Don't Spam Wikipedia

... And Don't Depend on it Either

When Wikipedia first got going, one could sometimes edit a relevant article and insert a link to a website. Because of executive interference, Google has an algorithmic love affair with Wikipedia articles (similar to the love affair it once had with Yahoo! Directory listings and DMOZ). Google has tweaked its algorithm to put anything from Wikipedia near the top of its search results. At one time, this would create a boost in the Google rankings to any web page cited in relevant Wikipedia articles. In other words, for a short time, if there was a link from the Wikipedia article to a web page, then that web page received a significant boost in its rankings at Google.

Once word of this got out within the SEO community, in order to counter the onslaught of SEO people trying to get links from within Wikipedia pages to raise their own website's rankings in Google, Wikipedia made its outbound links all rel="nofollow" and so useless for SEO purposes. Wiki-spamming (getting questionable links from Wikipedia to a website) is just as useless and counter-productive as keyword stuffing a keyword meta tag. Don't do it. It hasn't worked for a long, long time.

My personal observation about Wikipedia is that I often find bias in English-language articles; the same kind of political bias and anti-religious bias that was systemic (and often fatally toxic) in DMOZ and in the old Yahoo! Directory listings. When anyone can edit an article about you or a group you belong to, without regard to their experience, education, certifications, peer review, or good sense (or any other criteria for that matter) then the voices of experience and reason (not to mention the truth) are often drowned out by the opinions of angry degenerates and mobs of hyper-emotional, ill-informed, and self-important morons. Being able to speak English does not automatically make one equal to Mark Twain, or Churchill.

The recent kerfuffle over politically-motivated efforts to redefine what is a "recession?" at Wikipedia (to match up with the political stance taken by President Biden) is a great example of this bias at work. Even Wikipedia says Wikipedia isn't a reliable source to cite within other Wikipedia articles. Yet Google too frequently displays articles from Wikipedia at or near the top of its search results, just as though they were dependable, reliable information.

Google shouldn't give Wikipedia articles as much weight as they do, and neither should we. Even so, we link to quite a few Wikipedia articles from our glossary because they sometimes provide a decent summary of a complex technical subject.

Just my two bits. YMMV.

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