On 5/1/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 5/1/06, Kelly Martin
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.
I agree with this now that it is also clear that mirrors are
deliberately reducing external links. It is clear that Wikipedia's
impact on the ranking of the sites it references must be significant.
I continue to maintain that tagging all links indiscriminately as
"nofollow" is essentially an admission of defeat; it is like saying:
None of our links are worth spidering. We're just a wiki. Please,
search engines, go to some other trusted sites, not to us.
I'd say it's more like saying "Don't assume this link is worth
spidering just because we link to it." That's quite different from
what you're saying.
I don't think our links are bad enough to justify
such an explicit
statement with all the consequences it has. And the continual pounding
of "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia" does nothing to change the fact that
it is a resource used by millions of people, that it is a resource
which is embedded into a larger network known as the WWW, a network
which itself is accessed by most people through portals and search
engines before they arrive at a content source. It is in our interest,
for our own project and for moral reasons, to help people to find high
quality educational resources, as opposed to those which are promoted
from within typically corporate, "trusted" frameworks such as AOL or
Ultimately I think the search engines are in the best position to
determine how best to accomplish the goal of helping people find the
resources they're looking for. And I think it's a very open question
whether treating links from a wiki differently from links on a site
with more tightly controlled access, helps a search engine guide
people to high quality educational resources.
Of course if Wikipedia had the time and resources to dedicate to such
a problem, a better solution would be to have a relatively small group
of individuals go through and mark links as followable or not
followable (high quality educational resource, or spam) manually. But
I don't think that's reasonable.
Maybe putting a time-delay on the attribute is a good enough
compromise. I don't know. IANA search engine guru.
The fact that Wikipedia maintains community-created
lists of topical
links has always been, to me, one of its strongest points, one of the
best ways to further explore and find relevant information on a topic.
Sure, Wikipedia is great for that. But I really don't see how
relevant to the nofollow tag, which is a tag for bots, and more
specifically search engine spiders, not humans.
Do we, essentially, want an invisible wall of
user-generated content and content from "trusted" sites? Or do we want
a better solution? I don't like nofollow. It is a hack. It lacks
On this point I agree. Maybe Google or one of the search engines
looking to compete with them would be willing to consider a better
tagging system. <a href=blah type=wiki firstadded=20060501195702> or
somesuch. "Nofollow" is definitely a poor terminology. The tag
should describe the link, not try to dictate to search engines what to
do with it.