Wikipedia has been in the news a lot lately because it put the nofollow tag on certain links posted by authors. Well I think that is not enough. I think they need to exclude their whole site from the search engines and every page needs to load a warning first or the site needs to just shut down. I think Wikipedia was a good idea before the whole world knew about it. The problem with the idea of a WiKi encyclopedia is that you can’t trust it. The founder of Wikipedia says that he gets about 10 e-mail messages a week from students who complain that Wikipedia has earned them fail grades.
I have a teaching jobs website and I noticed in one of the Google result pages that Wikipedia and I both show up on the Wikipedia page was vandalized. (copy (IE only), or pdf in case it gets fixed) I did some research into Wikipedia and that place is a mess. All you have to do is go to the daily posts on the noticeboard/Incidents page to see what a mess that place is.
Google treats Wikipedia like it is a trusted source of information. I do agree Wikipedia does have some pages that are correct and I’m sure the amount of correct information is way in the majority. The problem is erroneous information is dynamic. What might be correct today might be incorrect tomorrow. I can go to any page right now and change data so that it looks right but is a little off and instantly it is public. The people that do obvious vandalism are not the problem the people that do small changes that are hard to detect are the real problems. If the page is not visited often the change may go unnoticed forever.
Wikipedia needs to just shut down. I know they are not going to do this so I think the search engines need to stop giving Wikipedia so much authority. Google is telling the world that it respects the information in Wikipedia. Google not only puts Wikipedia in the index that get special top ranking for any term that ends with the word information. (ex. example) Google gave us the nofollow tag so that website owners could tell Google that it does not trust certain links because they did not put them on the site (ex. comments, forum posts). Just about every page on Wikipedia is made by people who do not work for the website. I say that those pages are the same as comments and should not be trusted by the search engines. Google does not want web sites to use FFA (free for all) link websites. A FFA is a site that posts large lists of unrelated links to anybody who wants them. Wikipedia is a FFA content site and should be treated like a FFA link site.
[tags]wikipedia, google, nofollow[/tags]