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Wikimedia press releases/English Wikipedia tags all links NoFollow

Note: In the second paragraph, XXXX, XXXX should be filled with your name and project, as the volunteering participant to Wikimedia project who will send this press release to the press.

English language Wikipedia Tags All Links NoFollowEdit

The community of the English language Wikipedia has agreed to tag all links on the website “nofollow” to combat the misconduct of spammers and search-engines optimization strategists who currently flood the site with useless links that threaten the quality of Wikipedia.

”Wikipedia is under siege by spammers and SEO strategists. Our volunteers waste numerous hours a day repairing the damage caused by these groups – time that could be spent improving the quality of our articles... Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia where people go to find information, it is not a place where people go to be marketed to,” states xxxxx, xxxxx.

Tagging a link nofollow tells search engines not to treat it like a recommendation that will improve the search result ranking of the linked website. The measure therefore deters individuals from using Wikipedia as a marketing vehicle. This is important, since marketing on Wikipedia specifically goes against one of the website’s five pillars: Neutral Point of View (NPOV - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view).

NPOV essentially means that articles should be written in a way that advocates no particular point of view. Spamming and marketing, by nature, compromise this founding principle.

In the past, Wikipedia made a conscious decision to not sell advertising on the site, thus forfeiting millions in potential revenue. Consequently, what can be considered “stealth SEO marketing or spamming” is not any more desirable.

"Ensuring that our content is not being compromised by spammers or marketers is important to our community. Other websites and avenues exist where that type of behavior is acceptable. We want to keep Wikipedia as a sort of save haven for knowledge seekers," states xxxx.

According to current Wikipedia guidelines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:External_links), links are acceptable if they are used to source content in an article entry, or if they provide readers with alternative informative website, that relates specifically to an article entry.

In early 2005, Google announced that hyperlinks with rel="nofollow" attribute would not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. The Yahoo and MSN search engines also respect this tag. "Nofollow" has been used by every other Wikipedia language since 2005, as well as .

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