On 5/1/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 5/1/06, Kelly Martin
How does turning on nofollow punish anyone?
Nobody is entitled to
free pagerank just because they've been listed on Wikipedia.
I see two possibilities:
1) Wikipedia specifically has a very high influence on a site's
ranking. In this case, turning off nofollow will alter the shape of
the web in search engines which respect it. If the average quality of
links in Wikipedia is higher than the average quality of links outside
Wikipedia, the quality of these search engine results as a whole will
deteriorate. This is not about entitlement, it is about using the
influence we have responsibly.
2) Due to mirrors, enabling or disabling nofollow has hardly any
visible effect on search engine rankings. In that case, it would be a
As I said, I think timing the addition of external links and enabling
nofollow only for recent additions might be a reasonable compromise.
None of Wikipedia's mirrors has anywhere near the pagerank weight that
Wikipedia itself has. With the exception of a small number of already
high-prominence sites, Wikipedia linkage is almost certainly bound to
substantially alter the rank of a given page in search engine results.
We are writing an encyclopedia, not seeking to influence search engine
result quality. It should not be a serious concern of ours whether
our actions have a positive or negative impact on the value of
Google's product; at the very least, we should not eschew making the a
decision which is correct for us because that choice might have a
detrimental effect on the quality of Google's product. Since leaving
nofollow off encourages SEO spamming, and turning it on discourages
SEO spamming, I see no reason why we should not disable SEO spamming.
The "delay" mechanism not only requires additional technical
complexity but just encourages gaming by SEO people. Just turn it