Wikipedia is a free, non-profit online encyclopedia. It ranks among the top 10 most popular websites in the world and ranks well for countless organic searches. It allows all viewers to edit just about any article, though active members will clean up poor content quickly.
Wikipedia SEO Strategies and Benefits
Editing Wikipedia requires you to adhere to best practices, even more so when a conflict of interest exists. Many edits done by company representatives get treated as spam. If you do follow the suggestions here though, even without followable backlinks (all Wikipedia pages became no-follow in 2007), you can get:
- Referral traffic
- Brand reputation management (for prospect research and by pushing back less relevant links on the SERPs)
- Backlinks through references
- An improved clickthrough rate for branded terms
- Opportunities to discredit competitors
- A source of data to populate the knowledge graph
- A source of potential backlinks (enter the Wikipedia subject article into Open Site Explorer)
Wikipedia may have lost value from a pure SEO point of view but still holds value in these ways. You need to give genuine content that remains objective though, and even objective edits need to come carefully. Consider the following progression to use Wikipedia well without getting banned or blacklisted.
Wikipedia Editing Progression
The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
– Mark Twain
- Create a user account (do not use a company email for registration). If using anonymously (not recommended in the long run), avoid making updates from a work IP address. This also applies when creating and using an account.
- Start by editing Wikipedia articles within a subject matter without much editing (within the last 3 months ideally) for:
- Broken links
- Citation needed (use search operator – site:wikipedia.org [keyword] + “dead link” OR “citation needed”)
- Internal links within Wikipedia
- Get involved with the talk pages for an article first. Start out with niche-related articles.
- Add pages as references before external linking in the content.
- Mention competitors when listing out companies that include your own as examples of a product and service.
- Edit pages beyond just those you aim to promote.
- Start to experiment with adding external links for pages both outside and within the website you aim to promote.
- Edit subject matter pages.
- Gradually move toward editing and creating company or organization pages.
Best Wikipedia Links on Editing
Using Wikipedia for SEO
Focus on providing value for Wikipedia while being patient and honest. Though its value has faded for SEO, it could still help your business in other ways. Follow these best practices and guidelines to use Wikipedia best for your digital marketing efforts.