Wikipedia and rel=”nofollow”

Apparently, Wikipedia has (possibly temporarily) decided to re-add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to outbound links from their encyclopedia pages.

There’s been a lot of heat and light generated about this, most missing one thing: there’s no reason why Google needs to pay attention.

Google, or any other search engine, can treat links in the Wikipedia pages any way they like — including ignoring ‘nofollow’, applying extra anti-spam heuristics of their own, or even trusting the links more highly.

‘Nofollow’ has had pretty much no effect on web-spam, and now is generally festooned all over weblog posts across the internet, both spammed and non-spammed posts, at that. It’d be interesting to see if it’s yet flipped to mean a higher correlation with nonspam than spam content…

Update: It appears Wikipedia used ‘nofollow’ before, so this is not exactly new, either.

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  1. Posted January 25, 2007 at 00:15 | Permalink

    I think google should start phasing out the blind pagerank concept (which started the dick-measuring contest that is link building) and focus on respecting sites which have a lower spam:legit link ratio.

    I’m sad that wikipedia is telling search engines to ignore the relevance of millions of good sites. It makes googles algorithms just that much more useless.

  2. Posted July 22, 2007 at 07:02 | Permalink

    yeah… those stupid wiki’s! wonder what happen if we all use nofollow to them?

    Have a good one.