When I read today at Search Engine Land An Untapped SEO Opportunity: Image Link Love From Wikipedia I thought I must be dreaming. So the Wikipedia is actually capable of giving credit where due and it will give away some of its precious link juice to those who submit images. Nice maneuver from one of the most controversial websites of the Web.
For me the nofollow attribute on any link at the Wikipedia makes no sense anyway. Wikipedia, as an open source, should give credit to all its users and reward them with at least a link for their contribution if not with money. But the large amount of spam makes the decision behind “nofollow” understandable. Yet now, as we see that this site is ready to give link love for images, the decision will lead in the future to other disputes.
As any such opportunity, it will be abused. Sites that are completely irrelevant and lack quality will find the way to invest in some good quality images just to rip off the benefits of, if not free links from Wikipedia, free traffic.
When the search engines ignore nofollow links, the users will click on them, because the users do follow. They don’t care about HTML tricks and it is their right to follow any link they like.
Because the new SEO opportunity from Wikipedia will lead to a new wave of spam (and soon SEOs will even find definitions for it) the open resource giant will find a way to punish spam in the detriment of the genuine contributors.
And that will give me more to write about…