I have a content generated site and I am planning to write a tool that data mines the content and links it to relevant articles on Wikipedia

I wanted to understand the SEO cost of doing this link. Is there a negative impact?

If there is a negative impact do you recommend linking with nofollow?

  • How is the content generated?
    – JMC
    Sep 12, 2011 at 17:19
  • So then does Wiki's nofollow rule actually hurt a link's chance of being found on a search, if that link is place under the wiki pages's Reference section?
    – user26872
    Apr 6, 2013 at 18:51

4 Answers 4


Linking out to relevant sites is never a bad thing and may possibly help your rankings (source).

The only time linking to another site may hurt you is when the site is considered by Google to be part of a bad neighborhood (sites that are created to crosslink themselves and boost their ranking or ranking of a main site). By linking to them you are essentially telling Google you are part of that bad neighborhood . (It may take more then one link to do it by why risk it?)


It doesn't hurt anything. Linking out to authority sites, such as Wikipedia, is a good thing to do. I don't think it helps much, if at all, ranking a site but it does make your site look more 'realistic', especially if you're generating/aggregating content in some way.

I'd make the Wikipedia links nofollow as sort of a quid pro quo since they nofollow all of their external links.

  • Wikipedia nofollows their links in articles to prevent spam since they're a UGC site. And they do in fact have plenty of non-nofollow external links. If your link isn't from unvetted UGC content, isn't a paid/traded link, etc. then there's no reason to nofollow it. That does not promote an organic link structure which helps search engines rank content by usefulness to visitors. Apr 6, 2013 at 23:00

As per the link from John Conde's answer, the impact would be positive, according to http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pagerank-sculpting/

In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.

Wikipedia doesn’t send a 404 status for deleted pages, so your automatic checkers for broken links will not find those pages. Broken links may hurt your reputation, they will hurt the user experience. I still haven’t found a solution for this bug. Usually I avoid links to Wikipedia for this reason.

  • i agree with the last review . On my site i have put links to wikipedia , just i thout will help some of my keywords - places , but when i check with some seo tools i got the messages for the wikipedia link " forbiden request " .
    – mancrete
    Mar 7, 2012 at 19:43
  • 1
    Actually, they do send a 404 status for non-existent pages. Try this one for an example. Mar 7, 2012 at 23:07
  • @IlmariKaronen Thanks for the update. Good to see this fixed finally.
    – fuxia
    Mar 7, 2012 at 23:10
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure they've been doing that for over 3 years now. Mar 7, 2012 at 23:22
  • 1
    Also, established Wikipedia pages are unlikely to be removed, and even renamed articles are likely to have a redirect. You're more likely to have dead links to sites like YouTube or just normal non-wiki sites, as the vast majority of the sites on the web, whether it's run by a major corporation or a private individual, have no policy on maintaining a consistent link structure or content persistence. Apr 6, 2013 at 22:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.