Wikipedia, the popular community-edited website, is not considered a reliable source of information when writing papers or fact-checking information. Most believe that because anyone can create and edit the information on the site, the information can easily be biased and/or inaccurate. But that doesn’t mean that Wikipedia doesn’t provide value, especially when it comes to promoting your business.
Every article, or “page,” on Wikipedia is required to have a list of cited sources at the end of the page. These sources are cited in-text, allowing the reader to see the source of the information provided. And this is precisely how small businesses can spread their content they have written and marketing their small business. While the links are “no follow,” meaning that they don’t really count toward link-building in the eyes of the search engines, having your research article listed as a cite, with a link to the content is valuable.
While Wikipedia is community-edited, the community can be fickle about what is and is not acceptable for citing. As such, a business owner cannot simply write a research article, find a corresponding Wikipedia page, and post a link to their content. The following guidelines will help you use Wikipedia to promote your content and establish your credibility online:
Become a Contributor
Wikipedia is more time consuming than other means of article promotion. This is because the community has its own specific style guide that must be strictly adhered to, or the links will be removed. Take a half hour, or an hour, and familiarize yourself with the Wikipedia style and code. Edit a few articles about topics in which you care, so you can see how the user interface works.
Add Meaningful Information
As mentioned earlier, it is not enough to just add a link to content that supports information that already exists in the article. Rather, the editing community at Wikipedia expects that something new will be added to the information in the article, with your link to your business article as the citation. The easiest way to add new information is to read the Wikipedia article, find one or two bits of information that you supply in your business article that aren’t in the Wikipedia page, and add those to the page. This may be as little as one or two sentences, or as much as a paragraph. Just make sure to add an in-text citation with the link back to your information on your site.
Use Credible, High-authority Sources
When the Wikipedia editing community looks through new additions to pages, they want to see that the newly added information and link is high quality. Make sure that you list at least three resources to .edu and .gov sites at the end of your research article to support your research or business findings. Also, cite sources within the body of the business article whenever it makes sense. This is as easy as saying something like, “According to a 2010 report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services…” This tells readers you have done the research that backs up the information in your page. In return, this also demonstrates to the Wikipedia community that the research you linked to has supporting documentation, and indeed adds value for their readers.
These suggestions will help you establish links and credibility on one of the most read websites in the world. While citing your content on Wikipedia takes more effort and time than promoting on social networks or commenting on blogs, the value over time is strong and worth the time. Combining several of the promotion techniques is the best way to get the most from every piece of content you publish.