Wikipedia and SEO? Really? What can one have to do with the other? At a first glance, nothing. But, in reality, you can use Wikipedia for SEO – just not in the direct way. There are many benefits to paying attention to the structure of Wikipedia pages and the overall manner in which you can search for information and get helpful guidance.
What Is Special about Wikipedia in a SEO Context?
Wikipedia is an open source encyclopaedia. It means that everyone may create a page or edit existing content on pages. But, each new entry is carefully checked for accuracy and truthfulness. Thus, in reality, not every new page or change to a page actually gets published.
How does it benefit you? First of all, by learning how Wikipedia works, your SEO strategy will get better because you can learn how to search for information and how to fact check everything before you publish a new blog post. In the Google E-A-T era, accuracy and trustworthiness are crucial for your domain authority and page rank.
The First Way Wikipedia and SEO Work Together: Create a Page for Your Brand
As stated, everyone can create a Wikipedia page. In order to be published, it must meet six criteria set by the platform creators:
- Notability – the topic must be backed by independent, reputable sources
- Neutrality – the content must be presented without bias, without taking positions and giving equal importance to all points of view, pro and con
- No original research – only existing, tested and proven ideas can have a Wikipedia page
- Verifiable – you must be able to prove every information with citations and reliable sources
- Reliable sources – use only high reputation websites as sources of information for a page
- Spam – content published on Wikipedia must be informative; advertorials, link spamming and strictly promotional references are forbidden.
These guidelines are actively enforced by the Wikipedia creators. Thus, if you want to create a Wikipedia page for your brand or business, it must be strictly for giving people information about:
- When and where the company was founded
- Who owns and operates it
- What it does.
The Bad News: You Cannot Borrow Link Authority from Wikipedia
Before you get too enthusiastic about Wikipedia and SEO, here’s a big thing to know: Google does not transfer any authority from Wikipedia backlinks to your website. This was confirmed by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, in a Reddit post in 2021. He said in no uncertain terms that adding links on Wikipedia pages “has no SEO value and will do nothing for your site”. Plus, Wikipedia maintainers will definitely flag these links as spam and remove them.
So, does our story end here? Is there any point of talking about Wikipedia and SEO? As we explained above, the open encyclopaedia will not help your SEO strategy directly. Let us explain some of the less obvious ways in which it actually does.
How Wikipedia and SEO Really Work Together
These are some smart and effective ways to boost your SEO using Wikipedia:
1. Look for Missing Citations and Broken Links
For this, you need to do some work. You need to find Wikipedia pages related to your industry or niche in general and to your business field in particular and find missing citations and broken links. You can add your own links there.
Even if you will not get a valuable backlink (all Wikipedia links being set by default as nofollow), you will get extra traffic to your site – and that is very valuable. Many people want to verify what they read on Wikipedia and some of them will reach your website.
2. Find Linkbuilding Opportunities
To do this, you will need a linkbuilding tool, such as Semrush (which we recommended in the past as a helpful resource to simplify your SEO work). Semrush will show you what other sites link to Wikipedia. Some of them will not be of interest – in fact most of them.
But you will find a few that you want to link back to and even determine to link back to you. Reputable guest blog sites and business forums are some of these sites of interest you should look for.
3. Use Wikipedia for Keyword Research
Now, this is one of the most effective ways to use Wikipedia and SEO together, especially in B2B and technical fields. Wikipedia has extremely detailed pages on topics and sub-topics.
This gives you the opportunity to discover new LSI and long tail keywords and be certain that these are the terms actually used in your industry.
4. Explore Content Ideas
Wikipedia pages are extremely helpful when you are running out of idea for blog posts. Reading a few pages and the sources they link to will help you identify new topics. Also, using the Wikipedia statistics (publicly available), you can identify the most popular topics at any given time.
Wikipedia and SEO are not an obvious pair, but you can find creative ways to make it work. In the highly competitive world we live in, small and medium sized enterprises need every little advantage to compete with bigger brands for clients.
All you have to invest here is your time and attention to detail in order to reap some benefits. Thus, we believe that you should start paying more attention to how Wikipedia works and the type of content published there. You may find some really useful blog topics, chances to fill in a broken link or valuable linkbuilding opportunities.