[Foundation-l] Interwiki map criteria and nofollow

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Wed May 2 17:17:35 UTC 2007

On 5/2/07, Delirium <delirium at hackish.org> wrote:
> Anthony wrote:
> > On 5/2/07, Rich Holton <richholton at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> As an aside:
> >> Given the volume of complaining that the nofollow policy has generated
> >> from the SEO community, the so-called "link juice" from Wikipedia must
> >> be valuable. Have we considered the possibility of this as a revenue stream?
> >>
> >>
> > I thought about that, and I came to the conclusion that if Wikimedia
> > derived any significant revenue from such a thing the search engines
> > wouldn't like it.  As such they'd probably find a way to either take
> > away the benefit from the links or else lower the rank of Wikipedia
> > itself.
> >
> I'd be surprised if they don't already special-case Wikipedia, nofollow
> or not. Nofollow is merely advisory, and a search engine is free to
> completely ignore it, if they feel ignoring it, or treating it in some
> other unspecified manner, would improve their search results.
I'd be very surprised if they already special-case Wikipedia, as
they've said before that they don't do that sort of thing, and it's
much cleaner from a design standpoint to not fill up code with
special-cases.  They also allegedly asked Jimbo to turn nofollow on,
which would imply that such a move had an actual effect.

It would make a lot more sense if Google just found a way to detect
sites like Wikipedia that were likely to contain user-submitted
content, and apply an algorithm intelligent enough to separate the
wheat from the chaff (using the length of time the link appeared in
the text, for instance).  But if they did that, why bother Jimbo about
whether or not Wikipedia has enabled nofollow?


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