Wikipedia And The Nofollow Controversy

| Total Words: 352

If you are not involved in the search engine optimization community, January 21st, 2007 probably held no significance for you. However, if you are a search engine marketer or SEO, you probably remember January 21st as the day that Wikipedia died. To the untrained eye, Wikipedia is exactly the same today as it was six months ago. But, once you dig below the surface and take a look, you can see one difference that has had an impact on the world of search engine optimization: NOFOLLOW.

In the words of Matt Cutts, “rel=”nofollow” attribute is an easy way for a web site to tell search engines that the web site cant or doesnt want to vouch for a link.” Before January 21st, NOFOLLOW was mainly used for blog comments. This helped blog owners cut down on comment spam. NOFOLLOW was also used in some situations to denote a paid link, but this is a whole other controversy that will have to be saved for a different article.

The reason that Wikipedias adoption of NOFOLLOW on every single outgoing link caused such a stir is because many people viewed it as the most hypocritical decision that Wikipedia could have made. The reason that Wikipedia has become...

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