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More Search Marketing BS: The Players get their Feathers Ruffled

The other day I got upset about Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine Land publishing an article which suggested search marketers could get “free links” by spamming the new Wired Wiki. I called his choice of headlines “stupid”. You can read it on this blog… it is the previous post. Not only was his an irresponsible headline, but the professional position taken by the SearchEngineLand people was that Google’s “rel=nofollow” attribute should be assigned by default to web publications — something I disagree with completely. As someone else pointed out, even Danny Sullivan’s own Sphinn web site doesn’t use nofollow. Anyway, Danny Sullivan (the most popular guy in search?) got upset and posted lengthy comments here, on Sphinn, and on his web sites. I also got one as email.

But what really bothers me is the comment posted here by someone claiming to be Rand Fishkin. It was posted by “randfish” with the address of seomoz, and you can also read it on the previous post. It is pretty ugly. It reads thusly:

This blog post (and a similar one from another source) are pure hypocrisy, crass negative link (and attention) baiting and feed off the natural draw of drama on the Internet. For shame, John. To think I had respected you, invited you to events and even recommended your services. On occasion, your posts and comments have made me question your integrity or worry that my respect for you was unfounded. Here, you’ve sealed the deal. “Trashy sensationalism that crossed ethical borders for the sake of short term audience attention grabbing” Repulsive, derisive filth (and obvious hypocrisy). Disgusting.

I warned you it was ugly. But I’m not sure it’s real. So I am calling on Rand Fishkin to confirm that he did indeed author that comment, before I remove it from moderation (and address it). You see, fact is, despite what this comment says, I have ever ever even met Rand Fishkin (nor has he met me). I have never been introduced to him, nor him to me. No handshake. Nothing. Never did a gig together; never chatted at any conferences… I know of the guy, but that’s all. Which is why his posting that crap comment on my blog is so “interesting” to me.

See the part where it says he had been recommending me, but would now stop? If we have never met, that really doesn’t make sense, does it? And the part about questioning my integrity? Well.. I’ll wait to address that.. I don’t want to be misled by a FakeRandFishkin or anything like that, if this really isn’t the same Rand Fishkin from seoMOZ.

So if anyone does actually know Rand Fishkin, please ask him to post a comment on one of his own properties to prove that he really did submit this comment here, on my blog. It might be best to drop a note over here as well so I will see it. We need to clear up a few things.

Update: End of story. Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ admits to writing that comment, and apparently admits so proudly. He also retracted an invitation to have lunch, which he sent me years ago. Funny, really. He has never met me, and makes up that crap to try and make it look like he’s a long time friend now losing his confidence in me and distancing himself. What trash. And the scariest part of all this… he had the balls to jump on what looked like an opportunity to trash me for what.. to gain favor of Danny Sullivan? At what cost?

Ruffled feathers. Boo hoo Rand doesn’t like me any more. I guess the four times I turned him down for lunch/coffee/meetup over the past 3 years didn’t hold any clue. But that’s not the point. The point is, even though I disagree with just about every position he takes, and dislike most what he says publicly, I don’t dump my critical comments in his living room for everyone to read. Some people have no class.

Update again: oops… silly me. I just noticed Rand Fishkin has been hawking Danny Sullivan’s upcoming SMX West Conference. Duh.  Rand says right in his super-promotional “article” that “Danny, Chris, Michelle, Karen, & other Chris aren’t just people I respect and work with; they’re friends…SEOmoz does have a partnership with Third Door Media…apologies in advance for the somewhat promotional nature…” Okay so call me ignorant… I didn’t know Rand was shilling for Danny, but that explains alot.

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26 Responses to “More Search Marketing BS: The Players get their Feathers Ruffled”

  1. Burgo Says:

    Or, instead of waiting to see if Rand picks up on this, you could always contact him directly… his email is available on his profile page

    Something tells me that may be more constructive than the trolling that may come out of a post such as this :)

    @Burgo: Email was sent, with no response so far. A second comment appeared on another site, of a similar nature. It appears someone is working an agenda. Pretty sad if it’s an opportunistic one, but I have to wait and see.

  2. randfish Says:

    I confirm that I left it. Just emailed you about it, John. That was a despicable thing to write and this blog post merely confirms that you’re seeking nothing but publicity and attention from your negative attacks. Thanks for confirming anyone’s suspicion on the subject < -- Editor's note to the reader: the bold portion of Rand’s comment is called “issue framing”. It’s a deceptive practice. It is intended to skew the reader’s perspective to support an otherwise baseless claim made by the author (that everyone was thinking I make negative attacks for publicity).  Thank Rand for the demonstrative example. He’s not great at it, but clearly schooled.

    @rand: thanks for the confirm and the laugh. You lost your credibility for criticizing others long ago, and confirmed your status several times in ’07 from what I recall reading. Oh, and by the way, you’re not welcomed here. And it has nothing to do with your criticizing me; it’s your judgment and your ethics. I find them off-putting.

  3. Stuart Says:

    Somehow Rand makes it all sound like handbags at 10 paces.

  4. Burgo Says:

    Well, that really surprises (and disappoints) me. While I have to admit John, that when I first saw this post I thought – as stated in my previous comment – that it could have perhaps been handled with a direct email (instead of a post that was guaranteed to pour fuel to the fire), I’m still disappointed that the original comment was indeed from Rand.
    Ah well.

  5. Alex Says:

    Can’t we just all get along. No wait we can’t because there are those who are willing to bend ass backwards to the Google camps every whim and stance on SEO. Google is like the friend that keeps you around while it is beneficial to them, as soon as they don’t need you and convince everyone that PPC is all you need to market online, they will drop and punish all your sites with no remorse. What you call white hat now, will be black hat tomorrow. I am sick of the candy coated SEO like SEOMoz.

  6. john andrews Says:

    @Alex: I’m glad you understood my reference to PPC. Danny emailed me with the big WTF on that.. he didn’t get what PPC had at all to do with any of this, or why I mentioned it. Alas, not everyone gets everything on the first pass. tfb?

    @Burgo: I, too suffer disappointment. I couldn’t care less about differences of opinion or clashes of friendships, cause we should all be able to deal with those, but I hate disappointment. For me, the disappointment was that Rand feels so low of me he had the balls to post that on my blog. Tsk tsk… should have known better.

  7. Burgo Says:

    PS. “Handbags at 10 paces”… bwahaha :P

  8. IncrediBILL Says:

    It looks like we have a serious case of twisted knickers gone wild here and the emotions you stirred up in the SEO industry are priceless.

    I was stunned when I saw Rand’s comment that you moderated and now I’m completely blown away at the confirmation that someone wasn’t just messing with your head.

    Strong words and ill will all over Danny slapping Wired upside the head.

    Seriously, the place is called “Wired” so I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for a site about technology that shoud’ve known better, so I didn’t see them being bullied in the first place exactly, but it doesn’t matter anymore as that ship has sailed.

    But the comments and emotions over it…

    WOW!

    Did I say WOW?

    WOW!

  9. john andrews Says:

    Always happy to keep you entertained, Bill. Someone should write about just how fragile this industry is, like a house built on sand. A few shakes and things start falling apart. You know the people who invest have to be shaking in their boots… buying into a dream, discovering it is nothing but a dream?

  10. Danny Sullivan Says:

    Editor’s note to readers: I added moderation to the johnon.com blog because Rand Fishkin dropped a rude personal comment and also because I was getting very lengthy commentary which I felt restated things ad-nauseum, possibly innocently but also effectively re-framing the issues in the process. I have now approved every one that wasn’t clearly duplicate, except this last one from Danny Sullivan. Out of fairness I will publish it, because he submitted it like 4 times trying to get it past moderation, but also because he’s sufficiently distanced himself from Rand Fishkin (via email) and I trust him at face value again.

    I am, however, taking the liberty to add comentary (in bold) following his assertions, so as to minimize the bias that can come out of re-stating issues in new contexts. Danny is free to continue to comment if he’s unhappy with my additions, but seriously, think twice about it. Aside from the personal thing with Rand, I don’t see the value in beating this thing to death so much.

    Sigh. So…

    1) It was irresponsible, and I’ve said so and apologized for it several times.

    By “it” Danny means the original post about “free links from Wired”. I haven’t suggested otherwise, except to note that even though Danny apologized, he leaves the article published, where it still has an impact on the public perception of search marketing as spamming. So we really don’t need to say over and over ‘I apologized already”, which creates an impression that people won’t accept his apology or are being unreasonable or won’t let it rest. We all acepted his apology right away. If Danny want to address a current concern, Danny can tell us why the article you apologized for remains published, and why that is a good thing for the search marketing industry.

    2) It’s not Google’s nofollow attibute. It’s a common standard back by Google and many other companies.

    I have to disagree with this, as those “many other companies” such as WordPress and TypePad were apparently herded into a collaborative support agreement for the sake of survival, in the face of an onslaught of comment spam. The nofollow atribute would never get “common standard” support, as virtually any standards body would sensibly kill it — html anchor attributes were not designed nor to they support the role proposed for nofollow. Many, many people have discussed this at length, and several comments from those same companies over the years have suggested they were not completely happy with the way Google worked that arrangement. Some have recanted much of their initial support. Michael Gray has covered this at length, numerous times, with more comprehensive coverage than I can provide here.
    3) We didn’t say it was something that should be placed on default, which I’ve explained already, but you persist in saying this.

    My impression from your statements was that any sensible web publisher would or wil eventually realize nofollow is necessary. Even your descriptions of the outcome of the discussion (with Wired making some changes) suggests nofollow is a smart move. I disagree, and what I have said is I felt it was bullying behavior for SearchEngineLand to throw it’s audience behind the idea that if they didn’t add nofollow, they created the problem.

    4) I wasn’t upset here. I was trying to clarify some of the things you described us saying, which we did not say.

    5) Rand can stop recommending you for whatever. I think you write interesting things here, which is why I’ve long had you on our SEL blogroll, why I posted recently on this blog that I liked it, and I’ll continue to tell people there’s a lot of good stuff to be found here.

    Thanks. I appreciate the compliment.

    6) Rand doesn’t need to gain favor with me. I like Rand personally, plus we do have a marketing relationship already, though we also disagree on things as well (see the SEOmoz quiz or at SEOmoz our squabble about how surveys should be done. I would assume that Rand didn’t like the tone of your original article and felt he needed to defend me simple because some people dislike seeing things in print they don’t agree with without offering their own opinion. You welcome opinions, as you’ve told me — why not have simply let Rand offer his opinion, even if you disagree with it. It really required you to do another post. You gave me lumps; I offered my thoughts on that, but in the end, I take those lumps. So does anyone who publishes.

    I would agree completely if Rand had simpky stated his opinion. But Rand framed it within deceptive language, suggesting that he knew me, had enjoyed faith in my integrity and competence, and that he shared that trust with others he trusted (by recommending me). It seems those were lies (because Rand has never met me and doesn’t know me), and I have to assume the framing was an attempt to discredit me among my peers (here, on MY blog). That, to me, is a personal attack, not a difference of opinion. Perhaps worst of all, it seems to suggest Rand’s low opinion of my personal character, an unsolicited judgment I take very, very personally.

    You are correct that I welcome strong opinons here… fire away, comments open, limited use of nofollow. But if you get nasty, you better have a good reason because I can only forgive personal attacks when they are born of ignorance or error, not malice or greed or stupidity.
    7) It is the conference you called a waste of time by looking at the agenda initially. It’s also the conference that I gave you a free pass to attend, asking you “if it’s not up to snuff, let me know.” You emailed me that it was “better than I expected,” though I never read anything on your site saying this. Looking today, I did see in your comments on the original post that you didn’t get an full access pass, though it sounds like you did get full access in the end. I apologize for this — it should have been a full access pass from the start, and if I’d realized the hassle, I’d have corrected it immediately.

    Earlier you said that “I wasn’t upset here. I was trying to clarify some of the things you described us saying, which we did not say” Now here, where you say “It is the conference you called a waste of time” it seems you do the same. Those were not my words, yet here you say I said them. See the problem? We’re not communicating very well.

    I said SMX Advanced was not advanced (based on the published agenda) and didn’t seem worth $100 per hour of my time (especially when there was a good deal of “filler” built into the agenda at that time). I never discussed the problems I faced with the pass I was given (until yesterday), because I was being gracious. If I was not gracious last night when I mentioned the poor treatment I received at SMX Seattle, blame Rand. He pissed me off.

    8) On the WTF about Google and your entire paid search tangent, I get it now. Apparently you were implying that I was pushing nofollow to gain favor with Google, as part of the Google campaign that you only need to do paid search. I guess. I don’t know. That’s why I emailed you about it. But as I also emailed, I’ve written that search marketing is more than just paid search. Indeed, I strongly resent anyone who likes to make it seem like SEO has no place at the search table. Don’t write me into doing that, because I’m not.

    Not exactly. It seems to many of us that many of the Google Rules (all o fthe modern ones?) block honest organic efforts to rank in search, while supporting the ever-increasingly-expensive Google paid advertising platform, even as it’s performance dwindles. As each rule is imposed, we (society of web publishers and content creators) need to question, to help keep Google honest (as a search engine). Some of us feel large, prominant, community-supported organizations (like Search Engine Land and SEOMOz) have a responsibility to at least play fairly. When coverage appears to support a bias, in my opinion it needs to be questioned.

    Clearly to many of us,support for nofollow as required defense for web publishers, is biased towards supporting Google. You and I may disagree on that, which is fine, as long as you don’t insult my mother or suggest that you won’t be my friend anymore after all these years as best friends, because of my position.

    In the end, John, it’s not that the industry is fragile. It’s that the industry is great because you still have people who actually care about things within it. You care. I care. Rand cares. Everyone can question our various motives — correctly or not — but it’s not just a business to us.

    I am not so giving to grant that Rand cares more about this industry than him self. That’s my right, and until today I refrained from saying that publicly (why would I trash Rand?).

    I emailed you, and I’ve responded to you, because you’ve said intelligent and important things about the space. You deserve respect, and you generally have mine — even if I disagree with you on some points and may have no respect for particular twist that you do. That’s why I’ve given you my time in responses both publicly and privately.

    Likewise. Thanks.

    In terms of this fracas, I have absolutely no interest in watching a John-Danny war erupt, especially when I actually agree with you on an amazing number of topics. I have no interest in watching that escalate into a Rand fight as well.

    I shouldn’t have published the Wired article. I’m sorry it led you to feel you had to post your public disappointment with Search Engine Land, and that it has grown into what some want to describe as “camp versus camp.” I don’t see it that way — I see a lot of people expressing their individual opinions. But it stems however it has happened from me giving the go ahead on an irresponsible article.

  11. Natasha Robinson Says:

    Dang! One of the last things I said to a co-worker last Friday on reading the SEL article is “see this is why they call us spammers).” (A gut reation that many – especially those not in this industry – would get if the article had not be updated) now I get up this morning, read the comments over on SEL and then this post. Dang, helluva weekend!

    Well John, ya know how I feel about Rand – IMO of the nicest guys in SEO – and ya know I luv ya – dinner with you is one of my all time SEO highlights – but in this Battle Of Washington SEOs: Round One, I can’t see how either of you is gonna come out a winner. I only see this one getting far worse before it gets any better.

    @Natasha: No need to choose sides, Natasha. I would never support that kind of thing, and I hope I don’t appear to be taking such a stance here. Personally I have no clue what Rand Fishkin’s motivations are (and as you are already aware, I don’t care). If my not liking Rand didn’t bother you before, then no need for worry.

  12. webprofessor Says:

    I’m not really surprised. The SEO “community” is a big f**king circle jerk.

    @webprofessor: umm… thans for the comment. Sorry about the censorship… just thought in this case it worked well.  

  13. Doug Heil Says:

    Oh my. Oh my goodness. John; I have disagreed with lots of your positions on things but I have also agreed with you on things you write. On this; oh yeah, I agree with you totally. The industry make-up is way past the baby stage; it’s still in the womb. If anyone had any doubt who’s butt Rand kisses….frequently, let there be no doubt now. Why does anyone have to kiss butt in this industry to begin with? What do you all get out of it anyway? Do you get other SEO morons liking you for it? Maybe, but that’s highly doubtful. It actually makes you look like a turd.

    And totally yes John; If there was any hypocrisy at all it’s the hypocrisy of Danny Sullivan calling out another website for not using nofollow when they guy’s OWN sphinn.com website does NOT use nofollow. (only for comments) That’s the biggest story in all of this. There are many different angles to view the Wired issue, but I choose to look at it that way. I never imagined that the issue would get as much attention as it’s getting.

    Grow up Rand; John posted his opinion on the issue. You certainly are not bashful at posting your opinion on your own blog, right? Although I only agree with parts of his opinion, it’s his opinion none the less and I respect it. I do NOT respect someone who then proceeds to kiss Sullivan’s ass over it. I think Danny Sullivan can speak for himself and also stand up for himself. You don’t look very good bud trying to do it for him.

  14. Demerzel Says:

    I have to admit it looked somewhat like you were going to blame randfish even if he never replied with the assumption that it was him. Whether or not that was your intent is another story, just pointing out how it looked to me.

    That said, I am surprised by how quick to anger people can get, even by the ‘respected’ SEO experts in an effort to trash talk other people.

    Oh, and yes, definitely should not take Google’s ‘morality’ at face value for SEO. No one company should ever dictate what people should or should not do.

    @micahfk: You are very perceptive. You are correct about my expectation, but it is because I saw Rand also posted a similar attack on another blog (so I was pretty sure it was legit). But I wanted to give him a chance to save face if he wanted to make it all go away.

  15. SEOGuy Says:

    John –

    Truly a sad day when a supposed “thought leader” can’t see past their ego. O-well, sounds like a shirt idea :-)

    @seoguy: yes, true in many industries where strong leadership leads to success.  I’m bettoing those are good industries for lampooning, too. I always enjoy your stuff, so please continue to do your best!

  16. Michael VanDeMar Says:

    John, you shouldn’t really have been surprised with that type of response from Rand. He has certain issues with things like keeping details and facts straight (such as whether or not he ever met you), and relies way to heavily on spin to be able to keep things at a non-emotional level.

    I’m not talking about the “Hm, I can’t remember what I had for lunch 5 days ago” kind of lapses either, I’m talking about the big stuff. The kind of mental flaws that prohibit you from forming logical arguments.

    @Michael: Thanks for the recount of your own experience with Rand. I don’t have any,  beyond watching him moderate the Werwolf thing at Pubcon (which I backed out of pretty quick… I’m not a cherades kind of guy). But I think that’s the point here… out of nowhere he steps in a pretends we’re buds, just to publicly pull his “support” for me.. calling “shame” of all things. Laughable, but at the same time personal. I said he’s not welcome here because of his judgment and ethics, based on THAT aspect of his behavior. I guess now 30,000 expert search marketers don’t respect me anymore (Rand’s SEOMoz membership…as described in the local newspaper interview of Rand). Boo hoo. No news here.  But I don’t respect Rand personally any more, which is news. I have great respect for just about everybody on a personal level, even if I disagree with them professionally.

  17. john andrews Says:

    Wow.. so many comments, and some are longer than this entire post. Sorry, but I had to turn moderation on for all comments. I’ll approve them as I can, not in order because some clearly take more time to read than others.

  18. Connie Says:

    You may not approve this, and or you may delete it. Makes no difference to me.

    Great Article. Not saying I agree with every thing you said but I agree with enough to comment, and say great article.

    I particularly find articles interesting that cause Danny to start defending his position outside his own realm (SEL, Sphinn). Personally I think he does a bad job when he can not control the conversation.

    I think Rand is nothing more than a Sullivan Puppet on some issues. If nothing else I think this article demonstrates that.

  19. Danny Sullivan Says:

    Thanks for publishing my response, John. I did think twice about responding, but in your notes to what I left, you specifically asked why the article is still up.

    As I’ve explained elsewhere, it was left up because the editor-in-chief of Wired and I both thought when we talked on Friday that it was best to stay up with a note, rather than pulling it down and have anyone think either side was trying hide anything.

    In terms of it being bad for the search marketing industry, I published a fresh stand-alone post apologizing not just to Wired but to the search marketing industry itself for it having been a terrible thing to publish. Tomorrow, I’ll get a postscript across from the original article to the apology. It doesn’t solve the initial harm, and it doesn’t help the search marketing industry to have it up other than, I suppose, as an enduring example of a stupid mistake I made.

  20. AussieWebmaster Says:

    John I think nearly everyone, including Danny, thinks the article was a bad idea. But as a catalyst for a more interesting debate, it has proven very informative.

    Personalities come into play when people attack our friends… and unfortunately most – including myself – at times, do not stop and think before we type away.

    Funny when I saw the article I thought well that is hole that will be closed pretty fast… no sense wasting time trying to get a link.

    The no follow tag seems to be a case of a suggested solution for comment spam that has been pushed by Google to be made some type of law… Michael Gray gave the best response to that on the “Paid Links Are Evil” panel at SES NY – “Google is not the government”.

    If you will miss that lunch Rand is not going to buy you now, I will gladly send you a gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice.

    Keep blogging… and thanks for the link!

    @AussieWebmaster: Thanks. As for the dinner, I will keep your offer on file in case 1.) I am ever in your neighborhood (preferred) or 2.) I am down on my luck and need a helping hand.

  21. Michael VanDeMar Says:

    Connie –

    I think Rand is nothing more than a Sullivan Puppet on some issues. If nothing else I think this article demonstrates that.

    I don’t think that very fair, do you? I mean, you can’t really blame Danny for Rand’s actions. I think Rand’s behavoir is hardly something Danny would condone, regardless of whatever business they do together.

    @Michael: I agree with you, and can confirm that Danny has expressed the same sentiments to me in email for this issue. However, if it’s Connie’s opinion based on Connie’s perspective (she said “on some issues”), I think we have to respect that as well.  

  22. Carla Pavlich Says:

    Hi John,

    The first I read about this controversy was Danny’s public apology page to Wired and the SEO community that included links at the end of his apology. Of the links, the first I’ve is your page here. I doubt I will read the other links but will indeed the original article in order to better understand what triggered the communications back and forth.

    I appreciate that you did include Danny’s thanks to you above. After almost 8 years of doing SEO, I’ve found Danny to be someone who does apologize and does prefer not to contribute to anything like what transpired after he approved his original article. Lots of lessons here for all of us, I’m sure.

    I do appreciate your perspective as well and have lost further respect for SEOGuy for the kinds of personal attacks he made about you. Totally unprofessional.

    Regarding SEO and SEM newsletters and blogs, I take what’s positive and practical from many channels. I do think you had legitimate grounds for being insulted and as a SEO/SEM community member, I’m sorry about that. My respect for Danny Sullivan does stand strong because of the way that he has ultimately handled concerns about this issues – especially in publishing links to your concerns within his apology.

    It’s not important that you publish my note I your blog as this in more a personal thank you to you for hanging in there with the process long enough to also publish Danny Sullivan’s thanks to you here.

    Thanks,
    Carla

    @Carla: Thanks for the kind comments. I’m a researcher at heart, and to me it’s all a living experiment (the web, Internet business, and even this blog). So if I stay true to my core beliefs and act accordingly, I’m not afraid of any outcome. I, too was glad to see Danny Sullivan find his way through the mess, but honestly I expected that (I would not have called his headline “stupid” had I thought he would be hurt by it). The other one… well, that’s an enigma to this day.

  23. JaeWeb Says:

    @danny: kudos for addressing this issue so eloquently. We all make mistakes and hopefully everyone can move on now without any unnecessary mudslinging and name calling.

  24. Jeremy Luebke Says:

    Wow, when this post was first made, I said to myself, oh yea that was a fake Rand. I guess I was wrong. I disagree with Rands comments, but I’m not one to talk about no flying off the handle in response to things I disagreed with. I may have done it once or twice before, but that’s it, no more, I swear. ;)

    In the end, we will all get up tomorrow, go to work, make bank, kiss our kids or SO goodnight, and life will go on.

    Now where is my guitar. Time for some Kumbaya!

  25. Desperate Agents Says:

    In the SEO world, Rand is like one of the Gabor sisters – famous for being famous – but not what you would ever call bankable, at least not from an SEO results perspective.

    @Desperate: I don’t know, personally.

  26. Terry Van Horne Says:

    John, your post and Micheals’ posts on his smackdown site have pretty much verified my suspicions about much of what you read on moz. Poorly researched from memory (apparently his memory is not a very reliable source), hyped/misleading titles on posts, based on hypothesis, stated as fact (my biggest complaint about moz). Very little of SEO is as cut and dried and to not include that fact in big doses when your material is targetted at neophytes is not a good idea.

    I am disappointed with SELs’ stance on this considering some of their coverage on Content delivery and cloaking. They cover both sides of that issue (including when the editorial staff were at SEW) always maintaining an open mind to both sides of the story. That they are doing G’s work for them on this is very disappointing. SEL has the influence within the community to keep the dialogue open… then… this isn’t written in stone, however, as long as SEL covers it like they did in this post then it’s a closed subject in many peoples minds.

    SEL, could have done this much differently. The post could have been an educational exercise continuing the dialogue within the community with examples of when and how the attribute should be implemented. Instead we’re told that all wikis should use nofollow by default which it is unfathomable to me how anyone came to that conclusion based on the guidelines. They aren’t paid links and they aren’t blog comments so… how is nofollow even a consideration since this is not covered in the guidelines as far as I know anyway. To deter spam… but that’s not in the guideline, if so, that’s an extremely broad interpretation of it. Just because Wikipedia chose/had to do it (no doubt due to some extent because of Rands’ post on what seemed like gaming wikipedia) doesn’t mean it should be a default for all Wikis with a spam problem, it’s one of many options, not THE option.