SEO's Force Wikipedia to Add Nofollow Back To Wikipedia Links

Jan 22, 2007 • 7:13 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under

A Cre8asite Forums thread reports that Wikipedia has added nofollow attributes to all the links within the English Wikipedia. Joost had the scoop sharing that due to the most recent SEO contest, the founder, Jimbo Wales, has ordered that the nofollow be added back to all links within the "'s article namespace."

Wikipedia did have the nofollow attribute on all those links in the past, but removed the nofollow attribute from the Wikipedia in November 2005.

The Cre8asite Forums thread has lots of discussion on if this is a good thing or bad thing. The reason Wikipeda made this move was to discourage "vandalism" but has the nofollow attribute discouraged vandalism in the blogosphere? I honestly can not say it has.

In any event, most folks in the thread feel this is a good move. I think it is wise for Wikipedia to give this a try one more time and see if it works. They can always decide in a few months if they want to keep the nofollow on or remove it. Either way, they will be able to test their theory.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums & DigitalPoint Forums.

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01/22/2007 03:54 pm

It may no longer pass PageRank ...but I have a feeling the engines will still rely on Wikipedia for determining relevancy. It is just too good of a resource.

Bill Hartzer

01/22/2007 09:27 pm

I think you need to change the title: it's not SEOs who are forcing wikipedia to add nofollow, it's spammers who are forcing wikipedia to add nofollow. I'd like to think that SEOs generally are not spammers. Spammers are people who try to get their link wherever possible, like on sites like wikipedia. SEOs are a tad bit more intelligent, I'd like to think. The problem is not going away, the spammers will still try to drop links to their sites. Adding a nofollow really won't solve the problem. The best way to handle it would be to remove the outgoing links completely or to only allow wikipedia editors or staff to edit the outgoing links.

Barry Schwartz

01/22/2007 09:30 pm

Bill, I knew someone would beat me up on the title. That was my point. Wikipedia is generalizing SEOs and spammers. They use the word, SEO, for the people causing them to add nofollow.

David Eaves

01/23/2007 10:49 am

I have seen a few SEO contest entries in Wikipedia, I think it is a shame the people who have earnt a bit of link love from Wiki should be punished by these spammers. Should SEOmoz still take this into consideration when calculating Page Stength?


01/23/2007 04:04 pm

It's definately going to be interesting seeing how this all plays out. Important to remember that while it might be SEO's and Spammers that might cause problems there, it's the general public that gets the backhand of all of this. Most of them would never even know...


01/23/2007 04:21 pm

So where will this stop? If we have nofollow links on Wikipedia, what site might be next? MySpace links help promote bands, venues, and small businesses (alone with tons of spammers). Others who currently use nofollow links: Blogger, WordPress, Flickr, MSN Spaces, etc. Where does the line get drawn? This is not the way to inspire participation in online communities - IMHO. Eventually nobody will get any link love and once again the algorithms will have to be modified accordingly.


01/24/2007 11:26 pm

It would be better that all sites will use nofollow so Google will change their minds.

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