For those of you who are not aware of what Wikipedia is, it is a human edited online encyclopedia which according to Alexa, is the 12th most visited website in the world. Wikipedia as you can probably imagine is a very large website made up of approximately 18 million pages with its homepage scoring a Google Page Rank score of 9, which if you know anything about page rank is very high. It’s not only the homepage of the Wikipedia site which scores highly, but the majority of internal pages also score well with PR5 pages in much abundance.
With Wikipedia becoming such a huge and well established portal for information, Google has recognised the site as a highly authority source of information and subsequently often displays Wikipedia pages within the top 10 results for most search queries.
With the ability of anyone to easily edit the pages to add content or links, Wikipedia’s pages have become the target of many webmasters who have tried spamming these pages to get a link from these high quality pages, but recently the situation has got worse; the latest SEO competition where contestants have to try and rank highly for the term “Globalwarming awareness2007” saw an onslaught of links added to a new page created to describe the competition. Wikipedia immediately took action and removed all the links and have now reported they will be adding the “no follow” attribute to all outgoing links within the whole encyclopedia. This will prevent Page Rank being passed onto to other websites, thus reducing the ability for that website to rank in the search engines due to the strength of the Wikipedia link.
This caused outrage in the blogging community who feel the whole strength of Wikipedia was created by the many hundreds of thousands of small websites all linking to the Wikipedia site without the use of the “no follow” attribute. There is one blogger called Andy Beal who has started a campaign to fight back against Wikipedia be asking all webmasters who currently link to Wikipedia to add the “no follow” attribute to the link, to try and reduce their Page Rank to zero, which I seriously think is pretty much impossible. Andy has even created an image for webmasters to display on their websites which says “NOFOLLOW me to Wikipedia” with the Wikipedia logo covered in a huge red cross.
Go and check out Andy’s site for the full story