Wikipedia has added rel=”nofollow” onto URLs in the en.wikipedia.org’s article namespace. This move was in response to a rumor of a “search engine optimization world championship” contest targeting Wikipedia.
The attribute was implemented on January 20th. Here is an example from the Wiki Backlink page showing that the attribute has been inserted into the link code:
While somewhat understandable, this move smacks of unfairness. As Google Blogoscoped points out, “Wikipedia gets valuable backlinks from all over the web, in huge quantity, and of huge importance â€“ normal links, not â€œnofollowâ€ links; this is what makes Wikipedia rank so well â€“ but as of now, theyâ€™re not giving any of this back”.
â€œNofollowâ€ has always been highly controversial. While targeted toward spam, it can also reduce the number of legitimate links as writers seek more backlink friendly sites. Other institutional sites will only care about the link itself and not be bothered about the nofollow attribute.
If you want to fight back, there is now a plugin available to automatically add the nofollow attribute to all outgoing links to Wikipedia.org, regardless of language (link below).