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SMX Panel Recap: Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers & Answer Sharing

The most recent panel here at SMX Social Media was entitled Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers & Answer Sharing. With Wikipedia dominating the search results, many SEOs were really paying attention to the information here on the panel. Because of the many ways these systems influence search rankings, the panel was quite large. Here’s a full list of those involved…

(Please note that additional live blogging coverage on this panel is available on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, and aimClear.)

Matt McGee on Yahoo! Answers

Matt was the sole panelist here covering Yahoo Answers, a place where those who can share their expertise.

For Matt, Yahoo Answers represents an incredibly busy but simple Q and A web site. Like all other social networks, you are able to have your own profile with links to your web sites and are encouraged to build up your profile and reputation.

Some quick facts about Yahoo Answers that many SEOs may overlook are the facts that Yahoo is noted as the #2 reference site on the internet and it has earned a 56% year over year growth. Additionally, professionals are welcome and are allowed to drop links provided that they have provided helpful information to the community and question at hand.

Benefits of Yahoo Answers

Matt had a great presentation that flowed very well with the time allocated. In that presentation, Matt highlighted a number of solid reasons to use Yahoo Answers, including it’s ability to generate a strong amount of referral traffic.

In fact, with his own blog, Matt found that his site earned it’s highest source of NEW visitors from Yahoo Answers. Coincidentally, this traffic also contributed the lowest bounce rate — which translates to the fact that some seriously high quality visitors are ready to come in.

As Yahoo Answers gets older, Matt expects it to be included more often in the major search engine result pages. Since Yahoo Answers is insanely large, RSS feeds should be used in order to keep you on track of your industry and what you can provide answers on.

Finally, Matt advises that sorting unanswered questions wisely to highlight opportunities to build your profile. A solid tip that Matt shared here is that you can search by date and find questions that are close to expiring and provide some answers before they expire. Then, those submitting questions have to “choose the best answer” — and since yours is the only answer, you’re basically a lock to get some credibility added to your profile.

Jonathan Hochman and the Wikipedia Panel

Jonathan stepped right up and delivered some killer stats on the sheer traffic volume that Wikipedia presents site owners with. He delivered a lot of strong points on Wikipedia today — as did the other panel members. The following information is not all from Jonathan, but from the entire Wikipedia panel at today’s event

Things You Should NOT Do…

Right off the bat, let’s start talking about what you should not be doing with Wikipedia. We all know that Wikipedia actively dominated the Google search results — but gaming the system for SEO advantages is NOT a strong idea. To keep your profile and standing clear on Wikipedia, make sure you do not do the following…

  • Do NOT advertise yourself or your business
  • Do NOT write about yourself
  • Do NOT attempt tp spinn your articles
  • Do NOT badmouth competitors
  • Do NOT pay for the editing of articles

Top Newbie Mistakes

Many SEOs just jump right in and try to add in links or put a spin on client content for a particular reason. While it’s great to be enthusiastic about what you’re doing on Wikipedia — there are a number of things that administrators consider to be the top newbie mistakes:

  • Do NOT choose promotional user names
  • Do NOT submit copyright violations
  • Do NOT copy and paste text, images or content
  • Do NOT edit anything with a conflict of interest
  • Do NOT write about yourself or tings you are close to

Spamming has Lasting Consequences

Wikipedia is making their spammers publicly available, so many search engines are out there obtaining this list actively. Best of all, if you’re blacklisted on Wikipedia, you are more than likely blacklisted on many other wikis sharing the same platform.

Getting Your Edits to Stick

Develop a strong profile first by providing value to the community. Cleaning up spam, fixing typos and working with Wikipedia to show that your efforts are NOT commercially biased is a great way to develop your credability.

With a strong profile page, your edits are more likely to be successful as the Wikipedia community begins to trust your work more. Communicating with the main editor of the area that you are submitting changes to is key to ensuring your efforts are well received.

The Unique Point of View of a Wikipedia Editor

Lise Broer, better known as “Durova” gave us some incredible insight on how administrators police and check the efforts of what each and every person is up to. While I would love to cover this more in depth — a fellow live blogger at the event had already conducted a video interview with Lise that is certainly worth a review:

Category SEO
SMX Panel Recap: Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers & Answer Sharing

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