everything you need to know

Remember life before the internet became widespread?

If you wanted to know who was the head coach of the Detroit Pistons in 1986, or the migration habits of European turtledoves, what would you do? You have to rely on your own memory (fragmented at best), ask a friend (probably unreliable) or take a trip to the local library (anyone know how the Dewey decimal system works?).

Now, a simple Google search can give you the answer to almost any question you might have.

One of the most popular resources to find all types of information is Wikipedia.

A community-curated encyclopedia that has more than 56 million pages Available in 328 languages, most people can edit.

However, despite being free to access, it remains surprisingly accurate.

Cunningham’s Law Possibly due to this, it states that “the best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask questions; to post the wrong answer.”

That’s fine, you might say it now, but what does this have to do with SEO? It turns out that’s quite a lot.

It makes sense when you think about it.

This Seventh most popular website Worldwide, Wikipedia appears on the first page of search engine results for all types of queries—including some you might be looking for.

With a little bit of strategy and digital knowledge, you can make it work for you with both off-site and on-site SEO strategies.

Ready to learn more? continue reading.

Wikipedia guide

While Wikipedia pages are built and maintained by users, you can’t just create new pages.

Otherwise, people who want to feel important and every mom-and-pop shop in the world will litter the online encyclopedia with unimportant entries.

Just imagine if you were trying to study Rene Descartes (a famous 17th century philosopher and mathematician) and you ended up on a page about Rene Descartes working in supermarket production, imagine what it would cause Headache.

To prevent this from happening, Wikipedia has strict guidelines About covered topics.

These include:

  • Reputation – A topic must receive substantial coverage from reliable, independent sources.
  • neutral point of view – All content must be presented without editorial bias and with proportional placement in reporting from other sources.
  • No original research – All content in Wikipedia must exist and be verifiable in another reliable source.
  • Verifiable – All information must be sourced and citations used wherever possible.
  • reliable source – Entries must cite information from reliable publications covering the work, its creator or the publisher of the work.
  • spam – Content must not be advertisements masquerading as information, spam external links, or contain references only to promote the author.

But here’s the thing: Wikipedia in its five pillars It has no strict rules.

It understands the evolution of the policy, so if you have enough free time, you can find published Wikipedia articles that violate each of the guidelines listed above.

Now let’s dive into how to make Wikipedia work with your SEO efforts.

Google and Wikipedia

Google and Wikipedia are two of the most famous players on the internet.

While each wields a huge amount of influence in its field, like chocolate and peanut butter, they’re better together.

How does Google use Wikipedia?

As you may have noticed from searches, Google tends to rely on Wikipedia for featured snippets of people and places. But the relationship between the two sites is much deeper.

Wikipedia is This Online knowledge resources.

People know, use and believe it can provide information on almost anything. It’s not just humans who feel this way.

Wikipedia has a domain authority of 100, and in a 2018 Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller confirmed that Google Knowledge Graph uses Wikipedia.

When asked about the source of the data, He says“We use a knowledge graph (from various places, including Wikipedia) to try to understand the entities on the page.”

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that many marketers link to Wikipedia pages in the hope that the search engine giant will notice their site and give it some reflective authority.

There’s just one small problem: Google doesn’t do that anymore.

So, what about backlinks? Wouldn’t a link from a Wikipedia entry boost your rankings with all those citations?

Unfortunately, all of these links are nofollow in order to reduce spam and discourage the creation of adverts or other marketing schemes disguised as encyclopedia entries.

John Mueller confirms the futility of aggressively seeking Wikipedia backlinks Reddit post Starting in 2021:

“Randomly putting links into Wikipedia has no SEO value and is useless to your site. All you do is create extra work for the Wikipedia maintainers who will delete your links and discard. It’s a waste of your and their time .”

OK, so Wikipedia doesn’t help SEO with inbound or outbound links, and its guidelines explicitly prohibit creating marketing articles.

What does a search engine optimizer do?

Just because you can’t use some of the more popular SEO tactics in Wikipedia doesn’t mean the online encyclopedia can’t help you improve your search engine rankings.

Wikipedia’s SEO strategy

From keyword planning to content creation, building credibility or increasing clicks, there are many ways you can use Wikipedia for off-page and on-page SEO.

How to use Wikipedia for off-site SEO

In the past, many SEO professionals have discovered various spammy ways to play Wikipedia for extra web traffic.

As you might expect, these guys ruined everyone.

But that’s not to say you can’t use Wikipedia for your off-site SEO purposes.

Here are some ways to do this:

1. Get referral traffic through referrers and broken links.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking nofollow links are worthless.

When referrers link to your website, you can get referral traffic from people looking for the original source of information.

(If you’ve ever cited a Wiki article in an online debate just to hear “Haha, Wikipedia,” then you know the value of clicking those citation links.)

Also, other sites looking for reliable sources for their pages are more likely to link directly to you. As a Wikipedia source, you have instant credibility.

2. Use Wikipedia to develop link opportunities.

When people are looking for a high-level overview of a topic, Wikipedia is often the first stop. This means that it is usually the most relevant link for broad keywords.

Using a tool like Semrush, you can discover who is linking to a page and then use this information to link to those sites. This will boost your authority and thus improve your rankings.

You can also comb through reference pages to grow your network of relevant sites, people, and organizations.

3. Create your own Wikipedia page.

OK, this is a little tricky. Your one-man business Jill’s SEO store may not be compelling enough to meet Wikipedia expectations. But companies like John Deere or Louis Vuitton are.

If your company deserves its own Wikipedia page, you should have one.

If you think you fit the bill, you should work with an experienced Wikipedia editor to develop well-structured content that meets the requirements and tells the history of your company.

Be careful not to be marked as spam.

Onsite SEO with Wikipedia

It’s easy to forget, but any encyclopedia, online or brick-and-mortar, is there to provide information.

As the most extensive encyclopedia in the world, Wikipedia is a great tool for SEOs looking to maximize rankings.

Here are some ways you can help:

1. Keyword research.

Finding the right words and phrases is an important part of SEO.

Wikipedia is an excellent source for revealing industry terms and actual language.

Because most Wikipedia articles are written or at least edited by experts on the subject, you can expect them to use the phrases and language your target audience will use in searches.

This is especially useful if you work in a technical field.

2. Identify interest in a topic.

From an SEO standpoint, one of the best things about Wikipedia is that it makes all the Traffic Statistics Available to the Public.

If you have an idea for a new blog and want to see if the topic is of interest, checking out a visit to the relevant wiki page is a good place to start.

It’s not a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, if a Wikipedia page has a lot of traffic, more people will search for information on that topic.

Likewise, article topics with only a few visitors each month may not drive much traffic to your site.

3. Use it as a content planning tool.

Coming up with new content ideas is an ongoing challenge for many SEOs. This is where Wikipedia can be your best friend.

Start by combing through citations. Check out the linked pages and steal and borrow their ideas.

Make boring content interesting and you’ll start getting clicks from these sites.

You also need to look for stubs and pages with dead links and references.

Providing information to flesh out a topic, replacing dead links with your own live links, and serving as a source of information are all great ways to build your authority and create content for underserved topics — which can mean high search rankings.

Make Wikipedia work for you

Wikipedia is an interesting website unicorn.

There is no marketing angle, nofollow links, and no opportunity for paid advertising, which at first glance seems like something SEO can ignore – it would be a mistake.

While you need to be careful not to spam, Wikipedia can be an incredible resource for search engine professionals if done right.

If you’re creating high-quality content relevant to your page, you can serve as a source.

But even if you’re not, you can use Wikipedia as a research tool to find new ideas, topics, and linked sites.

With such strict guidelines, it might feel unfamiliar at first, but with a bit of work, you can use an online encyclopedia to help your site rank higher and drive more traffic.

More resources:

Featured image: Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock

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