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‘No More Of Scamming Allowed Now’ – Wikipedia Tells Hackers

Wikipedia has begun instructing search engines that they should ignore links to external sites. A 'nofollow' attribute has been implemented by Wikipedia in its move to reduce or limit linkspam. This will save the hyperlinks from being webbed by search engines or from being used for determining the popularity of a website with the help of mechanisms like PageRank of Google.

The encyclopedia took this measure in return of a SEO content challenging webmasters to acquire top ranking with popular search engines for 'Globalwarming awareness2007' query. A spam entry was created by a participant on the website. The entry included a hyperlink that leads the users to his homepage.

Blogging providers first introduced the 'nofollow' tag in an attempt to curtail spam links' flow in comments on blogs.

Wikipedia became a favorite among spammers due to its excessive popularity combined with the ability to add any user and edit its content. While it's easy to catch obvious misstatements, those that are less obvious can remain unseen for longer time periods.

Wikipedia is the biggest target because spammers can get big payoffs if successful in hosting a link on it. Wikipedia is no doubt the single largest encyclopedia out there. With 'nofollow' tag set to active, link spammers wouldn't find wikis a good target any more.

While this move received great applauses from most authors, there were some who criticized it too. In his blog, Nicholas Carr - business author - cautions the outer links provide the site builders with a means to 'give back'. These site builders provide useful info as the links let them enhance their online repute.

Carr also noted, from the perspective of combating the menace of spams this move is certainly explicable. But, it turns the encyclopedia into something like a black hole over the Internet. A hole that sucks up link energy in large quantities but releases nothing.

Google inaugurated 'Nofollow' in 2004. The tag was introduced, as a tool to combat comment spam emails on blogs, however now it is a decisive approach in trying to deter scammers from abusing the sites and the listings of search engines.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 1/27/2007

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