-by-case basis (blocking spamming users, using a spam-block list to prevent addition of frequently spammed domains, etc.)

chris boggs

07/28/2006 03:44 pm

thanks C for the helpful information! :)

Julie

01/23/2007 02:51 pm

FYI...In the past week Wikipedia has added the "nofollow" tag to all outgoing links.

Barry Schwartz

01/23/2007 03:00 pm

We are well aware of that Julie, See http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/007246.html

Telvin Evers

07/03/2010 07:18 am

Martinez, while anyone can change Wikipedia, anyone can undo that edit, and back and forth, and countless others watch and check edits. If one guy tries to write a self-promoting article, another will re-write the article or have it deleted. Survival of edits is what determines success on Wikipedia. Usually if anything very promotionally written or poorly written survives, the subject itself is marginal. Even if your comments were somewhat true in 2006, things have changed with organization, automation, and patrolling of edits, so your comments by and large aren't true in 2010. Martinez: "WikiPedia remains a horrible source of information because it can be changed by anyone and is filled with insane articles that have been created or edited for anything other than the purest of reasons. Nonetheless, like all fads it will continue to gain popularity until enough people get burned by its nonsense that they start to lose interest in it."

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