Wikipedia’s Black Hole – Time to Watch This

25 Jan
2007

Quite a lot of people have talked about how Wikipedia will become a search engine sponge with its use of nofollow for all external links. Best of those articles was one by Nicholas Carr, in which he talked about and linked to various blog posts about how, with all the inbound links Wikipedia has, it’s poweress in search engine rankings would only grow.

I do have to agree with them. I can understand and even relate to Wikipedia’s problem (on a smaller scale). Blog Top Sites gets roughly 200 submissions a day, and with the amount of spam coming in, we eventually had to take the route of only allowing in sites we had approved. It is a very real problem, and it is a nasty headache.

Yet what Wikipedia has done is admit defeat. It is admitted that its own editors cannot keep up with the deluge of spam. It has become a monolithic structure (one that essentially refuses to acknowledge others). I would go so far to say that it was irresponsible of them – based on their entire community ethos, they have to recognize the importance that Wikipedia plays in search engines. Sticking your head in the sand and pretending that search engines are not affected by Wikipedia is delusional.

It will be interesting to look at the above graph after six months.

Of course, bashing something isn’t fair unless you propose an alternative path. Just like they force logged in users to edit semi-protected pages, why not only force logged in users to add links? At least try it out – what do they have to lose?

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