Carsten at Search Engine Journal reports that the English Wikipedia has decided to add the nofollow attribute back to the English Wikipedia space. The decision came from the founder, Jimbo Wales, partially, if not completely, based on a discussion of a new SEO contest, where editors are warned of an onslaught spam, from SEOs and this contest. Joost also gets credit for spotting the news early, also explaining that SEOs are the cause for this.
Editor, A. B., sums up the reason SEOs are targeting the Wikipedia is “In a nutshell, the goal is to “optimize” (i.e., spam) enough links around the web as to make your site show up ahead of everyone else’s.” As you can see, Wikipedia and SEO’s don’t have a good past. Heck, remember Danny’s Open Letter To Wikipedia Editors: Yes, Matt Cutts Is Notable?
FYI, this is not the first time Wikipedia had the nofollow attribute on links. As I noted here the Wikipedia removed the nofollow attribute to some links in November 2005.
Tim Bray argued that we deserve the links Wikipedia gives to us.