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Wikipedia and Search-Engines


John Simkin
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The Guardian reported yesterday that Jimmy Wales has “declared that every outgoing link from Wikipedia should have a ‘no follow’ tag.” It is claimed that the reason for this is that spammers have tried to exploit Wikipedia by placing links in order to increase search-engine rankings. This is clearly not true. Editors can deal with spammers. If links provide useful information, they should be allowed to remain. Links should also be used to substantiate information in the narrative as references.

The real reason that Wikipedia does not want to use these links is that it shows the way the encyclopedia steals information from other websites. When I have tried to expose this activity by placing links to my pages, they have been removed and I have been accused of being a spammer. As we have seen on the thread below, when others have attempted to do this, they have been banned from editing Wikipedia.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=8861

Wikipedia have now got their position at the top of all search-engines for virtually any search. For example, take the case of former CIA operative “Theodore Shackley”. If you do a search at Google, Wikipedia, comes first.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Shackley

Compare the detail of the Wikipedia with my page that appears in 7th place.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKshackley.htm

Note the number of links that I give in the page, including several links to Wikipedia. What page would a student find most useful?

More importantly, look at the page that appears in 4th place.

http://www.answers.com/topic/theodore-shackley

This is a complete copy of the Wikipedia page. The only difference is that this page contains adverts. Is this an example of Jimmy Wales making money from the many people who created the original Wikipedia article?

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The Guardian reported yesterday that Jimmy Wales has “declared that every outgoing link from Wikipedia should have a ‘no follow’ tag.” It is claimed that the reason for this is that spammers have tried to exploit Wikipedia by placing links in order to increase search-engine rankings. This is clearly not true. Editors can deal with spammers. If links provide useful information, they should be allowed to remain. Links should also be used to substantiate information in the narrative as references.

To clarify: this policy change at the English Wikipedia ('no follow' used to apply only to Wikipedia's Talk pages) is not intended to affect the usage of outgoing links. Such links should remain. The 'no follow' is only a traffic sign put up that search engine spider programs will follow. Human users will notice nothing.

The point is to deter spammers who are only after better page ranking for their own sites. Wikipedia being an almost entirely volunteer operation, 'editors can deal with spammers' is true only up to a point.

By the way, the Answers.com mirror site (one of many WP mirrors) is run by a NASDAQ-quoted company: see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answers.com

Edited by Charles Matthews
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By the way, the Answers.com mirror site (one of many WP mirrors) is run by a NASDAQ-quoted company: see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answers.com

They are therefore guilty of taking the material produced by people free of charge (often stolen from other people's websites). Jimmy Wales cannot put advertising on his own website because people would understandably complain that he is making money from his volunteers. However, there is nothing to stop Answers, paying Wales money for taking Wikipedia material.

What I do not understand is how Answers get such high ranking for producing a duplicate page. I thought Google was supposed to have technology to stop this happening.

Answers is not the only website stealing Wikipedia material (although it is the most successful with its search-engine rankings). This is a list provided by Wikipedia Review:

www.reference.com

www.arthistoryclub.com

www.quickseek.com

www.omnipelagos.com

www.chemistrydaily.com

www.historymania.com

www.all-dictionaries.com/encyclopedia

www.worldwardiary.com

www.painreliefchat.com

www.gardeningdaily.com

150games.com

1911encyclopedia.org

1911ency.org

1bx.com

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207.150.180.135

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209.172.55.126

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500ml.org

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By the way, the Answers.com mirror site (one of many WP mirrors) is run by a NASDAQ-quoted company: see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answers.com

They are therefore guilty of taking the material produced by people free of charge (often stolen from other people's websites). Jimmy Wales cannot put advertising on his own website because people would understandably complain that he is making money from his volunteers. However, there is nothing to stop Answers, paying Wales money for taking Wikipedia material.

Would be nice of them. Under the GFDL license (Wikipedia's form of 'public domain') the material from Wikipedia can freely be used by others, as long as the source is properly acknowledged.

Nothing 'stolen' should remain on Wikipedia. I have posted before about copyright violation.

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