Search Marketing

Can I get my money back, Wikipedia?

I’m not a huge contributor to Wikipedia. However, in the past I have donated some money to the foundation and contributed content to their site. I love Wikipedia… I use it all of the time and I reference it often on my blog. Wikipedia assisted me as well – generating some hits for my site AND Wikipedia improved my overall site rank through links back to me.

Given this view, hasn’t this been a give and take situation? I’ve given Wikipedia money and content. In return, they’ve given me improved search engine ranking and direct hits.

Now Wikipedia is adding nofollow to all external links. That basically knocks out a very key referrer to my blog, so no doubt I will lose search engine placement due to the decision.

I suppose it wouldn’t bother me except that we have both benefited from our business relationship in the past. Wikipedia only got it’s fantastic search engine ranking because:

  • People contributed content
  • People linked to that content

So, here’s the $10 question. Can we all get our money back, Wikipedia? You changed the business relationship to all of your contributors without asking them first. Maybe you’re not worth it, anymore.

To readers of my post a few days ago, you’ll be happy to know that you CAN improve your rankings by commenting with a link back to your website. I have disabled nofollow on my blog. So comment away! Provide some great content and reap the benefits!

14 Comments

  1. 1

    Did you see Andy Beal’s campaign to get people to “nofollow” their links to Wikipedia? It seems only fair.

    I don’t understand the logic behind this latest move by Wikipedia. The whole point of the links on Wikipedia pages is to reference the sites that the articles source their content from. If the sites referenced can’t be trusted enough to have normal links, why should they be trusted as references for an article? I can understand adding “nofollow” to new links until they undergo some sort of review, but adding it permanently to all outgoing links just seems wrong.

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    The whole nofollow issue is a very interesting. By not having the nofollow tags you promote commenting, but also promote spamming (and make the spam that get’s by more effective). I have found Akismet to be effective enough that I agree with what you are doing though…

    As for Wikipedia- just to play devil’s advocate- I am not sure everyone sees it as a give/take relationship, in a financial sense. Yes, an information exchange, but making from a free service like that coud definitely get the community in an uproar. If you were adding good content and pertinent links, it should be fine, but how many spammers were deterred by Wikipedia adding those nofollow tags? Plus, the money you donate is normally to support the site that you use for information, not a kickback ; )

  4. 4

    You bring a good point, but I don’t know what the stats are for between donators and owners of websites with links on wikipedia. I’d assume it was low, but it’s still a good point, but not one that they’d care for – since the whole point of this new decision was to get rid of self-promotion ( I assume you added your own link to wikipedia?)

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    The question really is what did you donate to Wikipedia for? Was it to provide backlinks to your blog or was it to help build an encyclopedia? If you were to argue to have your donation returned, Wikipedia could argue the latter. They aren’t under any obligation to assist with your search engine rankings, although it was always a nice bonus.

    It’s a shame that abuse of the system has lead to nofollow being implemented, but it doesn’t detract from Wikipedia’s goal at all.

  7. 7

    Firstly, thanks for for removing nofollow from your blog. I’ve done the same on mine.

    By adding nofollow to Wikipedia, they are not tackling the problem but just the symptom.

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    I have the feeling that nofollow links will eventually (they might allready do) contribute to your search engine ranking.

    Just think about what a nofollow link is: It’s the most unbiased, unspammed and PR-greed free link on the Net. What search engine in their right mind would disregard this additional information on a websites importance.

    I’m sure Google have a secret nofollow rank for webpages 🙂

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    Changing to no follow was a very misleading step for wiki to take and im sure they suffered in terms on content creation as a result. On the other hand its not all bad, you can still get traffic from your links.

  13. 13

    I jumped into the blog game fairly recently, when wikipedia had already implemented the nofollow thing, so I missed that boat. I must say though, that I linked to an article on one of my blogs from a wikipedia page and it is still a large contributer of traffic.

    • 14

      OK I am trying to get this follow/no follow concept down, and now I get it! Are you saying you submitted an article to Wiki with your link on it, google won’t follow it, but humans will? In an organic sense, that makes sense, in that we want to be valued by humans! They are de-valueing the robots, and elevating the value of humans!

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