Sometimes the cure can be a lot worse than the disease.
In the case of WikiPedia one of the issues was the amount of spam that was being added. While it was all being removed as quickly as it was added the editors have decided to add the "nofollow" tag to all outbound links.
If you would like to see the discussion on their mailing list here it is. Some of the posts are interesting and informative. Others sound like they were written by petulant children.
What does this mean?
Basically the "nofollow" tag, which I've mentioned in the past, is used to signal to search engine robots, such as Yahoo's Slurp or Googlebot, that they should ignore the outbound link ie. not follow it for spidering.
In practical terms it means that any links from WikiPedia pages to your site(s) will lose their SEO value.
While I can appreciate how annoying spam links can be, this sort of Draconian solution is totally uncalled for.
(In case you care, which if you are interested in SEO you probably should, all outbound links from comments etc., here use
The net effect of this move is that WikiPedia will become a one way street. The "neighbour" effect will be all but removed.
If a site is an authoritative source of information on a subject then people will link to it. It's only reasonable that an outbound link from that site should be given the weight that it deserves.
So maybe we should all add "nofollow" to our links to them? 🙂
At least that's what Marketing Pilgrim is suggesting and I'd be inclined to agree.. though I generally don't link much to WikiPedia anyway.