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Google Needs to Remove Wikipedia From the Index

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]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Brian January 28, 2007, 3:44 pm

    David,

    I agree with the main point of your statement – Wikipedia is a mess and shouldn’t be weighted so high. However, is that weight something Google specifically assigns to Wikipedia, or is it a result of Wikipedia being one of the best-linked sites on the web?

    As far as to the correctness of the information in Wikipedia, every instructor of every class I have taken in University has specifically mentioned that Wikipedia is not a trusted source of information. Many have even gone so far as to indicate that Wikipedia is *not* accepted as a source for any research *at all*. I’ve heard the same from every other College or University student that I’ve talked to.

    Any students (or others) that depend on it have to learn to take it with a grain of salt; personally, I wouldn’t assign the ‘trustworthyness’ of Wikipedia at more than 80%.

  • ogletree January 28, 2007, 5:20 pm

    The fact that all teachers have to make a big deal show how big a problem Wikipedia is. Imagine how many people out there that are not in school are getting bad information from there. They really need to change the name and the format so that it is a forum and not pretending to be an encyclopedia.

  • Qazy February 1, 2007, 2:25 am

    Do one thing; an experiment if you will. Pick several articles at random on wikipedia and change one part of it, however minor. Record the time it takes until the misinformation is changed.

  • Ryan February 1, 2007, 2:12 pm

    Wikipedia is great. Granted, people will vandalize it, but it’s not as big of a problem as teachers are making it out to be. If you’re too dumb to check the sources of the essay you’re reading (which is what Wikipedia is essentially; a collection of essays), then you don’t deserve a passing grade. Check the sources listed on the webpage, and if the information matches up, then the essay is credible. If the MLA doesn’t wanna count Wikipedia as a credible source, then that’s fine. No one’s forcing anyone else to use Wikipedia anyway. Use other sources! Wikipedia isn’t the only damn website on the internet! Regardless, the point is, if you’re not willing to fix the problem, then you’ve got no room to complain.

  • Tim June 30, 2010, 2:52 am

    You are such a gibbon. I wonder if you still think this? Here’s a wake-up call for you – there are incorrect facts in every encyclopedia and every newspaper that ever existed. The difference is that Wikipedia generally tries to provide references and warn users where no reference exists. At least it’s honest about it’s deficiencies.

    Teachers need to take the opportunity to teach kids to be sceptical about *every* source – not just Wikipedia. Sometimes the information you get is right, sometimes it contains mistakes and sometimes it’s deliberate lies through and through. Welcome to the world.

    Of course that doesn’t mean Wikipedia isn’t an incredibly useful tool for communicating, and it doesn’t mean Google should treat it any differently than it treats all websites – fairly. The only people that whinge about it are those that want to blindly accept everything they read.