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April 30, 2007

Wikipedia NoFollow Hypocrisy Continues

Nofollow me to WikipediaThe latest example of Wikipedia's hypocrisy is quite revealing.

Recently Wikipedia started adding the no-follow tag to all outgoing links (previously discussed here) but TechCrunch discovered that Nofollow tags are not being added to links to Wikia, Wikipedia's for-profit spin off.

Nik Cubrilovic points out:

The result: wikis included on the white list are granted outbound links that do not contain the “nofollow” tag. These sites benefit directly by receiving higher search engine placements, which is equivalent to additional traffic and authority. Many direct competitors to Wikia, such as Wetpaint, are not included in the white list as of today.

The links to Wikia that don’t have the nofollow tag are created using a special Wikipedia tag wikiasite:. The tag for linking to Wikia pages isn’t mentioned in the help pages for Wikipedia, but there are many references to it throughout Wikipedia and the talk pages on various topics. It is a special type of link known as an Interwiki link, which means that you can use special shortcut tags when linking to other Wiki’s (such as Wikia). The question is, why wouldn’t the nofollow policy apply to inter-wiki links? Specifically since there is an apparent conflict of interest with Wikia, something that you would think that the Wikia team would want to avoid.

Posted in Websites & Cool Links , Wikipedia by usrbingeek at 2007-04-30 23:53 ET (GMT-5) | 2 Comments | Permalink


I notice the new Wiki, Citizendium, is also using nofollow on all links in new articles.

How can they justify this? When all contributors are strictly registered under their own names, with no anonymous users allowed.

And now we hear that links from Wikipedia to any other Wiki-group sites are free of the nofollow attribute.

Surely they are attempting to leap-frog their new commercial sites ahead in the SERPs. It smells of an attempt to dominate the web through these anti-competitive tactics.

Posted by: Sarah at May 4, 2007 11:58 AM

I asked about this on the Citizendium blog. It looks like "WikiMedia" software is now being distributed with rel="nofollow" as the default setting for external links. Larry Sanger hadn't noticed. It has now been fixed. No more "nofollow" on See the Citizendium blog post titled "My promise: a 24-hour application turnaround."

Posted by: Mike at July 25, 2007 04:37 PM

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