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Imagine you’re Google for as moment (I accept that’s not an easy challenge!). Your job is to do the “right” job and fairly and wisely and correctly rank web pages from all across the internet on any given search term. What a job!
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from Eavesy 2469 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Too right, everyone complains that Wikipedia ranks to well for everything and then everyman and his dog links to them, I don’t get it.

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from dannysullivan 2469 Days ago #
Votes: 3

It’s funny. Every time I link to Wikipedia, I go through a huge debate. Like do they really need another link pointing at them? Isn’t there something better I can do? My "Who’s The Animal House Of Search" story: http://searchengineland.com/070703-122048.php Was a good example of my soul searching here. I had to reference all these comedy movies. Not when it comes to movies, IMDB leaps to mind as THE source over Wikipedia. Yet in some cases, Wikipedia did have the better information. Sadly, in part that’s because they probably drew from IMDB in addition to other sources. It’s also because unlike IMDB, I don’t have to hunt through multiple pages -- Wikipedia gives me one giant overview. So they got the links for some of the movies -- and still will in other articles -- when they’ve earned it. But if I see others that are worthy, absolutely -- I’m giving it to them. One thing that would help is if Wikipedia perhaps would flag key references that get used when compiling a page. Sure, they have references, but sometimes it seems like one reference in particular is relied upon. In those cases, why not call out that key resource?

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from Eavesy 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Deffo, link to them if you have to but if there is a choice always go the other way.

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from rustybrick 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Like you said, sometimes it is just easier to link to Wikipedia. I agree. But as Danny said, sometimes, the information there is rock solid. I try to only link to wikipedia, when I feel the content is accurate.

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from mike 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Define "deserves"? Surely, a free resource that usually has what you want deserves the link most?

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from randfish 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 2

If you do link to them and you’ve struggled with the decision, just slap a condom on it like you would any other link you don’t fully respect/trust. I would find it hard to ever link to the site with 100% confidence, as there’s no way to know whether the information you’ll point to will be accurate a few minutes later. To me, that’s exactly why "nofollow" was created - for links that we’re not sure will lead to trustworthy information.

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from WayneSmallman 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Maybe there other people out there more deserving of the link, but until they get into the top ten on page one of Google, it’s going to be Wikipedia for breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Personally, I at least try to read the stuff I anticipate linking to, which often works wonders when trying figure out whether the recipient is worth the link at all...

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from Lyndon 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Before someone accuses me of a being a complete arsehole, this discussion was intended to be a news story linking to http://www.alistercameron.com/2007/07/13/linking-to-wikipedia-is-lazy-and-a-disservice-to-someone-else-who-really-deserves-the-link/ But it was one of my first goes with Sphinn and I submitted as a discussion when I should have submitted as a news story, it does look atif I have simply pinched Alister Camerons idea and relabeled it as my own. This was not my intention and is not something I do, I apologies if anyone thought these were my words, all credit should go to Alister Cameron. I put it down to the excitement of using the site for the first time and an excellent Chicken Madras. What a dork! Great discussion though.

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from DoshDosh 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I do reference Wikipedia because I think some of their explanations are coherent and well written, while offering a good general overview that works. If its an individual or invented term, I usually default to the creator or ’official website’. Then again I always nofollow all my Wikipedia links... This WP plugin might help: http://whatjapanthinks.com/wikipedia-nofollow/

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from sickanimations 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It makes sense that Wikipedia ranks well seeing that Google’s ranking algorithm was founded on the concept that the best science reports were the ones that were referred to most by other science reports.

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from iamlost 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Bloggarts, like school children, have a lot of assignments to get out of the way so they scribble down some thoughts, reference appropriate encyclopedia entries, and hey presto it’s party time again. I join with Alister Cameron in suggesting many commentators are lazy and further name many foolish for taking SERP as a sign of quality rather than popularity. Google has selfish revenue reasons for giving prominence to Wikipedia, et al and adopting ’universal’ search. But that is another topic for another time. As web readers can, on their own, refer to Wikipedia or online dictionaries and glossaries, etc., bloggarts should, as best practice, directly reference topic leaders and experts. Doing otherwise simply emphasises their laziness, ignorance of the field under discussion, or that they are simply sharing an opinion. We all love a good gossip, especially backed by Wikipedian or National Enquirer factoids.

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from jeanbiri 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

One major reason I reference WP is due to the fact that I can count on the link being active in years to come. There’s nothing more annoying than having to deal with rotten links or pages whose content changed. But I agree, I am not helping deserving sites...

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from MattC 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If the page in question has good content and ranks well then who cares if its Wikipedia you are linking to. Yes, there are always other sites to link to but just because Wiki is popular doesn’t mean your selling out if you link to it. I’d rather link to Wiki if its outranking John Doe’s site. We all love to hate the beautiful people in life but you know you all can’t stop looking :)

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from djeffers 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Is the Wikipedia entry the best answer to the question: "where would my reader want to go next??" I would try and think of something more original, otherwise it’s like ordering pizza for the group because you know that’s safe and everyone will agree on it. But often Wikipedia does have a pretty comprehensive answer to my own questions.

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from SEOhack 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Like Rand and MattC said - don’t trust it, nofollow it. I don’t know that just because someone references wP means they’re lazy. Who in the hell wants to sift through 50 pages of crap just to reference or quote something decent? Sure, not all WP is worth a damn, but not all of it is crap. One persons laziness is another’s being efficient.

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from AlisterCameron 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hey Lyndon, no hard feelings! Just to clarify, my post wasn’t meant to be an attack on Wikipedia, so much as a request to bloggers to be considerate of who they link to and why... Links are the currency of the internet and should be given out with due consideration for what they mean in the SERPs. If Wikipedia just gets the links all the time, then it rises to the top of the SERPs for, I think, a less than adequate reason, not least because it pushes someone else out of that spot. For some/many terms, that may be ok... but for others, not. -Alister

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from todd 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great post, I am guilty of doing this myself... The only thing is that users will likely view Wikipedia as having more credibility than another blog or site that they have never heard of. Sure, this may be a good way to give credit where credit is due and expose new resourceful blogs to users, but there is a slight trade off.

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from aimClear 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Wiki is like my ex-wife, a sad fact of life. I personally think you should have to go to college before you’re allowed to contribute to any official archive of accumulated human knowledge. There are many talented folks who contribute to Wiki. There are idiots and spammers. Google makes Wiki the global authority for way to many people. We all know a significant percentage of it is crap. In this case study the weaker and less credible content sometimes wins, which was never the case with those beautiful books my parents bought me when I was a child.

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from EmperorAnton 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Its really disturbing when sites that should rank for things like their name can not rank for such easy terms. Nothing against Wiki, but those making the sites ought to practice a little SEO prior to going live. For just a little SEO, it isn’t that hard to compete with them... Thanks for the article Alister. I am guilty of using them in posts a little too often.

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from bwelford 2461 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I was going to write against the sentiment at first, since I think the majority of Wikipedia entries are pretty good. Why deprive your visitors of the best source you know about. Then I began to think further and began to go with the idea. I don’t think it’s a disservice to someone else who deserves the link since that may not be true. However to get more variety into search results, it may be an idea to help someone out who should be doing better. OK they didn’t do their SEO well, but that’s true of a lot of people. So if they really deserve to be mentioned, then do so. Indeed go out of your way a little to spot deserving cases. It’s called link-love after all. :)

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from dal 2166 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I disagree, the Wikipedia has alot of good information (and bad) and when I link to it I feel that I am rewarding this great community effort.   Also I link to others as well.   What I find is that most other sites do not approach giving a definition of some term as well as the wiki.   When I link too the wiki it is usally for come technical term that will help a reader that might not be as familiar some help so they can understand the artcile a little more.

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from imprezzio 1789 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Wikipedia always gives me the exact information that I’m looking for.  Until I can EASILY find a site that can provide me with the same information, I have no problem giving them credit.

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