Wikipedia marketing may seem like a waste of time for some, but if you are a true online marketer then you know the value of leveraging the site. In addition to helping you in the SERPs, it can also help jump start your Google Knowledge Graph. Wikipedia has been one of the most prized sources for marketers for years and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.
As a professional Wikipedia editor, I have learned numerous methods to leverage Wikipedia. Note that I did not say use Wikipedia for promotion. There is a big difference between leveraging Wikipedia and using it solely as a promotional tool, which I will get into more detail about later.
Generally, there are three main ways to leverage Wikipedia for marketing purposes. Knowing these three methods will help you evaluate the benefits of Wikipedia for your next marketing campaign.
- Marketing backlinks from Wikipedia
- Creating a Wikipedia page
- Wikipedia lists and comparisons
Never use Wikipedia for promotion only.
Before we go any further, let’s discuss the way you do NOT want to use Wikipedia as a marketing tool. It is a common misconception that Wikipedia is just like any other website you can use to promote yourself. While you can use Wikipedia as a marketing tool, you must keep in mind that it is not a platform for promotion. It is an encyclopedia and while the site can provide a great benefit for your marketing campaign, it should never be used purely for promotion.
NEVER use Wikipedia “solely” as a promotional tool. By this, I mean that the topic you are creating or edit should be notable for Wikipedia. Failure to adhere to this guideline will result in the deletion of the page you create and also possibly get the topic banned from recreation.
Finally, just because the topic is notable, does not mean that you can write about it in a promotional tone. Wikipedia is meant to be encyclopedic and as such you must adhere to neutrality guidelines. The article should be free of promotion and contain content that encyclopedia readers would want to know, not what you want them to know.
Yes, backlinks from Wikipedia are considered the Holy Grail of online marketing. It is one of the most coveted backlinks and some people pay high dollar to get them added to the site. This is a great way to give your website some high authority when it comes to page rank but can also backfire if not done correctly.
Adding links must be done in the correct way or you will face some tough sanctions from the Wikipedia community.
I no longer offer this as a service as it is more trouble than its worth, but I touch on the best practices for those of you who want to do it anyway.
If you plan on adding links, make sure that the links lead to articles with valuable information. Wikipedia generally only accepts links from reliable sources. If the website you plan on adding can be considered a reliable source, then have at it. However, do not simply spam links to the site.
Landing pages are a “no-no” for Wikipedia. You must use links to articles that contain specific information about the topic.
For instance, if you are going to place a link in the Wikipedia page on cyber security, don’t just drop the link to the category page of The Hill. However, you could possible add the link to some of the articles listed in that category, provided that the article you use as a reference contains information that will support the content in the Wikipedia page on cyber security.
Another way you can gain backlinks from Wikipedia is to dedicate images to the site. You can do this both on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. When donating media, you are allowed to provide a link stating where the image was obtained. If the image is from your website, feel free to add the link to where the original image is located.
While adding media is not the most practical way to obtain backlinks from Wikipedia, it will help increase your backlink profile and potentially help in the SERPs. It will also help Wikipedia as you are donating to the website’s goal.
Again, make sure that the link you are adding provides information that is useful to Wikipedia. If you are simply adding links for the benefit of obtaining a link, chances are you are spamming. If the link you are providing is being done for backlink purposes AND is truly providing valuable information to further the goal of the encyclopedia, then you are likely heading in the right direction.
#2. Creating a Wikipedia page
Creating a Wikipedia page is great for marketing purposes. Having a Wikipedia page on a topic can help show people who you are and what you have to offer. Of course, you cannot write the article in a promotional way, but the existence of the article is a great billboard for those searching for you on Google. It can also help establish the backbone of a Google Knowledge Graph as information within the graph is taken partially from Wikipedia.
Creating a Wikipedia page is a tough task. In order to create a page, there are two main things that you must achieve. First, you need to make sure that the topic you are writing about is notable. The second is that the article is written to standards (e.g., non-promotional in tone, formatting).
Topic notability is the #1 thing you need to worry about when creating a Wikipedia page.
Notability is what Wikipedia has established as a standard for inclusion on the site. If the topic is not notable, then creating a page for that topic should not be done. If it is created, the likelihood of it being deleted are great. It could also cause the topic to be banned from further creation (blocked from recreation).
If the topic is notable, you have cleared the biggest hurdle. Now it simply comes down the writing style.
When writing a Wikipedia page, keep in mind that doing so in a promotional tone is likely to get the article deleted. Wikipedia hates promotion (as stated previously) and will make sure to wipe the article off the face of the earth if an editor smells even somewhat of a promotional tone.
Keep your article simple. I recommend going with less content than simply adding the kitchen sink. The more information you have in an article, the more it will seem promotional. Keep the basic information needed to establish who you are and do not use weasel words. Also make sure that you adhere to formatting guidelines (there are a ton of them, but make sure to read them all prior to starting).
Again, I cannot stress notability enough. If a topic is notable, editors will overlook some of the errors you make with your writing style. For those who want an easy guide, I offer a free guide to notability that contains the basics you need to know.
#3. Wikipedia lists and comparisons:
Already have a Wikipedia article and already leveraged the site for backlinks? What about including yourself in lists? This is a great way to expose yourself to people looking for you and your competitors. If they only see your competitors, then you are missing out on potential business.
Here is an example:
Type in the term “comparison of” in the search bar in Wikipedia.
Once you click on “search,” you will see a list of Wikipedia pages that start with the term “comparison of.” There are tons of pages in this category, including “comparison of web server software,” “comparison of online brokerages in the United States,” and “comparison of education websites for children” just to name a few.
Let’s take a look at the comparison of education websites for children. In the screenshot above, you can see there are 11 Wikipedia pages listed. However, if you look at the Wikipedia category children’s websites, you will see 47 pages. Looking at the entries, I was able to find that Open Roberta has a Wikipedia page and could be listed on the comparison page, but isn’t. This is one website that could take advantage of a comparison page.
Simply find your niche in any of the comparison pages and see if your Wikipedia page fits within the scope of the page. If so, feel free to add it.
You can also repeat the above search using the term “list of” which will yield many pages of lists. There is also a specific page that list these lists, but it is not complete so make sure to still do a search. Follow the same process as the comparison method and if you find your Wikipedia page meeting the criteria for the list, you have successfully used this method of Wikipedia marketing to leverage your Wikipedia presence.
Images: Author’s Own
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