We have all seen Wikipedia at the top of our search results. It appears in the number one organic listing spot for around 56% of search terms – higher if you were to remove transactional queries. Even for one-word search queries research suggests Wikipedia pages appear on the first page 8 out of 10 times.
But how would a company page on Wikipedia benefit you? The main reason is to do with brand reputation and brand search results. When people type your company name into a search engine it is usually because they find this the easiest way to get to your website or to find out more about you.
Here is the above the fold google results page for a brand search for ‘coca cola’ for example:
You can see that Wikipedia is responsible for two important entries on this brand search results page. It wins the second place listing in the organic search results providing independent and trusted information about the company for those seeking a verification of your brand name. This is important for lesser known brands as a well-crafted Wikipedia page will provide credibility and can even legitimise your company to the searcher.
Page content from Wikipedia is also being used by Google directly in the right hand knowledge panel for the company description they provide.
The majority of searchers will find what they are looking for in this page view and will not scroll down the page. So having a degree of control over what appears in the top listings for your brand name in a search is very important. If you have a wiki page you can be confident that it will usually rank in the top 3 positions and therefore appear above any negative or competitive listings that you do not want to be visible to someone searching for your brand name.
So how do you get a company page on Wikipedia?
To clarify – you have little control over what is actually on the Wikipedia page. You can submit an article but if it does not adhere to their content guidelines it simply won’t be published. Unfortunately, the guidelines are simple but open to interpretation. Any entries are verified by an independent adjudicator or editor who will make a judgement call on how your company page measures up to the following main conditions of entry:
- Notability – the subject matter must be worthy of notice in its own right:
- Citations – articles with multiple independent citations are considered worth having a unique page. The more citations the better and you will need at least 4 or 5. Wikipedia is basically measuring notability with citations. Therefore any claims you make in your company description should be backed up by an independent source if possible. Quality as well as quantity is important. A citation from a local newspaper will carry no weight compared to national media sources. Citations from your own website or affiliated websites are no good either as they will not be considered to be independent.
- Non-promotional – Wikipedia is not going to advertise your company. You need to talk about notable achievements that you can verify, in a matter of fact and objective style, and not simply bragging points or sales copy.
The main reason companies don’t achieve a Wikipedia entry is because they are too small and haven’t got anything noteworthy enough to talk about. There is no point creating a page before you are notable.
If you are notable, it is then a question of producing content that doesn’t read like a company advertisement. Luckily you can edit your submission as often as you like until you produce something a wiki editor is happy with – but as it can take 2 – 3 months before each edit is reviewed this can be a long and frustrating process.
It is incredibly helpful to submit and edit any company or brand article using a credible wiki user profile. To do this you could reach out to wiki users within your industry or set up your own individual profile – but interact with wikipedians on talk pages, edit existing wiki pages and start adding new articles that are not about your company well in advance of adding the branded material.
If you would like any more advice on whether Wikipedia is for you please just give us a call on 01225 439960.