Learn about Wikipedia and SEO: how to work with Wikipedia, create articles and what is Wikidata.
Table of Contents
What Is Wikipedia
We all use Wikipedia when we search for information about movies or actors, books or history. And not that often do we think about who stands behind this content and how Wikipedia works. Let’s make it more clear together.
- Wikipedia is a non-profit organisation & community of volunteers.
- Editors and contributors to Wikipedia do not get payments for writing articles and improving the content of Wikipedia.
- Everybody can create an account and contribute to it.
There are five principles of Wikipedia that describe Wikipedia and help us to understand it better.
- It is an encyclopedia
This principle is important to keep in mind while working with Wiki.
It is not media, where we have a team who takes care of the content with distributed tasks and sections of the websites.
Also, it is not a directory where you can create a profile (free or with a fee).
- It is written from a neutral point of view
If we want to contribute to Wikipedia, we need to prepare content from a neutral point of view and exclude promotional language.
- It is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute
Everything we publish can be reused without any issues, including photos or data.
- Wikipedia’s editors should treat each other with respect and civility
To contribute to Wikipedia, we need to collaborate with the community.
- It has no firm rules
Wikipedia has a lot of policies and guidelines, and we need to learn about it before starting to work with it. Also, we should keep in mind that they can be changed and improved in the future.
How Wikipedia Can Help SEO
Before learning about how to work with Wikipedia, let’s discuss the benefits of collaborating with it.
Build Website Authority. Part of Google E-A-T
Having a Wikipedia page for your brand and/or the people in your company is a big signal that you’re an authority. Keep in mind, getting a Wikipedia page is not easy unless you’re a recognised person/brand. However, this does come up within the Google raters’ guidelines, so it is something to strive for (from Moz.com).
Get into Google Knowledge Graph
“As soon as you see a Knowledge Panel [on a brand search], you think, ‘They’re credible.” Jason Barnard (c)
One of the goals why you or your manager can ask to create a Wikipedia page is to get the Knowledge Graph. While Wikipedia is one of the most popular sources of the Knowledge graph, it is not the only one. So if that is your goal, check other options you can have if it is not possible to create an article now.
Links & Traffic to the Website
Wikipedia can be a great source of links. Links are nofollow but indirectly influence the authority of the website and can bring traffic. The hardest part here is to create content that will be so authoritative to get links from Wikipedia.
On the example, we can see that PeakVisor got a link from one of the articles thanks to their extensive publication about a mountain in the Dolomites.
Brand Position on SERPs & Brand Reputation
Another important thing you can have by getting an article on Wikipedia is to improve TOP for your brand. Having Wikipedia in brand search results increase authority for users and search engine. It also helps to push down less desirable search results.
We have discussed the most common reasons to collaborate with Wikipedia. Let’s learn how we can successfully work with it.
How to Work with Wikipedia to Improve Visibility
There are different things we can do as SEO or marketing managers to improve the visibility of the project we are working on:
- Create a new article about a destination or an organisation. Also, for a person, we help to build a brand.
- Improve exciting articles about your organisation (or destination).
- Expand an article to more languages. If you have enough citations and mentions on another market, it does make sense to translate and adapt the article about the organisation or destination to a new language. There are no automatic translations, and we need to create each page for each language.
- Fix links to your company website from other pages. It is an easy task, while an important one.
- Create or improve Wikidata. It is valuable if one of the goals to work with Wikipedia is to get a Knowledge Graph.
- Add relevant photos. It is especially useful if you promote the destination. Adding photos help people to understand the place better and increase the desire to visit it.
How to Contribute to Wikipedia
Create an account
The first recommendation is to create an account. It is free, and you do not need to do anything special, only an email address. With the account, you have more flexibility and can even create articles in the future.
With an account, you can:
- Collaborate, share information about yourself, or practice editing and publishing in your sandbox
- Communicate with other editors via your talk page
- Edit without revealing your IP address to the public
- Get a super account in future & opportunity to publish articles
Start With Small Contributions
- Choose the area of your interest and start with editing and improving articles related to your area of interest
- Fix broken links or links with redirects
- Contribute not only to your company page/interest but contribute to different pages where you can help
The most interesting for SEOs and marketers is how we can create an article and is it possible?
How to Get Article on Wikipedia
There is a list of requirements to get or create an article for a company or organisation. Let’s go through these requirements.
Company/Organisation or a person should have enough citations. These citations (publications) must:
- Contain significant coverage addressing the subject of the article directly and in depth
- Be completely independent of the article subject
- Meet the standard for being a reliable source
- Be a secondary source, primary and tertiary sources do not count towards establishing notability
Note: press releases, the company’s website, social media sites, and blogs are not reliable,
On this table, you can see that it is not easy to meet all the requirements.
You can check details on Wikipedia.
If you understand that you have enough citations, we need to check can we build an article on Wikipedia.
Non advertisment content
Another requirement from Wikipedia is to create content in no advertisement way, and only written in an informational way. As you can see in the example, it is possible to get an article and publish it. But it can be deleted, or you can get this message about improvements.
If you have enough citations and can build an article based on these citations, you can move to the next step.
Disclose your Relationships with Organisation
Being honest in your relationship with your company is important. It will increase the chances of your article being approved by the community rather than deleted.
Get Used to Work with Wikipedia Editor & Community
A gentler introduction to Wikipedia is to begin by making small edits to existing articles. It helps to gain experience with the Wikipedia editor. Also, it demonstrates a good faith interest to help the Wikipedia project and not just your organisation.
Check Organisations’ Mentions On Wikipedia
Another valuable thing to check: does your organisation already has mentions on Wikipedia. If the answer is “Yes”, it will also increase the chances to publish an article. Mentions show that there is an interest from Wikipedia users.
Submit Request and an Article
- Go to Wikipedia:Requested articles and find a category under which to list your request.
- You can also submit a draft through the Wikipedia:Article wizard if you feel strongly that you can meet the requirements of neutrality and sourcing. It will increase the chances that your article will be published and will be reviewed faster than just a request to create it because for an editor it will be easier just to approve it vs create an article.
- Optionally: find a WikiProject related to your organisation’s campaigns, products, or services if one exists.
- Write on Talk page
- Wait for approval or suggestions (from few days to few weeks)
- Keep an eye on the published article as even if it is published, anybody can change it. Remember that on Wikipedia anyone can contribute to exciting articles.
If you understand that your organisation does not meet requirements or you only want to get to the Knowledge Graph, let’s move to the Wikidata part.
What is Wikidata
How to Get Wikidata for your Company
- Meet requirement of notability
- Since Wikidata is a companion piece to the other wikis, it helps to have something in one of those areas to offer credibility to your entry. For example, if the company has mentioned in other articles, it is one of the reasons to create Wikidata about it.
- Use your Wikipedia profile on Wikidata
- Check if you have already Wikidata for your company
- Create Wikidata
- Combine Wikidata with Schema for ultimate clarity
Let’s make a summary of what we have about Wikipedia and how to work with it:
- Create an account. In 4 years (long time) and min. 10 edits, you will have a super account to publish articles yourself. Even if you do not need it now, maybe it will be relevant in the future.
- Start with small contributions and support the mission of Wikipedia. In the end, we as SEOs can do not only things we need to accomplish for clients.
- To get an article for an organisation, you need:
- Significant, independent, reliable citations from secondary sources. Books are great sources!
- Prepare it in a neutral style and without promotional language.
- Submit an article or request to the community editors
- Wait for their feedback and keep an eye on a published article
- Wikidata is a great tool if you could not get an article yet.
Sources & Useful links