Jimmy Wales Appeal
icon32.png Posted: 30 Dec 2008 20:54

I'm sure that most of you have noticed the recent attempt by Wikipedia to monetize their site. This was followed up with an "appeal" by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales asking us to support Wikipedia with a donation. While I recognize Wikipedia as an asset, I think there are some facts about Wikipedia that are often overlooked, details follow.

Wikipedia offers no new or unique data. In fact, it is policy of Wikipedia to include data on subjects that have already been clearly defined. The data stored on Wikipedia is often already copied from other sources verbatim but since Google allocates high authority to Wikipedia, it will rank higher than the source cited within the Wikipedia entry.

Wikipedia utilizes the infamous "nofollow" code

So what's the problem? Wikipedia utilizes the infamous "nofollow" code attached to all external links, the result of this is that Wikipedia robs the original sources used to compose the article of their deserving Google rank, this is why Wikipedia articles often appear on page 1 when performing a search for any given subject. Think about this carefully, sites that author original content on the subject are usually working to monetize their own sites, then Wikipedia grabs that content, refuses to link back with a valid dofollow link, and ranks higher than the original sources. Since Wikipedia ranks higher than the original sources, it receives more visitors, robbing the original site of their own monetizing efforts (one needs visitors to monetize the site).

Wikipedia is saying to Google: "Ignore the original sources and pay attention to us only."

To be fair, the original site may have ranked low to begin with, but if Wikipedia truly valued those sources that has made it more popular, then those original sites should benefit with a dofollow link. Attaching the nofollow tag to all outbound links is a measured method of refusing Google PR to the original sources; Wikipedia is saying to Google: "Ignore the original sources and pay attention to us only."

Jimmy Wales wants us to "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge…" and then goes on to say "That's our commitment". But I say, that goal has already been achieved with the internet and that Wikipedia is not providing this human knowledge, but is merely collecting it from authority sources that don't get credit in the form of search engine rank the way that Wikipedia does.

Wikipedia is driven by more than 150,000 volunteers that relocates information from source A to source B and for this Wikipedia wants 6 million dollars. In my opinion, Wikipedia is the largest Google PR whore on the web and until that changes, I will not support them financially.