There’s a thread on the DigitalPoint Forums asking “Wikipedia gone No Follow?” I assume the contributors have done some checking but it certainly doesn’t seem to be happening on all pages as yet. If it were, I think it would be an excellent move on Wikipedia’s part. If you’re motivated to edit an entry and you get some traffic by the excellence of what you wrote, well so be it. It certainly works for me.
In a sense, Wikipedia is correcting the fallacy in the whole Google PageRank approach. It’s like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. There are some things you can’t measure. If you try to measure them then they’re not the same. Once Google says inlinks will boost a web page’s relevancy, then of course everyone, often supercharged with dumb computer programs, generates as many inlinks as they can.
If Google had been smart they would have kept PageRank as a corporate secret like the KFC or Coca Cola secret recipes. It’s a great principle provided you don’t tell anyone about it. So they should have gone public with the BrinBoost, naming it after the other founder. The BrinBoost would be a measure of the value of the outbound links or outlinks you put on a webpage. If everyone thought that the BrinBoost was the key factor they would be motivated to improve the quality of what they write.
You could even have a BrinBoost ‘thermometer’ with BBs from 0 to 9. They could then have devoted say 5% of their staff to supporting the BrinBoost approach.
They wouldn’t abandon the PageRank thinking of course but it would be buried within those 100 factors they use for assessing relevance. This secret would be known to only a few high priests within the Googleplex. So they’d have the best of both worlds. They in fact would have improved relevancy since people would not be trying to create all those irrelevant inlinks. The PageRank approach would work even better. Who knows Yahoo! and MSN/Live might even have been unaware of the Google secret weapon.
Ah well, it’s too late now and we’ve all got to suffer. Perhaps that “No Follow” approach is something Wikipedia should adopt. If only all the search engine spiders obey, it would clean things up enormously.