Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wikipedia NoFollow decision: what can happen next

Criticizing Wikipedia’s recent NoFollow rule, Nicholas Carr asks whether Wikipedia is a black hole.

It sucks up vast quantities of link energy but never releases any.
What happens next
1. Google stops providing link weighting to Wikipedia and moves over to a) sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, about, etc. b) gets serious about inviting people to use its recent buy, Jotspot.

2. Other big sites follow suit and start using the NoFollow tag.

3. Once again, it highlights Google Search’s monopoly and its idiosyncratic ways. Other sites will ask: why did it give prominence to Wikipedia for so long? This hurts the interests of the long tail, the data of which often goes into the work of bigger sites. Maybe it is time we asked more serious questions about Pagerank.

4. Or, Wikipedia sees that it is a stupid decision and corrects it. Others may say that Wikipedia has become too ambitious for its own sake - this NoFollow rule rule comes in the wake of the announcement of a Wikipedia Search Engine.


At 8:26 PM , Anonymous smomashup said...

I was thinking about this as well. I've been wondering what overall changes would come of the decision. I can't see Google giving less relevance to Wikipedia just because it uses something that's available in HTML to control it's traffic. I've kinda been leading towards thinking either nothing will change and Wikipedia will gain #1 position for 90% of it's pages or there might be a shift in the algorithm to give less weight to pages that use "rel=nofollow"... It will definately be interesting to see. Thanks for the great article!


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