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SES 2007 – Wikipedia & SEO

Day 4
Wikipedia & SEO – yay I have been really excited to take this session, I know jack about Wikipedia besides it shows up in Google for every generic KW phrase on the planet. Obviously, its time to learn more. Detlev Johnson was our moderator, with Position Technologies.

4 Speakers:

Neil Patel, ACS
Stephan Spencer, Netconcepts
Jonathan Hochman, JE Hochman & Assoc
Don Steele, Comedy Central

Why Wiki? Its an authority link. Everyone builds unbiased accurate descriptions and participate, great traffic, branding and information. It drives tons of traffic. You know you’ve been there 🙂 It is good info!

What not to do
– use as a link building resource
– add biased information
– delete information
– break rules
– spam – see “don’t be a dick” page

How to add links

Develop a reputation as an editor. Edit at least 500 sites.
Add information first, links second
Follow the notability rule
Other do’s: add image of your product, search for real estate wikis (or your community of wikis) and have them link back to your site!!!! OMG!!!!!! I need to get some articles published and do this for Vow2Save. LOVE you 22 year old animated funny boy speaker 🙂

The next speaker said you can get a featured article on the homepage of wiki. He did it after publishing 550 articles in Wikipedia. He reminded us SEO’s that competing with Wikipedia is hard, so just join the club and make it work for you!!

Wikipedia can rank for almost any generic search phrase. Even in you can’t outrank the competition, wiki probably can. Think: what’a better at the top of SERPS? A neutral wikipedia article or your competitor’s propaganda. I’ll take Wikipedia every time.

Wiki has more visibility than Digg. Don’t try to use it as a link farm though, they have a blacklist, and a good spam department.

An article gets into wikipedia by having multiple, verifiable, resources. Articles that fail to assert notability, or supported resources are deleted. Writing an article about yourself or a client is a conflict of interest. Damn. How do I get vow2save in there??? Bill….any ideas?

Remember that history edits are public info. WikiScanner is a fast way to search edits. . Never try to embarrass people. If your employees try to edit at work your IP can get banned. Google is currently banned…oops. If you get targeted, you can:

1. Delete spam and revert vandalism
2. Remove unsourced negative statements
3. Get your friends in the community to get involved in wiki, they are some of the best work that can be done for you.

Don with Comedy Central was up next. He started with a funny video on CC where they claimed to be their own encyclopedia, and went to wiki and changed random definitions…see the clip above. Wikiality was the word of the day. Comedy central uses discussion pages to change definitions in Wiki as a promo. How fun.

Why do they like Wiki? Because its huge. Their content is highly referenced on Wikipedia. They keep their content fresh and up to date. Comedy central gets 100K sessions a MONTH from Wiki. Way to nab some major cheap organic SEO there dude 🙂 🙂

More tips: Comedy central is in a lawsuit right now, and they don’t try to delete dirt on their company. Don’t try to delete your dirt either, explain it. USE discussion pages and editors. Give credit to the people you edit and have your article link to them, then their site have info that goes back to you, if you want. That’s the best way to get people to come to your stuff. Its all relevant…

Stephan Spencer told us how to add and edit to wikipedia. How do you get your edits to stick?
Develop a profile that looks like you are an upstanding member of the community:
– age and history of your acct
– awards
– your user page and your talk page
– adminship status

Incorporate content edits when adding a link. It makes it harder to revert your edit. Add links to references instead of external links.

Communicate with the main editor of the article before adding an external link that you think is valuable but could be looked at with suspicion. Just ask hey what do you think?

Add links within references rather than the external links sections. References must substantiate claims made in the article copy. Warning: Reference links that require registration or login to access the content may be seen as spam.

Creating new entries
– be logged in with an account with a solid contribution history
– make sure there is no connection between you and the article subject. You are guilty until proven innocent in Wiki, unfortunately
– Have the subject of the article weigh in via the talk page rather than making edits themselves
– Watch the page so you can be alerted to any AFD (articles for deletion) or speedy deleted. You gotta jump in and add your 2 cents and rally your friends. Not rubber stamp people, real people, real info.

Getting over the notability hurdle
– use google news archive search for finding references articles
– an article with just a passing quote isn’t good enough
– get your PR firm to help you land an article even if it is with a small newspaper that profiles your company
– awards can help establish you

Protecting your investment
– admin and new page patrol – use trackengine and changedetect for an email notification
– make friends.
– Watch the pages you have an interest in
– Maintain activity on your profile by regularly making edits that are undeniably selfless. This is so me. I’m gonna be an addict soon. Can I get another hour in the day pls?

Playing the Game
– watch for internal politics, reversion wars, ego trips, blah blah blah
– remember everything you do is KEPT, every IP is there, and everything you say leaves a trail.

40 minute podcast at or email

Question time.

If there is a new concept how do you get it into the wiki when you have no authority? Try to find a Wiki project, and go to the talk page and participate… get attention from established editors who are in the industry. Build relationships for these people. Also blog about the topic and ask the community what they think. Its not a place for original thought, so you need to get write-ups and references or you will get nuked. Ok, I can do that!!

If a competitor has an authorized reseller link with our parent company, why did I get nuked for adding mine? A neutral 3rd party has to do it. If you have a vested interest they sniff you out. Rather than focus on nuking theirs, focus on getting yours added. But then the youngin piped in with I would nuke all. To to (conflict of interest page) and tell them, they may all get nuked.

How can I get rid of negative or incorrect info? Go to the discussion/talk area and tell the truth. They should remedy it. Also you can go to other related verticals. Search Engine land wrote an article on this. Go to wiki business owners FAQ too.

What if I like a lot of stuff and a lot of subjects? Does that make me uncredible? Actually, it makes you more real and possibly more credible. Honestly contribute, all around, and you will be trusted. Add real useful content to a range of subjects. If you just talk about your business or biz subject you’re really not contributing to the community, you’re contributing to your interests. Go add photos for people or things too, they will love it.

Some of the long legacy users are really suspicious. Aren’t some of the engines going to stop indexing this as organic content? Search engines are always going to do what’s best for their users. Users like Wiki, they are more simple than us SEO geeks. We think of it as taking up valuable SERP real estate, but the gen pop likes it. Its not likely to get banned soon, although supposedly has quarantined them.

I don’t have much history and I created an article with multiple links and references, unbiased, about our industry. My industry isn’t popular. Is this going to catch up with us? Maybe. You shouldn’t have included a link to your site, esp on your first article. Offer to be a guest author for someone else if you want a link to your site, and it will be more likely to stand the test of time. One reference may not be a big deal, though, because your article sounds generally helpful. Now you need to make a bigger community in your industry, so you’re not doing all the work J.

How the heck does Wikipedia make money? Donations, they are non-profit, and kicking themselves for it haha.

Tip: Wiki is like a bank of karma, do good things for others and become recognized as an expert in your industry. So go there, give a couple mins a day to help others 🙂

How do you manage this when you have 3000+ products? My SEO dept, PR dept, AR department? You want to use a veteran in your company who is educated and passionate about your products. PR and interns are gonna get you banned so don’t bother. The person NEEDS to be familiar with social media and the concepts surrounding it.