My college professors might have told me that Wikipedia was not a reputable source and I was not allowed to use it in my essays, but let’s be honest, it’s helpful. It’s almost always at the top of a SERP and it’s about as clear and concise as a website out there can get, so it gets some clicks. When you put two and two together, it’s easy to come up with the conclusion that Wikipedia is a great way to earn some visibility and clicks for your website, either by having your own Wikipedia page or adding information to an existing, related page.
After a while, it only makes sense to inquire about Wikipedia even if nothing can come of it. The real question on everyone’s minds as they give it a try: How do I make it happen, and what does it mean for my SEO?
How to Get Your Small Business Involved in Wikipedia
It’s true that Wikipedia allows anyone to make edits on an existing page, but you have to be approved and your edits have to be approved before you can appear on the webpage. The idea here is that people come together to bring in different aspects to create the whole truth about one specific thing. There are two things you have to keep in mind if you want to make edits or create your own Wikipedia page:
- Neutral. You have to remain neutral at all times. Wikipedia does not tolerate anything biased and you can be sure those edits or those types of pages will be deleted. When it comes down to it, this is oftentimes too difficult for a company and therefore a sign that Wikipedia is not for you.
- Verifiable. The information you add must be able to be verified by a published source such as a book or news organization.
If you think that you can realistically make this work, it can’t hurt to give it a try. There are a few steps and things to keep in mind once you get started:
- Get involved in the Wikipedia community. Try to create edits that are not self-serving on a variety of pages to get your name out there. Also engage with other uses on the Wikipedia Talk Page, and finally create a user page that shows you can be neutral.
- Check Wikipedia to get started. No matter what you’re trying to do on Wikipedia, you need to be a registered user. Once you are, you can visit here to read step-by-step instructions. There are quite a few (too many to add here), but it doesn’t take long.
- Use the references section. If you’re trying to create a page for your company specifically, make sure to use the references section to show that all of your information is credible.
In the vast majority of cases, you’re best off finding a page related to your industry and then referencing something that is on your website. Creating an entirely new Wikipedia page isn’t easy to get approved, especially if you’re just a small business (in fact, this would almost never get published—that’s what a company website is for).
So What about SEO? Why Wikipedia Isn’t the Right Choice for Many Businesses
As discussed above, it’s not going to be easy to get your website involved in Wikipedia. Even if you are able to earn a link on a Wikipedia page, it’s going to be nofollow because of all the spam the site has had to combat over the years. Still, the exposure you would earn would be well worth the effort.
Your best chance to benefit from Wikipedia: If you have a very unique and popular product or new idea that is patented, you can create an entire page for it and you will likely get approved if you follow the rules state above.
So in the end Wikipedia might be more trouble than it’s worth for your business, and in a lot of cases it’s too difficult and pretty much a non-existent factor. Still, it’s nice to know how works and put that curiosity to rest!
Are you a business that has found success with Wikipedia? How were you able to get your business involved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org